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GCSE revision sessions, languages in primary schools & more!

31 May 2023

Have you got a Golden Ticket yet on Teacher Tapp? Be sure to check as the first prize draw takes place this week!

For every 50 questions you answered since the start of May you’ll have received a Golden Ticket. Check the My Rewards section in your Teacher Tapp app to find out how many you’ve got!

Every Golden Ticket has a unique 3-part code. Look out for the winning code on our social channels on the 1st of June – prize draw day – and check to see if you hold the winning ticket.

Don’t worry if you don’t win this time. You will continue earning tickets, your current tickets remain in play and there are 2 more draws with the cash prize rising to a whopping £3,000 for for the final draw in August! So keep tapping to be in for the best shot at winning!

Full terms and conditions can be found here.

1 day to go on the 1st Golden Ticket prize draw

Something’s changing at GCSE

Last week, as GCSEs kicked off in earnest, we looked at study leave (TLDR: schools serving the more deprived communities were more likely to be keeping kids in school).

But what’s going on with GCSE and study sessions this year?

Compared to 2019, fewer teachers have been asked to do revision sessions outside of normal working hours – e.g. breakfast, lunch or after-school, and fewer are also volunteering to do it.

All of which means that while 60% of teachers were doing extra revision lessons outside of school in 2019, this year it’s only 40%.

But why has there been a drop in the sessions offered? More comfort with the curriculum as it’s been in place for longer? More tutoring happening through the National Tutoring Programme. Has the pandemic shifted attitudes to assessments at 16? Answers in the usual places, please!

GCSE study sessions over time

As you might expect, some teachers are more likely to be asked, or offer, to run these sessions than others. English seems to do a lot of the heavy lifting, with a quarter of English teachers asked to run sessions. On the other hand, around a quarter of maths teachers volunteer to do them.

GCSE study sessions by subject

Just like study leave, a significant amount of extra effort is put into additional revision classes in schools in more deprived areas; 29% of teachers working in Q4 schools havr been asked to provide study sessions, compared to just 14% in Q1 schools.

GCSE study sessions by affluence

Meanwhile in primary schools…

Whilst we were asking secondary teachers about exams, we checked with primary school teachers on the perennial issue of teaching foreign languages (or not).

Back in January, we found many of you felt that there should be more language instruction at KS2, but it was the secondary teachers (who won’t have to teach it) who were most likely to say they wanted language teaching increased in primary.

How do primary teachers think it ought to be dealt with? The most popular answer was that that primary-aged pupils should learn a foreign language, BUT only if a suitably qualified teacher is available (34%). A view that hasn’t shifted much since we last asked in 2019.


Michael Gove was a divisive education secretary, but one of his reforms was a push to change the exclusion process to reinforce the authority of a school’s head.

We first asked who should have the final say on a PEX in 2018, and then, as now, your response was overwhelmingly ‘headteachers’. BUT there has been a shift: the proportion of you saying headteachers should have the final say has increased, largely it seems at the expense of the idea of a Local Authority independent review panel (IRP).

This is an interesting shift as the number of IRPs have declined over recent years, but we also know that (perception of) behaviour is getting worse.

Exclusions over time

Concerning behaviour

Behaviour continues to be a topic of concern. We keep a regular track on behaviour (see the latest update here) but this time poor behaviour has been flagged when we asked about causes of work-related. In 2022, 1 in 5 of you said behaviour was the biggest source of stress, this has now risen to 1 in 4.

Behaviour is biggest cause of work related stress

And also…

Surprising teachers

Lots of you said your younger self would be shocked to learn that you are now a teacher, but who is most surprised? Science teachers & arts teachers it seems! (Two groups who people often think are very different to one another, but who are often closer than you might expect, including on this one!)

It does make you wonder though… if only 11% of science teachers wanted to become teachers when at school, is there anything we could do to be encouraging it as a career from earlier on?

Shocked at being a teacher by subject

Increasing PD

Regular professional development seems to be on the increase. We are now finding more teachers take part in PD at least fortnightly, compared to when we fist asked back in 2019.

PD frequency increases

And finally…

The most read tip this week was: Mistakes to avoid when questioning

And here are the rest for your reference: