Header Image 1
Header Image 2
Header Image 3

Why Work for Cockburn MAT?

The benefits:

  • Access to the West Yorkshire Pension Fund or Teachers Pension

  • Portability of salary

  • Excellent annual leave entitlements

  • Provision for special leave of absence

  • Excellent maternity and paternity entitlements

  • Real commitment to high quality CPD for all at all levels

  • Employee assist programme - providing a whole range of services such as virtual GP, physio, counselling

  • Occupational Health support

The Cockburn MAT approach to Workload and Wellbeing

Working in education is a highly skilled, valued and rewarding professional career, but it can also be demanding. Therefore it is important that we regularly review our approach.

What follows are 20 ways that we offer professionals as a sustainable approach to work.

Our strategy on workload comes from two main principles:
  1. Staff are our most precious resource.
    Motivated staff, with the stamina to maintain our high expectations, ensures that students are successful.
  2. Keep it simple.
    In education there can be too many distractions, gimmicks or unnecessary complications that prevent teachers focusing on the most important thing: students and their learning.

Cockburn MAT Schools

Common in other schools

1. Allocated 17% for PPA per week for main scale teachers, giving more time for planning, preparation and assessment. Additional time is allocated for staff with a responsibility.

Standard allocation is 10% for PPA per week.

There can be variable time allocated for additional responsibility.

2. 1265 directed time is not all allocated. We know how hard staff work and go the extra mile.

1265 directed time is all allocated.

3. No written reports for students. Time is much better spent on face to face meetings with parents and students instead.


Written reports termly and/or end of year.

4. Low stakes observation with no grading led by professional development.

Graded observations 3 times per year.

5. A sensible approach to feedback based on a diet of whole class feedback, peer and self assessment. No more marking for the sake of it.

A marking policy that all work is marked regardless, with little consideration of impact or its audience.

6. No implementation of gimmick teaching ideas, only evidence-based research that drives improvement and further innovation is adopted. 

Gimmicks such as brain gym, popcorn reading, learning styles or VAK, verbal feedback stamps/stickers, triple impact marking, too much teacher talk, rapid progress in a lesson, all may be common place in other schools and have little correlation to research or evidence on student outcomes.

7. A centralised detention system, the average main scale teacher only spends 6 hours on detention duty per academic year.

Teaching staff run their own detentions weekly.

8. No expectation for main scale teachers to do lunch duty, ensuring teachers have time for lunch and feel refreshed for afternoon teaching. A free lunch provided for any staff who would like to do a lunch duty. 

Lunch duty expectations of main scale staff varies.

9. Two break duties per week, usually where the teacher is not teaching the previous or following unit and/or is under commitment.

Break duty expectations regardless of the timetable.

10. A Staff Wellbeing group that regularly reviews our approach to workload and operates a wellbeing policy that is designed to bring any wellbeing issues to the fore in order to minimise and manage them before they affect the wellbeing of staff and impact on the overall operation of the core business.

Not all schools have a dedicated staff wellbeing group and a policy in place to address wellbeing of the workforce.

11. Leave of absence that provides access to request paid time over and above statutory requirements for emergency situations.

Not all schools adopt the local authority policy for LOA and grant less often without pay. 

12. Admin support with printing and communications with parents/carers to ensure efficiencies and save time.  

Not all schools provide admin support for checking, printing and posting letters.

13. An open door culture of peer observation driven by professional curiosity, support and development.

Limited opportunity for peer observation.

14. Carefully structured career progression model to support professional growth at all levels with external CPD requests that are supported. A Meetings and CPD calendar that takes into consideration workload and pinch points within the academic year.

Meetings and Professional Development is too variable to make comparison between organisations.

15. Subject Pedagogy time is allocated to develop subject and curriculum knowledge that encourages teachers to debate the way they teach and foster collaborative planning within teams. Common approaches are discussed and agreed at department level.

A fixed pedagogy with a checklist of strategies per lesson such as: “All, Most, Some criteria, no hands up rule, 3 different ability worksheets approach to differentiation, group work, students sitting in pre-determined groups or insisted room layouts. 

16. A sensible approach to planning, no formal lesson plan, no checking of teacher planners or rules about submitting lesson planning.  All staff are given a planner, it’s up to them how they want to use it.

Lesson plan templates can be required and some schools insist these are submitted in advance.

17. A sensible approach to appraisal that is paper free and embraces professional review with an assumption that all staff will progress each year unless there is a serious issue.

Lengthy appraisal paperwork with unrealistic targets.

18. Bulk data analysis prepared for middle leaders on Key Assessment Reports that is broken down into headlines and group performance.

Data is not provided in a usable form (export from SIMs). No basic analysis of data provided broken down into headlines and groups.

19. Immediate access to health support through the Employee Assistance Programme which provides a range of high-quality services such as counselling, virtual GP, online CBT and physiotherapy.

Some schools only have access to counselling, but many rely on NHS services.

20. Working environment is high quality with almost all teachers with their own classroom and designated work rooms for departments to use.

In some schools classrooms are shared and departments are not located together often due to reduced budgeting.