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What Teachers Tapped This Week #51 - 17th September 2018

17 September 2018

It’s Monday again! 

Monday Kid GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Still, you’ve made it through the day and that means your weekly Teacher Tapp blogs round up is here. Woop!

Onto this week’s results

1.Oh, behave!

It’s a rapidly growing theory here at Teacher Tapp Towers that pupil behaviour has a huge impact on how positive people feel about their job, and whether or not they are likely to stay in the classroom. 

We asked this question about Fridays for the past two weeks:

Week ONE

Week TWO

Note how we are already seeing a creep of poor behaviour

We also know that new teachers have it much worse (41% had disruptions) as do secondary teachers in the poorest areas (37%) and teachers in inadequate/RI schools (32%)

We are going to keep tracking this figure over time. Fridays are a particularly tricky time for schools, and they are a teacher’s last impression of their job before going home to mull for the weekend, so we think this dataset will start to pick out some key aspects of workload and morale. 



2. How do teachers vote?

Teachers are typically considered to be a left-wing profession. On the basis of what people told us of their last voting behaviours, this is fairly accurate.   

If a general election was called tomorrow, however, there is more uncertainty about their votes:

The loss looks dramatic for Labour, but there is a bigger problem for Conservatives. The graph below shows how 71% of people who voted Labour last time would also vote Labour this time. But only 60% of voters who were Conservative last time are sticking by their original choice – with 6% saying they would now choose Labour. 

At ResearchEd last week, there was a brilliant session led by Calvin Robinson, who faced a backlash over after his ‘Conservative’ values. Several members of the audience said they had felt unable to express Conservative/right-wing views in the staffroom. 

These teachers not alone. A majority of teachers who voted Conservative at the last election sometimes felt they were unable to express their political viewpoints in the staffroom. 

Far fewer Labour-voting teachers felt this way. 

The debate in the session considered if this imbalance is a problem for democracy and whether it means pupils do not hear a ‘representative’ view of different political arguments. What people say in the staffroom is, of course, different to what goes on in classrooms. But the figures show there is a sense among Conservatives that their views are less welcome. 


3.No-Frills Teaching

Sometimes we ask very straightforward questions. For example:

But see how nuanced the answer is! Practically a tie. 

What else can we use from within our data to find out more about these groups…

First, we can see that newer teachers are more likely to say they would consider teaching in a low-cost private school. This is likely good news for the providers as they will need to keep their salary costs as low as possible. 

We saw some regional differences in views on low-cost private schools. 

But we didn’t see a huge primary/secondary gap:


Should there be a tax rebate?

The low-cost movement would like parents who put their children into private school to receive a tax rebate equivalent to the amount the government would have paid to educate a child if they attend state school. 

Most teachers disagreed: 88% said they did not want tax rebates to operate in this way. 

BUT look how this changes for teachers who currently work (or have worked) in the sector. 

What’s surprising about this finding is that the benefit doesn’t go towards the teachers who are answering the survey. If the money were going to the school, then it would make sense that teachers in private schools were in favour of the rebate. But the cash is actually going to the parents. So why might these teachers be more in favour? There are some theories (more sympathetic to the parents; more likely to send own child to private school), but it’s not obvious from this data. Any politician considering bring this policy in, however, will only please a tiny sliver of the population. 


4. Are mobile phone a necessity?

Mobile phones should be banned. Mobile phones shouldn’t be banned. 

This feels like an endless question in some circles at the minute. (Much fueled by the media, because it’s an easy debate in which to have an opinion). 

But should children have phones at all?

Most teachers (97%) think a phone is a luxury for an average 10-year-old, but that flips for 15-year-olds…

With 61% of teachers thinking a mobile phone for a 15-year-old is a necessity. 

Given this strength of opinion it makes complete bans harder for schools. If teens are moving between parent’s houses, for instance, and so are lugging their possessions with them, a mobile phone is likely to be on hand. This doesn’t mean heads shouldn’t ban the use of phones – either on the grounds or in certain times/places – but the figures do show that most parents will tool up their kid with a phone, and may well think it’s important for the child to have it with them at all times. 


5. Ofsted Courses

A criticism of Ofsted inspections is that prepping for them sucks time out of professional development that could be spent on other things. (You know, like teaching). 

The figures below show how many teachers said they had been on a course specifically for the purpose of surviving an Ofsted inspection. For classroom teachers the figures are much lower than for managers. 

The question is: are they too low, too high, or not quite enough? Thoughts always appreciated. 



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

How parent information affects absences

Spaced practice

How to set up a centralised detention system

Less is more (memory)

Group work blog

The rise and fall of the English sentence


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!

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