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What Teachers Tapped This Week #57 - 29th October 2018

29 October 2018

Hello! Halloween is here and, if the weather is anything to go by, it’s time to get your big coat out.

Halloween Pop GIF by alimacdoodle - Find & Share on GIPHY

This week also continues the trend for half-term confusion with around half of you off this week, and the other half back for the Winter push-through term! Everyone’s favourite! Start mainlining lemsip now…

Right, onto the results…

1. Do teachers want to work abroad?

This week we learn a lot of things, but one of the most interesting is that: a lot of things stop people from moving far away for their job.

Why does this matter? It matters because other countries increasingly want British teachers for their international schools. However, teachers are also desperately needed here in Blighty. So how likely are we to lose our teachers to other climates?

11% of teachers have taught outside the UK at some point in their career – with 7% teaching TEFL. 

Of course, we are mostly capturing those who came back. Some teachers go and never return. So the likelihood is that we are losing at least 11% of teachers to other countries at some point in their career – but the true figure is probably higher.

Are lots of teachers planning to flee the shore in the next five years? Not really. Only 5% were in the probably/veryprobably/definitely camp, and only a further 15% were in the ‘possibly’ group.

The most likely group to go are the youngest, however. And these guys are critical to the workforce because they take on a lot of the teaching load as regular classrooms. Around 11% were in the probably-definitely camp. That’s a lot of teachers to lose in the next five years when there are historically low numbers of people in their 20s due to a demographic dip.

A really interesting question is what stops people going abroad?

We know why they DO go. Better weather, lower taxes, cheaper cost of living. (Better behaviour, sometimes). But there are also many barriers to moving abroad.

Note: a huge issue for those under 40 is their partner’s job or career, and their family and friends.  Social networks and romantic relationships are therefore a significant barrier to travel.

For older teachers, they increasingly have caring duties for parents and they have more of their own health problems. However, on many other metrics, they are less concerned – they don’t seem to worry as much about friends or partners, or disrupting their own children’s education (which is a huge concern for the 30-50 age group).

Not only does this data tell us something about the reasons teachers stay in their home country, but it may also tell us why it is difficult to get teachers to relocate across the country. Frankly, it’s easier to get from Manchester to Dubai than it is to get to, say, the Isles of Scilly.

Young teachers are often thought to be more easily re-locateable, but these strong bonds to partners and friends show that’s not necessarily the case.

If we want teachers to move around it appears we need to think about:

Young teachers – friends, family, and partners

Middle-aged teachers – disruption to their own children and mortgages

Older teachers – elderly parents and own health issues.

2.Teachers: Just In It For The Money?

Teaching is not seen as a lucrative career. Few people going into the job say they do so for the salary. Most people who leave the job take a pay cut. Hence, salary is not seen as a prime motivator for teachers.

And yet, this week we learned: Around half of teachers at least slightly agree with the statement ‘I would leave teaching if I could find a job that matches my salary’ 

Older teachers are particularly likely to say they would leave if they could find work with commensurate pay. Younger people really don’t think this, but that could be because if they did, they could simply leave. Out in the world there are lots of jobs that give an NQT wage.

Here is the same question split by views of people in schools by Ofsted-rating.

And here it is by region. The north west and north east have lower salaries, on average, in other jobs, which make it harder to get a job with pay that is commensurate to a teaching wage.

So, why are almost half of teachers saying they might accept another job if they could afford it?

Workload continues to be the biggest problem. 35% of teachers say workload is too high. Quality of leadership is next.

But see how it varies for different levels of experience.

As we’ve been noticing for weeks in our data – teachers in their first four years are more affected by pupil behaviour, with 15% in their first year saying poor pupil behaviour has prompted their rethink. By Year 5 this drops to half the rate.

Teachers in the classroom for 5-10 years, however, are the most likely to cite workload (42%) as the reason they want to go.

And then, those who have taught for more than 10 years start to show a desire to do something else. They seem, for want of a better word, to be bored.

A positive note in this data is that 21% of teachers (1 in 5) said they haven’t thought about teaching at all in the past year. Though this does suggest that 4 in 5 have. Maybe that’s not so positive after all?!

3.Of Strictness and Silent Corridors

Over the past week, social media lit up with comments about silent corridors after a newspaper revealed a Birmingham secondary school was implementing the policy.

We’ve asked before about the prevalence of silent corridors, and we’ve typically come up with 7-8% each time.

This week we asked again and found the same thing:

But, a twist! Silent Corridors are far more popular in primary schools than in secondary schools – which is where the controversy arises. In fact, 17% of primary schools use silent corridors. 

Secondary schools in poorer areas seem to employ more radical policies – for example, pupils moving silently was much more common in schools where many children are on free meals. Likewise, those schools were much more likely to ban toilet trips in lessontime and mobile phones. However, schools with wealthier intakes were more likely to give detentions for wrong equipment and to require pupils to stand up when the headteacher enters the room.

The variety of answers, however, shows that many schools operate in very different ways. What works for one may, or may not, work for all others.

4.☔Sopping Wet Break 

Last week Laura met a new teacher who was horrified that pupils in her school had to stand outside, in the rain, during breaktime. She wondered if this was common? We set out to find out. ☔

13% of primary schools make ALL their children go outside during break even in the rain, as do 7% of secondary schools.

With lunchtime very similar…

So, it’s not common but also not unlikely. How does everyone deal with soggy children once they get back inside? Tips to our twitter channel, please!


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

Silence in Corridors

Sentences and the web of knowledge

A paradox in Maths and Science outcomes by gender

A profile on Micheal FD Young


Introducing MARGE: A superb ebook about learning by Arthur Shimamura.


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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