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What happened in schools in a bumper results week?

17 August 2021

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1. What happened during results day?

It was a bumper results week this year, with both A-Level and GCSE results available within the same week for the first time! It was also the earliest that GCSE results have been released for some time.

Around 65% of secondary teachers said their school was open in some capacity for GCSE students to collect their results. This did vary by region, with over 70% of North West teachers saying their school was open, compared to 62% in the Midlands.

Despite schools being open, many teachers weren’t at results day, with 67% of teachers saying they weren’t at results day, a rise from 44% in 2019. Senior leaders were more likely to be present than classroom teachers, and for those teachers, big smiles and thanks were top of the agenda, with record passes across the country.

And finally…during an interview on results day last week, Gavin Williamson couldn’t remember the grades he got in his A-Levels. We couldn’t resist asking you the same question to see whether you memory served you as poorly as it did Gavin’s.

Apparently not, it turns out, with more than 3-in-4 of you remembering every grade you got for every subject. Only a small fraction of people couldn’t remember any of the grades they got. While we expected those teachers who are older to remember less about the grades they got, we also found that teachers in their 20s were less likely to remember the grade for every subject than those in their 30s and 40s!

2. What does the future hold?

This week, we also asked you to gaze into your crystal ball 🔮 and predict what the future might hold for future cohorts and exams.

For the past two years, all SATs exams in KS1 and KS2 were cancelled and, unlike GCSEs and A-Levels, were not formally replaced. While 4-in-5 primary teachers believe that SATs will be reinstated next year, its reintroduction wouldn’t be very popular among primary teachers, with two-thirds of primary teachers not wanting SATs to be reinstated at all.

There’s no doubt that the past few years have caused huge disruption in schools and resulted in lots of missed in-class time and more disadvantaged students. 44% of teachers believe that the current Y12 cohort (2021-22) will be the most disadvantaged by the disruptions to exams. This cohort, of course, received centre-assessed grades for their GCSEs and have had to cope with lots of local lockdowns this year as well.

Those teachers in more affluent schools are more likely to believe that the 2021-22 cohort will be the most disadvantaged, with the teachers in more deprived school more split in their thinking, with 1-in-5 teachers picking each of the 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2022-23 cohorts.

We found a similar overall response when turning our attention to the Y11 cohort. Similarly, 43% of teachers responded in saying that those students taking their GCSEs next year will be the most disadvantaged. This view was broadly shared across most demographic groups, although those teachers in the North West and Yorkshire and the North East most sure that the 2021-22 cohort would be the most disadvantaged.

Hindsight really is a wonderful thing and we wanted you to reflect on what should have happened with this year’s exams. Despite the private sector seeing a huge rise in top grades this year, over 50% of private school teachers believed that students should have sat external exams this year, rather than receiving teacher assessed grades.

This view wasn’t shared among all teachers though, with teachers in more deprived areas more likely to think that teacher assessed grades were the right approach to this year’s exams.

3. Teacher Tapp Summer Quiz Olympics!

We are approaching the end of the Summer Quiz and while no-one has got every question correct, nine people have answered over 20 fiendish questions correctly! The race for best region is also hotting up, with one in particular making great progress over the past few weeks 👀

In our Education Statistics by Country round, we wanted to know which country had the shortest secondary school day. It’s clear to see that many (including here at Teacher Tapp Towers) came up short. Classroom Teachers were more likely to opt for Sweden, whereas Headteachers we more likely to choose France.

Unfortunately, both are wrong and rather, it is Brazil who has the shortest secondary school day. Students in Brazil will go to school for 5 hours e.g. from 7 am to Noon. This is because they have a very high student to teacher ratio so school is run in shifts. Only 15% of teachers got this question correct, with Sweden the most popular incorrect answer (presumably because of their famously short primary school day).

In the Education Fiction round, only 1-in-4 knew that Aldous Huxley previously taught at Eton. Those of you who are older (and therefore wiser), were more likely to get this correct, with a third of teachers aged 50+ knowing this. Younger teachers, less so, with many more opting for Stephen King as the answer.

With only a few questions to go in the Summer Quiz, where does this leave the regional medal table?

London have opened a gap to the competition with 7 gold medals, 3 more than their nearest rivals. Meanwhile, the Midlands, who started so well with 2 gold medals in the first two questions have only gone backwards since, now sitting fifth overall. In the final few days, can anyone stop London from claiming the overall title?

Yorkshire and the North East444
South West353
South East323
North West231
East of England135

Call out for Primary colleagues

🚀At Teacher Tapp we are really interested in the views from primary teachers and we’d love to grow the number of you who use the app. If you know a primary colleague who you think would enjoy the daily insights that give an accurate picture of how thousands of colleagues are thinking please share Teacher Tapp with them!

❓ If you’ve got any question suggestions then you can Contact Us via the menu in app or send us a tweet @TeacherTapp.

📰 We love sharing daily reads with you all on and we’re always on the look out for ones we’ve not featured. It’s really easy if you’d like to make a suggestion to do so here.

📣 And if you’d like a pack of posters/coasters to display in your school, to tell people about Teacher Tapp, then please fill in the form here!

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

The most read tip this week was: A thought provoking blog on an extraordinary primary school… (Long read)

And here are the rest for your reference: