Posted on Monday 12th Mar 2018
The education secretary has promised to cut teachers' workload in an attempt to resolve a recruitment crisis in England's schools.
Damian Hinds told a head teachers' conference in Birmingham that there will be no more new changes to primary tests, GCSEs or A-levels.
But he faced challenges from delegates over school funding shortages.
And Mr Hinds told head teachers: "It has been tough, funding is tight, I don't deny that at all."
Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, welcomed the education secretary's promise to cut the "bureaucratic burden" on teachers.
But there were calls from the conference floor for Mr Hinds to "answer the question" over problems with school funding.
The education secretary had conceded: "I understand why that's people's number one issue. I understand why, for everyone in this room, the funding of our schools and colleges is such an important topic."
Damian Hinds told head teachers he will work with them on cutting bureaucracy
In his first speech to heads and teachers since becoming education secretary, Mr Hinds said that tackling the teacher shortage was a "top priority".
Mr Hinds said long hours and red tape were among the "biggest threats" to recruiting and retaining staff.
For five successive years, recruitment targets for teaching have been missed and schools have complained of the expense and disruption of relying on temporary staff or having to use teachers who are not specialists in the subjects they are teaching.
Schools are spending £835m per year on supply agencies, according to the most recent government figures.
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