Skip to content.

Try it for yourself:

Download the app now

On your computer? Scan with your phone camera to get the app!

Football, mocks, autonomy and happiness

15 November 2022

As you are reading this, our machines are drawing the first £750 Golden ticket winner. We’ll post the winning ticket code on the app and social media so that you can check your number, and we’ll be emailing the lucky winner so keep your eyes out for messages from us. Not you this time? There’s always next time – all existing questions answered and Golden tickets earned will remain in the pot for our £1,500 December prize draw.

Remember, you’ll only be entered in the draw if you have a school name in England entered on your app details. Take the time now to check your school name is correct because we are using this to validate that you are indeed a teacher in England!

Who is watching the football in school?

With the World Cup less than a week away, many of you got in touch to ask whether other schools were allowing their students (and teachers!) to watch England’s first World Cup game, on at the unsociable time at 1pm on Monday 21st. The answer is…lots of schools haven’t decided yet!

But opinion on whether it’s the right this to do is mixed. While watching football isn’t part of the school curriculum, for many students it will create a memory they will treasure for a long time to come.

Numbers planning to watch in the primary and secondary phases are quite similar. London schools are currently least likely to switch the television on. Those in the Midlands and the North are most likely to do so. Private schools seem to be far less likely to be showing the football. We’ll be asking again next Monday to see what actually happens on the day!

Legacies of COVID in secondaries – mocks and parents evenings

We’ve had questions from secondary teachers trying to grapple with whether the sector is getting back to normal around parental contact and exams, so here’s the latest update.

Far fewer secondary schools are doing online parents’ evening – it’s fallen from 60% solely online last year to 41% this year. However, 41% is still pretty high – will it be an enduring legacy of COVID? Keep tapping over the next few years (or decades) to find out!

Less enduring is the legacy of multiple Year 11 ‘mock’ exams. The number of schools asking Year 11s to sit two or more mock exams went up from 66% to 71% during the COVID years because schools needed to compile grading information. It has fallen back to pre-pandemic levels of 66%, but it is worth noting the very stark differences across schools today. In high FSM schools, 80% are having multiple Year 11 formal mock exam sittings. This figure is much lower at 63% in the lowest FSM state schools and even lower still at just 25% in the fee-paying sector.

Primary teachers – do you have enough autonomy in your work?

Psychologists generally find that employees with some autonomy over their daily working life are happier. Do we give primary teachers enough autonomy? In recent questions to you, we’ve learnt that 1-in-3 primary teachers feel they already have enough autonomy and 1-in-4 feel it is important that they are given more autonomy (the rest of you are somewhere in between). What does autonomy over work look like to primary teachers? We’ve recently asked four questions that tells us how much headteachers control work within their schools:

  • 27% of primary teachers have no rules about how often they should provide students with written feedback in their school’s policy
  • 64% of primary teachers do not have to adhere to preferred lesson structures
  • 51% of primary teachers are able to sometimes (or always) do PPA at home
  • 61% of primary teachers can choose when they timetable Maths and English lessons

One-in-three primary teachers are working in highly autonomous settings where at least three of the above statements are true for them. But where can we find these autonomous schools? The teachers with the most autonomy over these four decisions are most likely to be found in smaller, local authority schools that serve more affluent communities.

(Take care with independent school information – it is much harder to categorise teachers into primary-secondary phase within the independent school sector due to age transitions are earlier subject specialism.)

We’d like to do more work learning about autonomy over the lives of teachers. What other questions about autonomy would you like answered? Let us know via the Contact Us within the app.

Happiness scales

If you’ve been tapping for a while, you’ll know all about the anxiety question that shows the damaging and enduring effects of the pandemic on headteacher anxiety levels. Well, we’ve also been asking you about the other end of the scale – enjoyment and contentment. Here we have some slightly better news for heads.

Firstly, headteachers are as likely as any other group to say they enjoyed working last week. Enjoyment for teachers doesn’t tend to be high at this time of year (it’s a long term), but still over 6-in-10 of you managed to tell us that you enjoyed work last week.

Secondly, headteachers seems to be as content as classroom teachers with life at school – about half choose a score of 5, 6 or 7 on our 7-point scale. Currently, it is the Assistant and Deputy Heads who are the most content with life at school. There was a time when heads were equally highly content, but that was before the pay settlements and energy crisis blew a hole in their budgets.

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

The most-clicked-upon tip was about tinkering around the edges of behaviour management.

The remaining tips were: