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Curriculum intent, social media regulation and the Teacher Tapp upgrade!

7 December 2021

Oof! It’s getting to look a lot like Christmas, which also means it’s getting cold and dark in schools too. Brr. We hope you are managing to warm up a little and have some merriment here and there!

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1. Social Media – is it worth it?

In a surprise twist against all ‘wellbeing’ trends at present, most of you are fairly positive about the impact social social media has on you! Nearly two-thirds of you say it’s more beneficial to have social media than not.

Heads were less likely to agree than those in other jobs. Possibly because they have to deal with more issues among pupils caused by social media, plus parent Facebook groups!

The results also hold regardless of the social media platforms you say you use! It’s still the case that around 80% of you say that it’s a net positive for using social media and 20% disagree – though those of you who use LinkedIn are most likely to have strongly agree that it was a benefit. Given that it’s also one of the least used social media platforms by teachers perhaps those using it have tapped into a good community that many of us are missing out on!

However, while you think that social media is good for you, you don’t think so for children! Less than a quarter of you believe that the benefits of social media outweigh the downsides for 13-17-year-olds. In fact, teachers without children are marginally more against than those with – perhaps those with have seen it benefit some of their kids?

In light of this, it is no surprise that over 95% of teachers would like to see greater regulation of social media for children. This is popular among all teachers – regulation is most favoured by primary teachers – although whether you’re a parent or not doesn’t make too much difference.

2. Ofsted and Curriculum Intent

One of the things you were excited about in 2019 was the new Ofsted Education Inspection Framework which outlined “Curriculum Intent” as part of the “quality of education” judgement. (No really, we have the data from the time!)

Since its release, there has been an increase in chatter about what really forms “curriculum intent” in a school.And it looks like it has been discussed heavily by you, too! Only around 15% of teachers haven’t heard the phrase since the start of the year. In particular, you’ve been hearing it said by leadership (68%) or in training sessions (66%). Over half of secondary teachers have also heard the phrase in a departmental meeting.

What do you think about this focus of Ofsted’s, though? Well, you seem pretty split! Primary teachers are the least happy about this focus – with only 38% agreeing that they are happy with it – and over a quarter disagreeing. Secondary teachers, on the other hand, are much happier – with 57% saying they like the focus.

Furthermore, you just about prefer this new framework to the old one. Once again, secondary school teachers were more positive about this new framework than primary teachers – 42% of secondary teachers were in favour, compared to 28% of primary teachers. In particular though, it was secondary SLT and heads who are loving the new framework – with about 60% of SLT and heads preferring the new over the old.

3. The battle of Apple vs. Andriod

As you may have heard – Teacher Tapp has been undergoing an upgrade over the past week 🤖. At one point, we had lots of Android users upgraded, but none on Apple. This gave us an unintentional experiment – do Apple tappers respond differently to Andriod tappers?

It turns out that these two different subgroups of tappers produced similar overall results! Two-thirds of both Apple and Android users say that a ‘gender-neutral’ school uniform means that everyone can wear either trousers or skirts.

The second most popular option was for students to freely choose their gender, chosen by around 15% of teachers.

Despite having to wait a bit longer than we expected for Apple to approve the new Teacher Tapp app – it did show that even with around 1,500 responses, we were able to get a reasonably representative set of responses.

However, small samples become a problem when looking at particular subgroups!

For example, we’re often very interested in what English teachers might think about a particular question, or what primary teachers may think. With small sample sizes we can’t do this – for example, let’s take another question we asked this week and see what secondary headteachers think.

Due to the upgrade, just 19 secondary heads answered in one version of the app – and none replied that missed learning was a big problem for them, and 41% said that missed learning had not been an impediment at all.

Compare this to our Apple users and we see quite different results across secondary headteachers! Now, 10% of secondary heads claim that missed learning was a big problem – and 28% say that it hasn’t been a problem at all – vastly different results!

This is why it’s so important to have as big a sample as possible on Teacher Tapp, so we can really find out what teachers across the education arena are feeling, and so we can really build a more accurate picture of education one tap at a time!

4. Supporting SEND students

At the moment there is a lot of discussion about special education needs, however there has been little change since 2018 in how confident teachers are in meeting the needs of SEN students. In 2018, 47% of you said that you were at least quite successful in meeting their needs, and now that is 49%.

Primary teachers report being more confident than their secondary colleagues. 52% of primary teachers said they were quite successful compared to 47% of secondary teachers. Furthermore, female teachers were also more confident than their male colleagues.

5. Teacher Tapp mentions in the wild 📣

A critical aspect of you answering questions on Teacher Tapp is that it unlocks research that gets shared with you on the app. It also goes out into the wild and knocks ministers, policymakers and other decision people upside the head with your views!

Here are a few mentions we had in the press over the past week.

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