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What do YOU think of the pay freeze and when was the National Curriculum introduced? Spoilers within...

27 July 2021

As the UK sweltered in its hottest days of the year so far, many more schools finished for the academic year, Williamson announced a pay freeze for most teachers and the Teacher Tapp Summer Quiz began!

1. Teacher’s Pay

Last November, the chancellor announced a public sector pay freeze for all but NHS staff in 2021-22.

Then, last week, Gavin Williamson confirmed that teachers earning over £24,000 would have their pay frozen. But teachers earning less than £24,000, would get an increase of at least £250.

We asked about salaries last week for just this reason. Only 5% of you said that you earned less than £24,000 and delving further, many are not on 1.0 FTE contracts. Looking at those on 1.0 FTE’s alone, this figure falls further to just 1%, meaning this pay rise affects nearly no teachers.

That being said, the pay increase for teachers earning under £24,000 was welcomed by a minority. Regardless of current salary, about 1-in-5 of you believe this to be a fair pay rise. That being said, the move is broadly unpopular; across all salary ranges over half of teacher didn’t agree that it was a fair pay rise. Those with a higher current salary were more likely to think that it wasn’t fair.

The pay freeze to those earning over £24,000 was even more unpopular. Over 90% of you don’t agree that this is fair, with only a tiny proportion agreeing with the move. As before, this move appears to be unpopular regardless of salary.

The Teacher Tapp public service announcement this week is to check your pension statement. Last year, a huge 38% of you had never checked it! We’re pleased to see that it’s decreased this year to 28%, but can we decrease that even further when we next ask this question?

When we last asked this, two-fifths of teachers found an inaccuracy in their pension statement – it’s much easier to correct now than in several years time, so the sooner you check the better!

2. From the freeze to the heat 🥵

Last week saw the issuing of the Met Office’s first extreme heat weather warning across South West England, as well as southern Wales. Combine this heat with the last week of the academic year and the classroom could become quite distracted. How were teachers going to mitigate the tropical weather?

Primary teachers had a variety of approaches to combat the weather. 1-in-4 moved some lessons outside and 1-in-5 allowed for additional breaks during the day. In hot weather, sunscreen is vitally important, and 10% of primary teachers provided this protection for their students.

Half of secondary teachers relaxed their uniform rules to cope, with 15% bringing in fans or additional ventilation to keep the class (and themselves!) cool. Note the lack of water concerns in secondary!

3. Uniforms

This week, we asked about boys, girls and uniform policies. Looking only at schools with a mixed-gender intake, a huge 10% of secondary schools require different coloured uniform items for boys and girls! Are these just different coloured ties or blazers, or are there more items?

Despite many schools not having different coloured uniform items for boys and girls, about 50% of schools do have a gendered uniform policy. This proportion changes when looking across Free School Meals quartiles, with affluent schools more likely to have such a policy. Nearly 60% of teachers in affluent schools have such a policy, whereas only 46% do in Q4.

3-in-4 state primary schools don’t separate boys and girls for any of their lessons, while the remainder separate them only for specific topics. This changes in secondary school, with over half of teachers in saying their school teaches PE separately.

4. Do you know your HMSO from your TEFL? It’s the Teacher Tapp Summer Quiz!

You might have noticed a few bonus questions coming through on Teacher Tapp recently, that’s right – it’s the Summer Quiz! Over the next few weeks, we’re going to be testing your knowledge on anything and everything education. Each set of questions will be based around a similar theme. We begin with Round 1: What year?

The National Curriculum was introduced by the Education Reform act back in 1988 by the then Education Secretary, Kenneth Baker. Just under 50% of you got this question correct – and it may come as no shock that those older teachers got this question correct more often than those in their 20s.

Correct answer highlighted in gold

The second quiz question this week was about the school leaving age. As before, older teachers got this question more correct, but breaking this down by region, the Midlands came out on top, followed closely by the South East.

Correct answer highlighted in gold

Teachers in the Midlands also answered Question 1 correctly with the highest percentage, so in the Teacher Tapp Summer Quiz Olympics, it’s two gold medals so far to the Midlands. Will we see another region come out on top in the coming days? Stay tuned to find out…

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 the 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: Catch up with the pay-related news

And here are the rest for your reference: