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Lesson planning is one of the issues most frequently cited by teachers as creating workload. Teachers often produce lengthy individual lesson plans, especially when schools are preparing for Ofsted inspections, as there is a common misconception that Ofsted inspectors require detailed written plans for every lesson. This can lead some teachers to spend a minimum of two hours a week just filling in lesson plan templates; time that could be better spent planning meaningful, motivating teaching.
The Government wants to bust this myth by making it clear that neither the Department for Education nor Ofsted require written lesson plans for every lesson. Instead, inspectors may want to see where the lesson they observe fits in the sequence of teaching.
The Government supports the idea that teachers should plan their lessons but this does not mean imposing a centralised planning template on schools. A school’s approach to lesson planning is a matter for the individual school, best achieved by the headteacher reaching an understanding with classroom teachers about what kind of planning is best suited to the school, its teachers and its pupils. There may be times when it is appropriate to ask individual teachers for more detailed evidence of how they plan lessons (for example if there is evidence of poor planning in the past). However, this should be the exception not the rule.
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