List of clerical and admin tasks that teachers in England should not be required to undertake

NASUWT maintains that teachers cannot be required to carry out administrative and clerical tasks routinely that distract them from their core teaching and learning responsibilities.

Indeed, the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD) makes it clear that teachers and school leaders should not be required to carry out activities that do not require the professional skills or expertise of a teacher, a provision that can be found in paragraph 52.8 regarding administration and external examinations:

‘A teacher should not be required routinely to participate in any administrative, clerical and organisational tasks which do not call for the exercise of a teacher’s professional skills and judgment, including those associated with the arrangements for preparing pupils for external examinations such as invigilation.’ (paragraph 52.8)

Following the initial recommendations of the Government’s Workload Reduction Taskforce (pdf), the STPCD has now been amended to reinsert a revised Annex 5 with an updated list of examples of administrative tasks that teachers should not be required to carry out.

This represents a significant victory for the Union, which has been campaigning to have the list of administrative and clerical tasks reinserted in the STPCD as part of our Time for a Limit campaign to secure a Better Deal for England’s Teachers on workload, working conditions, wellbeing and pay.

Annex 5 STPCD - list of administrative tasks that teachers should not be expected to undertake as it appears in Annex 5 of the STPCD

  1. Managing data and transferring data about pupils into school management systems (e.g. Question Level Analysis) or printing electronic records for paper filing.

  2. Reformatting data or re-entry of data into multiple systems.

  3. Production of photographic evidence of practical lessons, e.g. for assessment purposes or to ‘evidence’ learning.

  4. Creation or duplication of files and paperwork perceived to be required in anticipation of inspection, such as copies of evidence portfolios, or regularly updated seating plans.

  5. Administration or data analysis relating to wraparound care and preparation of food/meals.

  6. Administration of public and internal examinations.

  7. Collating pupil reports, e.g. reports of pupil examination results.

  8. Producing and collating analyses of attendance figures.

  9. Investigating pupil absence.

  10. Responsibility for producing, copying, uploading and distributing bulk communications to parents and pupils, including standard letters, school policies, posts on electronic platforms.

  11. Administration relating to school visits, trips and residentials (including booking venues, collecting forms and recording lunch requirements) and of work experience (but not selecting placements and supporting pupils by advice or visits).

  12. Organisation, decoration and assembly of the physical classroom space, e.g. moving classrooms, moving classroom furniture, putting up and taking down classroom displays.

  13. Ordering, setting up and maintaining ICT equipment, software and virtual learning environments (VLEs), including adding pupils to VLEs and online subscription platforms.

  14. Ordering supplies and equipment.

  15. Cataloguing, preparing, issuing, stocktaking and maintaining materials and equipment, or logging the absence of such.

  16. Collecting money from pupils and parents.

  17. Administration of cover for absent teachers.

  18. Co-ordinating and submitting bids (for funding, school status and the like).

  19. Administration of medical consent forms and administering of medication on a routine or day-to-day basis.

  20. Taking, copying, distributing or typing up notes (e.g. verbatim notes) or producing formal minutes.

  21. Producing class lists or physical copies of context sheets.

  22. Keeping and filing paper or electronic records and data, e.g. in school management systems or physical office files.

  23. Bulk photocopying.

There is a dual purpose to this provision:

  • Firstly, it is to reduce workload by removing tasks from teachers which do not require a teacher’s qualifications, skills and abilities.

  • Secondly, it is to free teachers to focus on teaching and learning. 

The list is only illustrative, so members and NASUWT Representatives should identify any additional tasks they should not be undertaking by applying the test of whether they require the qualifications, skills and abilities of qualified teachers. 

The list is prefaced by a section that the Workload Reduction Taskforce states should be given ‘particular attention’, where they note that it has been a ‘long standing principle that teachers should not ordinarily be required to carry out tasks that are largely administrative or clerical in nature and which do not require the professional expertise of a teacher.’

Furthermore, the STPCD identifies key tests to assist in determining whether or not teachers should undertake a task, including:

  1. Does it need to be done at all?

  2. Is the task of an administrative or clerical nature?

  3. Does it call for the exercise of a teacher’s professional skills or judgment?

It goes on to note that, ‘If the answers to a) and b) are yes but the answer to c) is no, then the task should not be carried out by a teacher.’ 

It should be noted that tasks do not have to be done on a daily basis to be routine. Many tasks are done only once a year, such as collating reports. This would still be classed as routine and therefore should not be done by teachers. 

Given this, NASUWT Representatives and members should be cognisant of this new provision when engaging in discussions with employers on issues associated with workload and working time.

Whilst academies, including free schools, are not obliged to follow the provisions of the STPCD, it remains the case that the overwhelming majority do.

In settings where they do not adhere to the provisions of the STPCD, NASUWT Representatives and members will need to be cognisant of this when engaging in discussion with such employers, particularly in respect of those teachers who may have transferred into the academy/free school under the terms of the STPCD.