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Most enjoyable half term, exit interviews AND are teachers losing sleep over work worries?

19 July 2022

1. Most enjoyable half term

A Tapper wanted to know which half term teachers find the most and least enjoyable. It’s a fair question with some talk in the Teacher Tapp community that Summer 2 is never as ‘relaxing’ as you think it might be.

Let’s start on a positive note, which half term do you enjoy the most?

35% of secondary teachers uniformly enjoy the Summer 2 term the most!! Who would’ve thought that all subjects could agree on something? 🙊 Or could it be linked to the findings about ‘gained time‘?

But, do primary teachers feel the same?

Apparently not!! 25% of primary teachers said that they enjoy the Spring 2 term the most. Could this be because the learning starts to fall into place for the youngest learners?

We took a closer look at your opinions… 🔎

30% of EYFS and KS1 teachers chose Spring 2 as their favourite term so there may be something in our hypothesis, or maybe it’s just that Spring 2 is usually the shortest half term 👀

What's your most enjoyable half term? By phase.

What about your LEAST enjoyable half term?

There’s some role-reversal going on between the phases here, 34% of primary teachers said that Summer 2 is their least enjoyable half term 😯 How could you primary teachers? Secondary teachers LOVE the Summer 2 term!!

39% of secondary teachers uniformly said that Autumn 2 is their least enjoyable half term, it is a bit of a slog to be fair 😅

What's your least enjoyable half term? By phase.

It is possible that responses to these questions may change depending on WHEN they’re asked.

We’ve seen recency of events impacting results before…

If you ask teachers during the summer months if it is worse to teach in a boiling hot or freezing cold classroom, guess what? They pick the boiling hot one!

If you ask in winter, well… the majority still choose a boiling hot classroom but less so than in summer.

We’ll ask the questions about your most and least enjoyable half term at a different point in the year 👀

2. Sleep matters 😴

How often is your sleep disturbed by worries about work? Obviously, we were hoping that most of you would say ‘never’ but given what we know about teacher workload and wellbeing, we were a little sceptical.

35% of primary and 25% of secondary teachers have their sleep disturbed by work worries on a daily or weekly basis 😕 That’s a lot of teachers worrying about work!!

Does seniority play a role here?

How often do you feel your sleep is disturbed by worries about work? By phase.


10% of headteachers experience disturbed sleep every day, 33% said ‘a few times a week’ and 9% said ‘once a week’. That’s over a half of headteachers! So, if yours comes to school looking tired, do them a favour and don’t tell them!

How often do you feel your sleep is disturbed by worries about work? By seniority.

A lack of sleep certainly won’t stop you amazing people from supporting your students in any way that you can 🥰

90% of primary and secondary teachers agree to various degrees that you’re proud of the support that your school has provided for students this summer term.

Overall, I am proud of the support that our school has provided for students this term. By phase.

Does your level of enthusiasm change with your role?

Well, we can say that with seniority comes more pride (and less sleep).

Whilst 29% of classroom teachers ‘strongly agreed’ that they’re proud of the support school has provided for their students this term, 76% of headteachers said the same. In fact, the level of enthusiasm incrementally increases as you move up through seniority.

We hope that headteachers who are feeling super proud of their schools are letting their classroom teachers (and everyone else) know!

Share the love, share the love ❤️

Overall, I am proud of the support that our school has provided for students this term. By seniority.

3. Gained time 👀

‘Gained time’ what a wonderful opportunity to use quotation marks 🧐

You were last asked about this in 2019, so what’s changed? If anything…

For most subjects, the number of hours per week that you’ve ‘gained’ has stayed at a similar level to 2019, except for PE and other subject teachers. 23% of you said that you’d not acquired any ‘gained time’ this year which is up 8 percentage points from 2019.

For the majority of you that have ‘gained time’, what have you been asked to do? (A lovely juxtaposition there).

69% of you have been revising departmental or subject curriculum materials, schemes of work, lesson plans and policies in preparation for the new academic year, that doesn’t seem too unreasonable, does it?

62% of you have been asked to cover your colleague’s lessons, this is a 10 percentage point increase from 2019. If you’re feeling a bit more hacked off at the lack of opportunity to ‘get ahead’ or even ‘get inline’ than usual this year, you’re not alone.

So, how productive do you feel you’ve managed to be during your ‘gained time’?

Have you been asked to do any of the following activities during your 'gained' time? 2019 vs 2022

In 2019, 20% of you said that you’d been able to achieve most of the things you wanted to during your gained time, this has reduced to 15% in 2022.

But wait…

55% of you said that you’ve been able to achieve some useful things during your gained time but not as much as you’d hoped for, this is slightly better than in 2019 (52%).

As some of you have been discussing on Twitter, ‘gained time’ can be frustrating for some secondary teachers and a welcomed time for others.

4. Exit Interviews

Some people are calling for a centralised and mandatory process for exit interviews for teachers.

The picture is fairly similar to when you were last asked in 2020.

12% of you said that you’d been offered an exit interview in 2022, compared to 11% in 2020.

Whilst we don’t know how effective exit interviews are for the school or the teacher leaving, we do know that you’re most likely to be offered one in secondary schools (16%) than primary (8%).

When I left my last teaching job, I was offered an exit interview. By phase.

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

The most read tip from the past week was: So…what has the pandemic changed in education?

Here are the universal reads for your reference:

Here are the primary-only reads for your reference:

Here are the secondary-only reads for your reference: