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What Teachers Tapped This Week #34 - 21st May 2018

21 May 2018

Hello lovely new Teacher Tapp users who signed up at Northern Rocks this weekend! And hello to everyone else. (You are lovely, too).

This is the weekly blog where we reveal the latest insights into teacher’s lives based on what you all tapped over the last week.

Also, we share random gifs:

Right! Onto results…

1.Ooooh-oooh, you’re my best friend!

‘I have a best friend at work’ is said to be one of the most powerful predictors of whether or not someone stays in their job for the next 12 months. Is it true for teachers? We don’t know! But this week we asked the question, ready for us to do analysis in the summer when people change jobs.

In the meantime, we found that lots of you do appear to have a best friend at work – with 55% either strongly or somewhat agreeing with the statement. Cute!

Best Friends Bff GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

But why would a best friend at work make a difference to retention?

One theory is that it reduces stress. However, we didn’t find much difference in stress levels between people who agreed they had a best friend and those who didn’t. 

Nor was there much difference in the reported impact of work on mental health for those with best friends, and those without.

One thing of note: primary teachers reported higher levels of best friendship than secondary teachers (see the green bars below).

And headteachers were the least likely of all groups to say they had a best friend at work. It’s lonely at the top. ?

We will come back in future to see if there’s any link to retention – but so far the signs do not look good.

2.Did parents boycott the SATs?

Last week was SATs week and we were super excited to see this message appear on twitter:

Sadly, Chen never made it into a Teacher Tapp question, but we did ask a question about BOYCOTTS and…

One in 20 (5%) of primary teachers said they knew of at least one child who was kept at home during SATs week. However, the vast majority did not believe any children in their school was kept at home.

Here’s a test question, though: which area of the country do you think had the biggest boycott ratio?

Our analysis shows….

… the south-west had by far the largest boycott rates, with the north-west following behind. Any thoughts as to why this might be? (We’re stumped!)

3. Science, MFL & humanities teachers struggling with new GCSE curriculum

While SATs questions went to primary teachers, secondary teachers tapped about the new GCSEs. Many subjects are teaching the new 1-9 graded GCSEs for the first time this year, and there’s more content to learn for the exams.

Having heard rumour that many schools were struggling to cover all the material in time, we asked about interventions in teacher’s subjects.

We found that:

  • 33% were running after-school sessions
  • 14% were using off-timetable days for certain subjects
  • 13% were running weekend classes

Just 40% of teachers said they would cover the whole curriculum in time.

But which subjects are struggling the most? Here’s the breakdown:

English and maths felt most confident of covering the curriculum. It is the second year that these subjects are doing the new GCSEs, so maybe this explains why.

Science and humanities were much less confident about covering everything – with humanities particularly likely to have run off-timetable and weekend sessions. (A third of humanities teachers said they had run after-school sessions).

Language teachers seemed most worried – and almost half were running after-school sessions.

One can only imagine how much work the young people are doing! ?

Good luck to everyone as exam season rolls forward. Remember: you can only do your best.

4. WAIT? What was that about photocopiers?

On Thursday, Lord Agnew (the academies minister) wound teachers up by arguing that school budgets can be cut by limiting colour photocopying.

Co-founder Laura was sceptical at the idea anyone has unlimited colour photocopying:

But she turned out to be wrong!

This is a top example of Teacher Tapp challenging perceptions in a quick way. Not everyone was happy about the result, however. LOTS of people simply couldn’t believe it was true because no one they knew had unlimited access to copiers.

between primary and secondary schools:

Among secondary teachers, only half have unlimited colour access, but among primary teachers it’s 77%. On black-and-white copying, a whopping 90% of primary teachers have unlimited access, but only 68% of secondary teachers do.

Hence, this was a good reminder to Laura that she spends too much time with secondary teachers – and a reminder to everyone else that the world around you, is not the only one that exists.

One further point: many teachers said they have unlimited access to copiers, but are nevertheless careful with copies because they understand the costs. It might be worth Lord Agnew adding that caveat into his next speech.

5. Parents get responses within 24 hours

Co-founders Becky and Laura spoke at the Northern Rocks conference on Saturday, and asked audience members for their questions. One topic of interest was the speed at which teachers must respond to parents.

We found that around 4% of teachers are in schools where they are expected to answer parental contact within 24 hours even on the weekend. ?

At the other end of the spectrum, around half of schools don’t have any policy for responding to parents.

We’ve written before about the social media creep that means teachers are expected to answer emails, WhatsApp groups, and parent requests out of hours. Is this another form of intrusion into the weekend?

6. Here’s an idea for a business…

Another question asked by a Northern Rocks conference goer was around the likelihood that people would accept training on time management.

Apparently, it’s a very popular idea! If you’re thinking of starting a consultancy this might be a great business, as 40% of people said they would DEFINITELY accept time management coaching. 

If you do go ahead and build a time management consultancy, we suggest you target it particularly at primary classroom teachers and secondary headteachers as they seem most receptive. (And all we’ll ask for is a 50% commission for the idea, ta!)

[Note also the substantially higher proportion of secondary SLT (11%) who definitely would not accept any time management training. Is it because they’re too busy already?!]

6. Finally, a word about data…

At the end of this week, new data laws come into effect in the UK. We built the app knowing they were on the way, so there aren’t any big changes for us. But we like to play by all the rules so here’s our terms & conditions, and privacy policy. And we’ll ping them up in a question on the app this week just to make sure you’ve seen them there too.


7. Finally, finally as ever, we learned that you really love our daily tips, so here are the links for last week:

Hands up vs targeted questioning

Do school visions really matter?

What if you never finish your planned lessons?

Learn by teaching others

What’s the evidence on pupil premium spending?

Upturn in young people going into custody


Right folks – over and out for another week…

In the meantime, keep sharing what we are doing. Here’s a powerpoint slide (with script), a PDF, and a black-and-white one-pager to help.

Remember, we need more of you before we can do the really exciting and detailed analysis!

Enjoy the rest of the week… 

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