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What Teachers Tapped This Week #33 - 14th May 2018

13 May 2018

Lots going on at Teacher Tapp towers this week prepping for our partnership on teacher well-being with the Anna Freud Centre (read about that here) and we attempted to work out why some users get pesky repeating questions when answering the extra ones.

Right! Results…


1.Want an assembly topic? Try careers!

Careers education is a focus in politics this week as the parliamentary education committee are looking at the Careers and Education Service. The committee, which is full of MPs, can haul in edu-folk and check they are doing things well.

In preparation, we asked teacher tappers how they would like careers advice to be provided in schools.

Assemblies and trips were well-liked across primary and secondary. But most popular at secondary was access to 1:1 careers advisors. 



Only 6% of primary teachers, and 1% of secondary teachers, felt NO time at all should be spent on careers. 

We only asked secondary teachers if their school used the Careers & Enterprise Company, and for their views on it, as the service isn’t aimed at primary teachers. 

Only 9% of secondary teachers said their school used the Careers & Enterprise Company, but those that did were the mostly positive about it. 

The yellow bars represent the many teachers who didn’t know enough about the Careers & Enterprise Company to make a judgement. More marketing needed, maybe?

2.Disrupt, me

This is one of the weirdest patterns in an opinion question that we’ve seen so far:

To be clear: people agree that low-level disruption is inevitable they tend to do so only slightly, but if they disagree they tend to do so strongly.  Huh?

Which sort of teacher is in which category? Primary teachers with less than years of experience are most likely to believe they must tolerate low-level disruption.

Secondary teachers were less likely to believe they must tolerate low-level disruption, even compared to the most ardent primary teachers. Secondary heads were the strictest of all. 


One thing we’ve heard people say is that tolerance of behaviour may change depending on the community a teacher works in – with assumptions that teachers in poorer areas deal with more low-level problems. 

Actually, the data didn’t show too many differences between teachers in schools with lots of pupils on free meals versus those with hardly any. There was a slightly tougher edge among secondary teachers in the schools with the highest number of free meals pupils, but that was about it. 




3. Paid sabbaticals? Mind out for the stampede

There’s something a bit strange about a government trying to solve a teacher shortage by letting their most experienced ones go and do something else for a year: but hey, we live in strange times. 

Hence, last week Damian Hinds announced a £25m pot to pilot paid sabbaticals for teachers in the profession for 10 years or more. Disappearing teachers can’t go just anywhere. They must do something that ‘improves their teaching’. So how popular is the idea?

Worryingly popular! Just 20% of teachers said they would rather stay in teaching than take the sabbatical – eep!

Is this because they are early in their careers, and so are looking for an escape, rather than being in the dedicated troop of long-term teachers?

Um, no….

A worrying 44% of teachers in the 10-20 years of experience bracket said they would hop off for the whole year, and 24% said they’d go for a term. 

Ill Just Leave Tony Hale GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Classroom teachers were also more likely to say they’d sabbatical than senior leaders. (Yes, we verbed that).

This is good news for leadership recruitment. Less good for filling classrooms though. ?

Conclusion: the pilot will only cover a few hundred teachers. This may be for the best. 


4. The ONE question in which heads come out worse

Over the year we’ve asked this question a lot:

10-12 hours is very common answer, although when we ask about Fridays it reduces to 8-9 hours. (Weekend – yaaay!)

However, we’ve noticed something in these hours. Headteachers are most likely to report the most brutal working days. 

A quarter of headteachers worked over 12 hours – compared to just 8% of classroom teachers

Given we’ve reported in the past that headteachers report a better worklife balance, are happier in their jobs, and less likely to leave, this is an interesting finding, as it suggests those things don’t correlate simply with hours worked. 


5. Life’s Big Question: Push or Queue

Drum roll please, the question you most wanted to know…

But look, the headteachers come up trumps again!

While everyone else is hiding in their classrooms or pushing in, there’s the hardworking headteachers queuing up. Those halos must be getting worn out! ?


6. Oh I’ve not to have faith, faith, faith…

On Friday the government announced it wouldn’t be changing rules on new faith-ethos free schools, but it would make it easier for local councils to help new faith schools open. 

What got missed from the debate is how many new faith schools teachers think we should have (if any at all). The policy argument quickly becomes about ‘some’ versus ‘none’ – but ‘some’ could mean a lot, or hardly any.

We therefore created a scenario to tease out people’s feelings about the proportion of new schools that could be faith-ethos. 

Almost half of teachers (49%) thought there should be NO new faith schools at all. But the next most popular answer (25%) was that ALL the schools could be faith ones, as there should be no maximum limit.

Could this be to do with the type of school people teach in? One of our tappers, Andy Lewis, asked about this on social media, so we looked:

Teachers in voluntary controlled and voluntary aided schools (which are types of church schools) were the most positive towards more faith schools – but a substantial minority still said they thought there should be NO new faith schools. 

Unsurprisingly, teachers in free schools and independent schools were somewhat against a maximum number cap. Both school types prize their autonomy; it’s likely the teachers in those schools also prize it too. 



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

The Role of Forgetting in Learning

Best evidence from behavioural psychology

How narrative helps memory

Be seen watching: honing your teacher moves

Stop disrupting your own lessons

Novices and experts 



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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