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Mayday! Mayday! The demise of flightpaths. Also, feeling rewarded at work, and who loves homework?

14 February 2023

For 73% of you, it’s halfterm… We hope it’s a restful one!

The demise of flightpaths

As this week is half term for most of you, you’d be forgiven for thinking about jetting off somewhere sunny when we mention “flightpaths”… but we’re actually talking about student data. More specifically, data that attempts to map the progress journey that students are expected to follow, normally based on data relating to students’ prior attainment.

Given that 28% of you don’t know whether students at your school are given a “flightpath,” and 53% are sure that they are not, it seems that “flightpaths” are a thing of the (flight)past!

“Flightpaths” were always rare in primary (only 14% said they had them back in 2019, dropping to 6% now) but even in secondary, there has been a massive reduction from over half of teachers in 2019 saying they existed to just under a third now.

Chart: use of flightpaths by phase over time

Rewarding terms & daily accomplishments

As schools broke up, we asked you to reflect back on the past half term. As always, you told us it was hard work and tiring 😪 BUT what caught our eye was an increase in teachers who told us how rewarding the term had been 😃

Back in 2021 (which was admittedly, a bit pandemic-y) 29% of you chose ‘rewarding’ as a word that best described the term, now that has increased ten percentage points to 39%.

Chart: thinking back over the last half term, which of these words would you use to describe your job?

We wanted to check on some of the more rewarding aspects of teaching in a bit more detail so we asked if most days you feel a sense of accomplishment from your work. 9 out of 10 of you said that this statement was ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ true.

But which roles feel the most accomplishment?

When it comes to seniority, heads certainly feel the greatest sense of accomplishment, with 32% selecting “very true.”

But when it comes to school type, whilst there is little difference between primary and secondary, the best school to work in for a sense of accomplishment is an AP or special schools: 25% of staff in these schools selected “very true” (although our sample is quite a bit smaller in this sector, so it’s possible that the effect size is a little unreliable.)

Chart: most days I feel a sense of accomplishment from working

Who ❤️s homework?

Asking parents to sign a homework contract has never been exactly popular; back in 2017 one in three schools had agreements in place. But since the pandemic, they have seen quite a dip in prevalence, with only around one in five schools now asking parents to sign, and well over half of you saying that you hope such a thing will not be introduced in your school.

Chart: does your school ask parents to sign a homework contract?

However, this isn’t an anti-homework thing…

Half of you disagree that students at your school are given too much homework, with a particularly strong contingent of primary school teachers disagreeing.

Chart: I think the students at my school are given too much homework

And that leads us to a finding that has us a bit baffled…

Primary teachers ❤️ homework!

Not only do primary teachers most strongly disagreed too much homework is already set, many also think it is an essential part of education… for students of all ages!

So why do primary teachers set so much more faith in homework than their secondary counterparts? Could it be the impact of homework on those early basics such as phonics, reading and times tables? Share your ideas with us on the usual social channels!

Primary teachers think that homework is an essential part of education from a young age

And finally…

The most read blog post of the week was everything you need to know about Mary Kennedy

Other posts last week were: