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Money's too tight to mention

4 July 2023

As we navigate another strike week, we’ve turned our Teacher Tapp lens to look at school finances ๐Ÿ”Ž

But before we get to that, we’ve made sure that there’s one Tappster who has a few less financial worries… It’s the winner of our Golden Ticket draw.

The winner is a secondary teacher who has been using Teacher Tapp since 2017 and has a current streak of over 1,300 ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Tickets roll over each month so if you don’t win, don’t worry, maybe next time!

Right, results…

1. Money In

Whilst money may be tight in school, everyone is also aware that money is tight at home. Only around a quarter of schools ask parents for a voluntary donation toward the school, and you probably won’t be surprised to learn that schools working in more deprived communities are less likely to ask than those in more affluent ones (and yes, even some independent schools ask for a donation). Generally, asking for a donation is more common in primary schools; nearly a third now make a request.

It may not be a majority of schools that do this, but over time, the proportion asking has risen; from 18% in 2021 to 26% in 2023.

A more popular way to boost the school coffers is to rent out part of your school space. Around 7 in 10 secondary schools do this, and around 6 in 10 primaries.

But there are real regional disparities; whilst around 8 out of 10 schools in the South East have the facilities to do this (and a community wanting to access those spaces) only around half of schools in Yorkshire and the North East bring in extra income this way.

Teachers whose school has rented out space to third-party providers at any point this academic year

2. Money Out

If schools can't increase their income, how might they be reducing their out-goings?

Only 10% of heads said that they wouldn't be reducing spending at all to deal with budgetary pressures over the next year.

In primary schools, nearly half of heads told us they will be reducing spending on teaching assistants. We know that TAs are already pretty thin on the ground in secondaries, but still around a quarter of secondary heads anticipate this reducing further next academic year.

38% of primary leaders also said 1-to-1 or small group tutoring / interventions would receive less funding. The comparable figure in secondary was 24%, possibly because, like teaching assistants, there is less of this activity in secondary than primary in the first place.

After that, around a third of heads said they'd be cutting spend on (get ready for a long list) instructional resources (e.g. textbooks), school trips / enrichment / subsidised after-school clubs, building equipment & maintenance.

3. Attention Please ๐Ÿ“ฃ

If you watch teachers on TikTok, you'd be forgiven for thinking that everyone use whimsical attention grabbers. But Teacher Tapp reaches where social media doesn't (to the truth!) We checked with primary teachers who use these 'call and response' techniques in class, and while overall only a 1 in 4 of primary teachers do it, we found that in EYFS/KS1 around 4 in 10 teachers are using them on a regular basis.

As it's nearly the end of term, we followed up to find out your favourites! Although there were lots of counting & clapping ones, the number 1 spot goes to...

  • 1, 2, 3, eyes on me!

(Extra props to the teacher who does this in French too!) But we also liked the ones inspired by films and songs, e.g...

  • I sing the beginning of the Adamms family and they all click their fingers twice
  • Duh nuh. Duh nuh. (with arms as shark mouth) Then SNAP!
  • Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!
  • Teacher says, "Stop right now"; children reply, "Thank you very much"

And we were particularly intrigued by...

  • Penguins attention - penguins salute ๐Ÿง

And we'd be remiss not to LOVE...

  • Tap tap tappity tap!

Not a fan? Michael Tidd came up with some less polite alternatives over on Twitter!

On the rise

๐Ÿ“ˆ 11% of teachers would choose to go on a behaviour management professional development course, up from 7% in 2018

๐Ÿ“ˆ 66% of secondary teachers said they started a recent lesson by greeting students at the door when they arrived - up four percentage points compared to last year

Heading down

๐Ÿ“‰ 25% of teachers are having a major restructure of their curriculum this year, down from 38% in 2019.

๐Ÿ“‰ 28% of teachers said they were "Very satisfied" with the amount of responsibility they had at work, compared to 36% in Feb 2021.

And finally...

The most read tip this week was: 5 ways of giving effective feedback

And here are the rest for your reference: