A growing number of reports have highlighted the ever-increasing workloads that Australian teachers are struggling to manage, with a 2021 Grattan Institute survey finding 86% of educators lack time for high-quality lesson planning and preparation.
Worryingly, this applies as much to experienced teachers as it does to those who are just starting out in their career, and is being driven, in part, by a lack of high–quality curriculum resources – an issue that is being felt most in disadvantaged schools across Australia.
This year, a Federal Government-funded grant program responded to this need by funding a year’s access to high-quality, ready-to-use teaching resources by Inquisitive, which has grown to be used and trusted by 70% of Australian primary schools since being launched in 2016.
More 15,000 teachers in over 1,000 schools with the greatest socio-educational disadvantage participated in the 2023 program.
According to an evaluation by the Centre for Evidence and Implementation, access to the Inquisitive program and its resources was shown to significantly improve teachers’ personal wellbeing, self-efficacy, and workloads.
Teachers that used the program were also shown to have significantly more time for high-quality lesson planning, and increased their use of high impact teaching practices, meaning that not only were teachers feeling less stressed, they were also more confident in the quality of their teaching.
Separately, teachers were surveyed on how much time Inquisitive saved them. The findings were that an astonishing 94 hours a year, on average, were saved due to access to quality resources, a saving of $86m annually in teacher time.
The research has highlighted that helping schools to access high-quality materials for all learning areas could save 20 million teacher hours a year.
“Inquisitive is a brilliant and valuable program for all educators,” Trisha Chapman, a teacher from Tom Price Primary school in WA said.
“It has honestly alleviated so much stress and planning time this year and allowed me to have a greater work-life balance.”
Echuca East Primary School agrees. After a year’s access to Inquisitive programs, the school decided to base all of their units of work on the Inquisitive lessons because of the benefits it gives its teachers.
“It saves us so much planning time that we can now dedicate to looking at data and the needs of the students.”
Inquisitive Co-Founder and Head of Education, Sarah Rich said funding access to quality resources is “the biggest return on investment in education today.”
“Teachers need high-quality lessons and supporting materials that are easily accessible, curriculum-aligned, and adjustable as they juggle the demands of the job.”
The original version of this article appeared as a media release from Inquisitive.