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The impact of workforce remodelling on change management and working practices in English primary schools

Hammersley-Fletcher, Linda (2008) The impact of workforce remodelling on change management and working practices in English primary schools. School Leadership & Management, 28 (5). pp. 489-503. ISSN 1364-2626

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Abstract

Reports of a recruitment and retention crisis amongst teachers in England led the government to develop a Workforce Remodelling strategy for schools. This involved change at both a legislative level, removing administrative tasks from teachers and ensuring all teaching staff had 10% off-timetable for planning, preparation and assessment (PPA) tasks, and through providing the opportunity for schools to be more creative and reflexive in their approach, determining educational goals which could be tailored to local needs and demands. This apparent move away from a ‘one size fits all’ model of education placed a renewed emphasis upon the ways in which schools approached change management. This article presents empirical data collected through questionnaires and semi-structured interviews across two local authorities in the English Midlands and explores the ways in which primary schools have addressed change management as a consequence of the Workforce Remodelling agenda. There is an exploration of the tensions created by pressures on schools to develop mechanisms for creative and locally relevant change, whilst at the same time developing support staff roles (particularly those of teaching assistants in the classroom) and also addressing accountability and standards agendas. Finally, consideration is given to the extent Workforce Remodelling represents a genuine departure from former practices.

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