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Pay vs PPA, Enjoying Work, & Pupil Premium Changes

19 September 2023

We’re a couple of weeks into term now… How’s everyone feeling?

Quite alright apparently! 😎

Three-quarters of you (74%) agreed that you enjoyed work last week, and the proportion strongly agreeding (19%) was almost double from when we last asked in March this year.

Contentness is also the highest it has been since we started asking in January 2022; 67% of headteachers rated their contentness 5 or above on our 7-point scale, as did 58% of class teachers.

Line chart showing contentness over time

That’s not to say being back in school isn’t tough! When we asked you to describe your first two weeks back there were lots of adjectives to describe the exhausting nature of starting term 👇

Word cloud describing start of term

Pay vs PPA

The genie appeared last week but asked two different questions of classroom teachers – with each Tapper only getting to see one. (We asked SLT and Heads something different altogether).

Half of you were asked if you’d prefer a 10% pay rise OR a 10% reduction in lesson load. The other half could choose between a 3% pay rise OR a 10% reduction in lessons.

We asked this after a conversation about how to make teaching jobs more attractive – is more pay always the answer, or could more PPA be a draw?

Ultimately, the amount of pay makes a difference. If only offered a 3% pay rise, more teachers opted for the lesson reduction. At a 10% pay rise, it flipped back. But as the graphic below shows – agreement isn’t universal. Even at a 10% pay offer, some people will still pick a lesson reduction, and even at 3% some will pick the pay.

Pie charts showing pay vs workload

Exactly who is crazy/rich enough to reject the 10% pay rise in favour of a reduction in lessons? WOMEN! 45% of women would do this versus 36% of men.

We know from other questions that male teachers are more likely to be the main breadwinner within a partnership household which may go to explaining it. We also know from other surveys (including Parent Ping) that women typically have more caring responsibilities and so their time may be more pressed.

Pupil Premium Changes

The Pupil Premium has been around since 2011. That makes it older than Teacher Tapp, but none the less, we’ve been keeping an eye on it since 2018 🕵️‍♀️

Back then (before anyone had heard of Covid, and Theresa May was Prime Minister) the most common experience for Pupil Premium students was to have their progress monitored more closely than their peers in class (63%). Whilst still common, this has reduced by almost 20% in 2023. Targeted group interventions have fallen by a similar percentage, and the (admittedly smaller to start) proportion of you who are required to mark PP books first has halved.

What we have see is an increase in direct financial support (i.e. for uniform or trips) and a small but important increase in those of you who say the Pupil Premium students are not treated any differently to other students.

Experience of Pupil Premium students

Time in School

When it comes to arriving in school, are you an early bird or do you prefer to fly by the seat of your pants?!

While most of you sit in the safety-zone of arriving 30 minutes to an hour before the official start of the school day (41%), there is a a sizable group that guarantee their favourite spot in the carpark by arriving 1-2 hours before the bell.

Special shout outs go to the 10% of heads who are in school more than 2 hours before the start of the school day, and the 4% of class teachers / middle leaders who aim for a perfectly timed entrace fewer than 15 mins before the start time.

Time arriving at school by role

And at the other end of the day, who’s off with the B of the bell?

Class teachers in secondary have the best opportunity to leave asap with 15% getting out by 4pm, but overall half of you don’t leave school until after 5pm. (Stick that to the ‘teachers leave at 3pm’ crowd!)

And just like the group getting in early, heads are the most likely to be staying late.

Time leaving school by role

Ups and Downs (Ofsted special!)

On the rise

📈 The proportion of teachers who ‘strongly disagree’ that Ofsted is a realiable and trusted arbiter of standards. Ofsted is in its worst position on this question since we started asking back in 2017 (the year Amanda Spielman took over from Sir Michael Wilshaw). Time for a change perhaps?

Heading down

📉 Fewer of you believe your school is in the ‘Ofsted window’ this academic year than last. This likely reflects the fact post-Covid backlogs have reduced, but there’s still far more of you who believe you will be inspected than Ofsted will manage!

And finally…

The most read tip of the last week has been: Mind the gap

And here are the rest for your reference: