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What your school tells us about you

11 September 2017

You may be wondering why we at Teacher Tapp wanted to know what school you taught at. After all, it is a sensitive piece of information and I’m sure you wouldn’t want your headteacher to know how you are responding to our questions! Don’t worry – your school name and URN sits in a secure database that is never matched into the responses you give. Here we explain why we asked for it.

By asking for your school we don’t need to ask lots of background questions, which saves you time

For those of you that have submitted a school name and first part of postcode that we can find on Edubase (the vast majority of you), we don’t need to ask you…

We also know:

  • Whether your school is urban or rural, what size of MAT you are in (if you are), what parliamentary constituency, local authority or RSC region you are in, what your school size is
  • We know the demographic characteristics of your school
  • We know about the academic performance of your school over the past few years
  • We know the last time you were inspected by Ofsted (or ISI), and what rating you received
  • Now we know all these things about your school, our question responses start getting more interesting

OK, so our panel of beta-testers is still small and so it is a little early to look at these things. But isn’t it interesting that so many of our panellists in the primary phase would pick maths as their extra A level?

Imagine if that were true across our entire primary sector… does it tell us there is a great appetite and so opportunity to grow better mathematicians from within existing primary teachers? When the panel gets bigger, we’d love to learn more about this.

When we finish refining the app and our approach to asking questions, it’ll be time to start worrying about whether our panel is representative of the profession as a whole

This is where Teacher Tapp knowing your school demographic characteristics and your own characteristics becomes critical. We know approximately what (state school) teachers are like from the School Workforce Census (i.e. their age, gender, ethnicity, years of experience, tenure in school, post within school, pay, etc…). We can already see, for example, that the North-East is very under-represented in our panel of beta-testers (perhaps it is no surprise since so many of you were recruited at researchED).

By watching closely what our panel looks like we can work hard to ensure that our recruitment strategies are not significantly biasing the panel. And in analysis for research we can create post-stratification weights to re-balance the individual responses to ensure they reflect the population of teachers as a whole.

P.S. If you are a panelist who didn’t give us your school initially, you can rectify this here.