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Can you colour photocopy? Can kids use mobile phones? Who buys the coffee? This, and more...

10 May 2022

Before we dive into this week’s results – we have a quick request from the data team at Teacher Tapp 👨‍💻!

Please check that the school in your profile is up-to-date (you can do this by heading to the in-app menu -> user profile -> choose your school).

Don’t worry – we don’t use the school information to learn anything about you specifically. We use the information about your school’s free school meal quartile and size to help understand how teachers between different schools vary.

Now, onto results…

We 💚 seeing how answers change over time. Sharing how classroom trends are changing is one of our superpowers 🦹‍♀️ and the announcement of a new Dr Who this weekend reminded us… it’s time for some time travel!

~~ Vworp! Vworp! ~~

1. Photocopying (AKA humble pie revisited)

Back in 2018, then Academies Minister Lord Agnew had Teacher Tapp co-founder Laura McInerney eating humble pie 🥧

Agnew bet heads a bottle of champagne that he could find savings in their schools, arguing that school budgets could be cut by simply limiting colour photocopying 🍾. Laura was sceptical at the idea anyone had unlimited colour photocopying, but in a top example of Teacher Tapp challenging perceptions, our 2018 result showed 65% of teachers had unlimited access.

Has the picture changed?

Yes! The proportion of you that have unlimited access has increased! Now, three-quarters of you can colour copy whenever you like. Luckily, Lord Agnew is no longer at the DfE, we wonder if Laura would like another slice of pie though 🤔

At school, do you have unlimited access to a colour photocopying. Chart 2018 vs 2022

But before we get too carried away gloating, let’s look at the detail. Back in 2018, the colour copying frenzy was led by primary schools… is this still the case in 2022? Yes! 85% of teachers in primary schools have access to unlimited colour photocopying, compared to 66% of secondary teachers.

At school, do you have unlimited access to a colour photocopying. Chart: primary vs secondary

But does this mean the queue for the copier is longer in primary 🤔

Not necessarily! We checked what would happen if it’s breaktime and you’ve just remembered you haven’t photocopied a worksheet for the next lesson… you run to the photocopier, what are the chances that it is available AND working so that you can copy it in time?

Luckily for over half of you, it’ll be fine! And it’s more or less the same in both primary and secondary too 😁

What would happen if it's breaktime and you've just remembered you haven't photocopied a worksheet for the next lesson... you run to the photocopier, what are the chances that it is available AND working so that you can copy it in time? Chart

If you’d like to reminisce on more colour copying data (and see Laura’s original tweets), it’s all here in blog number 34 (awww, we were so young then! 👶)

2. Phone home 🤳

Mobile phone use is another area where your Teacher Tapp data has tested ministers’ assumptions over the years. The last time we checked in July 2021, the minister (Gavin Williamson, remember him 🤦‍♀️) had just launched a consultation into mobile phone usage in schools.

This meant that our data from just 2 months earlier was already out of date and we saw a decrease in the proportion of you (in secondary schools) telling us that a student had taken a mobile phone out in one of your lessons without permission.

But what does the data look like now?

Well, we’re back to similar levels as the first time we asked: just over a third of you say a student took a mobile out without permission. The question now is, if we check again in June, will it dip or was last year’s data a result of phones being the educational zeitgeist of the time 🤔

Did a student take out a mobile phone in one of your lessons today without permission? Chart 2021 vs 2022

The talk of “bans” for mobile phones has rumbled on for years now, but there are still a number of different ways that schools operate them. Is the number of phone breaches simply driven by those schools that are most relaxed?

A bit… 47% of teachers in schools with the most phone freedom (phones allowed to be used at break, lunch, or in lessons when directed by a teacher) had students take a mobile phone out in a lesson. However, even in schools that have a strict no-phones-allowed policy (not to be used at all during the school day), it is still the case that over a quarter of teachers said that a student took their phone out in a lesson, in a single day!

There are a number of ways hat schools operate mobile phone "bans" for students. Which one most closely applies to your school? (across) versus did a student take out a mobile phone in one of your lessons today without permission (down) Comparative chart

3. Anyone for a drink? ☕

In our final trip back in time (for this blog at least) we look at the important question of staffroom refreshments. Is it provided by the school or do you have to BYO?

When we looked at this in February 2020 (just before 🦠 struck), 47% of you had tea and coffee provided by your school for free. This has now increased to 51% 🙌

BUT WAIT… the proportion of you that bring your own has also increased 🧐

So what’s driving the increase in BYO? Could it be you’ve developed a taste for fancy drinks during lockdown and are snubbing the school freebies? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

How do you arrange hot drinks in your main staff room? Chart 2020 vs 2022

What type of school is most likely to provide freebie refreshments? Ofsted “Outstanding” schools are considerably more likely to provide staff with tea and coffee than those in any other Ofsted category.

So is the relationship between free hot drinks and Ofsted Outstanding correlation or causation?! Answers on a postcard (or social media!) please!

How do you arrange hot drinks in your main staff room? Chart by ofsted outcome

4. Teaching – does it run in the family?

Remember last week we asked whether you’d encourage your own (perhaps hypothetical) child to become a teacher? Well, it got us thinking… does it make any difference to your answer if your parent was a teacher?

Not really! Whilst there is a small uplift in your enthusiasm if your dad was a teacher, the numbers are pretty small so this finding sadly isn’t statistically significant.

Are either of your parents teachers vs would you encourage your own child to become a teacher

Finally… we know you love the daily read, so here are the ones from last week

The most read tip from the past week was: Curriculum pace, slow philosophy

And here are the rest for your reference: