The Burden of Bureaucracy – Are excessive workloads crippling UK education?

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How Education is Being Burdened

Visiting the ‘burden of bureaucracy’ as a measurable source, it is clear that recent statistics show a decline in teacher satisfaction and educational creativity. An increase in workloads and the out of school hours teachers are expected to work has affected the teaching community dramatically. Recent statistics from BBC News have shown that 93% of their survey correspondents stress that the excessive workload is off-putting to potential teachers who may have previously considered a teaching position. A certain level of professionalism is a blatant characteristic of teaching. However, with the bureaucracy centralising their interest towards excessive standardisation and professionalism, there leaves little room for innovation and inspiration.

One of the primary issues with the explicit involvement of the bureaucracy is the ‘one size fits all’ method that is consistently pushed. The bureaucracy pushes the idea of a standardised schooling structure which may be efficient to a point, but is not sufficient in qualifying for a diverse and ever-changing society.

The Effects of Bureaucratic Input

Nick Clegg, previous leader of the Liberal Democrats party, had previously mentioned his plan to ‘free teachers from the bureaucracy’. It has been consistently contended that teaching staff in the UK are undervalued for the amount of work they are required to commit to. This may stem from how the current rules and regulations of education no longer recognise teachers as individuals, but as improved statistics. Earlier this year, the NUT (National Union of Teachers) has been campaigning against the current workload crisis. This suggests that we should expect teacher strikes around the UK if the current demands are not lessened. Statistics show that there has been a vast increase from 2014 to 2016 in how many hours teachers have to work per week. This has increased from 50 hours in 2014 to as high as 70-80 hours in 2016.

Whilst teachers are being constantly overworked and coerced into teaching their students standardised educational toils, it leads to question the potentially damaging effects it may have on children. Studies have shown that this bureaucratic education system can lead to alienating non-conformative students. Children who do not have the ability to learn within the current norm will regularly struggle with their education. Furthermore, teachers who have to prioritise their excessive workloads may not be able to work to their highest potential due to stress and lack of time. A recent BBC article discussed the negative effects the current teaching system has had on its employees, with many complaining a rise in anxiety and stress.

What Happens Now?

The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) has made further plans to reduce the imposition of bureaucracy within the schooling sectors. This is in the hopes that teaching standards will progress as teachers become less attached to a system that does not involve everybody.  On July the 5th 2016, teachers opted to partake in the NUT strike that left thousands of schools closed for the day. However, as teachers feel the educational sectors are undermining their positions there may still be strikes in the foreseeable future.

Let us know your opinion on the teacher strikes and bureaucratic interference on our TeacherBoards Twitter page at:



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