Do shorter schedules lead to better teacher performance and retention?

New research using English school staff census data has revealed links between the number of hours teachers spend with students (contact hours), the complexity of working hours, students’ GCSE results and teacher turnover.

The article begins with a familiar scenario. It’s the end of the academic year and your timetable will be published soon.

Discussions between teacher and planner are an ongoing negotiation as school leaders try to find a balance between the needs of their staff and those of students…

“Despite the lack of action policies on contact times, some schools are reconsidering their use.” Time,” writes Dr. Vaughan Connelly, who studies the hypothesis that teacher workload is related to academic performance and teacher supply.

A common concern among school leaders is the constant tug-of-war between meeting the needs of staff and those of students. This is extremely important to understand because teacher well-being has a direct impact on student performance and academic performance.
, Questions asked include:
, Are shorter class hours associated with better academic outcomes?
Are teachers more likely to leave teaching or change schools due to longer contact time and workload complexity?
Connolly analyzes data from the School Workforce Census (2010-2016), which includes data on 75% of secondary school teachers, and examines how “government reforms aimed to alleviate workload problems and increase the number of teachers, but with little success.”

This article answers a question that I often ask myself as a school principal, but which is often ignored: longer contact time with teachers improves teacher retention and reduces teacher workload.
The results of this study suggest that lengthening class hours is most detrimental when teachers work with 10th grade students.Second, “The more hours a teacher has on their schedule, the more likely they are to change schools.”

If we include teachers leaving public schools, a statistically significant relationship is apparent.

Questions for schools to consider:
What is the ideal number of contact hours for optimal results?
How does your current schedule affect your overall job satisfaction?
Would fewer contact hours make you more likely to stay at your current school?
Could restructuring the timetable at your school be a solution?
How could changing teaching times affect student performance?
It should also be noted that school budgets/funding, location and the impact of Ofsted ratings on school recruitment also play a role. We all want to know how school leaders achieve this…

Other recent research shows that there are significant benefits to matching current teachers with students they previously taught. Albornoz et al.They write: “There is a “significant improvement in student outcomes at no additional cost to schools.”

Study shows departments that spend more time without contact are more likely to achieve better results and retain employees for longer!

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