ASCL's Geoff Barton on decluttering your teaching schedule


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GCSEPod is now used in one in every four UK secondary schools and has quickly become the digital education content of choice for hundreds of thousands of teenagers in the UK and beyond. However, what might come as somewhat more of a surprise is that thousands of teachers are now also using the digital content and learning platform as a valuable teaching and assessment tool. ASCL general secretary Geoff Barton believes that the resource could go a long way to declutter their busy workloads this school year.

Launched initially as a revision resource, teachers are increasingly turning to GCSEPod to use within the classroom as an effective means of setting and evaluating homework, as well as providing individual intervention.

The steep challenges faced by the profession are no secret. This academic year, with more subjects coming under the new, more rigorous assessment criteria, schools across the country are looking at ways to reduce unnecessary workloads and streamline working practices in order to free up more valuable teaching time.

GCSEPod invited Geoff Barton, who was voted in as ASCL general secretary in February, to come and see just how its content is helping schools to tackle some of the challenges they face. The veteran headteacher, who pledged to help teachers in every classroom to help every child, was surprised by what he discovered.

Geoff, who has never been afraid to criticise or champion education policy and ideas as part of his ongoing commitment to the profession, praised the resource and the benefits it brings to both students and teachers.

He said: “I had thought GCSEPod was largely about animated content for students to use in their revision. I now see that it’s much more ambitious than that.

“In particular, it provides an opportunity for school leadership teams to liberate teachers from some aspects of planning and marking, because GCSEPod provides such high-quality materials. This frees the teacher to assess students’ progress, to explain parts that they haven’t understood, to track how the class as a whole might be doing. It also helps students truly to take control of their learning. The bonus is the guidance for parents on how to support their child at home, and the capacity for school leadership teams to look across departments to see how GCSEPod is being deployed.”

He added: “All of this could be a very significant step in helping to declutter the working lives of teachers, to reduce their workload, to make them more effective in monitoring their students, and then in providing more customised feedback.”

To find out how GCSEPod can help to declutter the lives of your teachers, and free up the time to provide students with individual intervention without breaking the bank, visit or contact us on 0191 338 7830 /

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