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Who wants to be a headteacher? This, and more findings...

2 November 2021

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1. Who wants to be a headteacher?

Last week, we reported the alarming headline, that male teachers were more than twice as likely to aspire to be headteachers than female teachers, across both phases. We wanted to dive deeper into this result to see if we could understand a bit more about why this might be!

Firstly, the percentage of teachers wanting to become a headteacher has been decreasing for the past four years across both genders. However, the gender gap has not narrowed in this time. In 2018, 17% of male teachers and 11% of female teachers wanted to become heads. Now, the gap remains at six percentage points, but only 13% of men and 7% of women want to become headteachers.

Until recently, male and female headteachers have shared a similar view on the stress levels of headship.

In 2019, 53% of female heads and 52% of male heads agreed that the stress levels were acceptable for the job. However, these views have changed dramatically since. In 2021, 76% of female headteachers reported that it was unacceptable for their job, compared with 45% of male heads.

The pandemic has caused a particular burden on families, with many parents having to juggle their own work and homeschooling. Are these newfound stress levels affected by whether you have children or not? Apparently not, as the results remain the same regardless of whether a headteacher has children or not.

So, it seems unlikely that child-related stress levels are a main contributing factor to the difference between the percentage of male and female teachers who want to become heads.

However, male teachers do consistently report wanting more challenging things to do in their working life than female teachers.

When asked back in 2019, 43% of male teachers reported wanting more challenging things to do, compared to 32% of female teachers. While the pandemic has curtailed your want of challenge somewhat, the pattern is still present now – 36% of male teachers want more challenge, compared to 28% of female teachers.

Once again, breaking this down by whether or not teachers have children does not make a difference to these results.

2. How was your half-term?

Do you remember what you did in half-term? It seemed to be over in the blink of an eye…

Perhaps it went by so quickly because you were all catching up on lost sleep from the previous term 😴!

85% of you were able to get a well-deserved bit of extra sleep each night, but those with kids found it harder! It’s much easier to get that bit of extra sleep when you don’t have kids begging to go to World of Adventures each morning.

91% of teachers without children were about it get a bit more sleep over half-term, compared to 83% of those with. Over 50% of teachers without children got two or more extra hours of sleep each night over half term.

Regardless of whether you managed to get some more sleep or not, we hope you’re feeling recharged for the half-term ahead!

The half-term holiday isn’t just for sleeping though, it’s also about…working?

A whopping 80% of teachers reported working at least some of the half-term break. Headteachers, in particular, had a busy half-term, with over 50% of heads working two days or more over the break. That said, classroom teachers didn’t have a much easier time of it, with over 50% of classroom teachers working at least one day in half-term.

With half-term behind us, there are now seven weeks in this new half-term, but how worried are you it? More experienced teachers reported being more worried about this half-term than those with less than five years experience. What do they know that we don’t? 👀

3. Which problems would YOU fix in your school?

Last week, you told us about some of the biggest problems facing your school. Nearly three-quarters of primary school teachers said that funding was a problem in their current school. The situation wasn’t much better in secondary schools, where 50% of teachers reported the same problem.

Overall, you said that your school’s own policies and procedures were the second most common problem you faced – 50% of you reported as such.

Which problem would you most like to fix? Funding still came out as the winner, especially for primary schools.

Your job role also matters, though. Only 2% of headteachers would fix the excessive workload caused by school policies, but 25% of classroom teachers said that they would fix this problem if they had one choice. (In fact, more secondary classroom teachers would pick workload than funding).

4. Teacher Tapp mentions in the wild 📣

A critical aspect of you answering questions on Teacher Tapp is that it unlocks research that gets shared with you on the app, but also goes out into the wild and knocks ministers, policymakers and other decision people upside the head with your views!

Here are a few mentions we had in the press over the past week.

Finally… we know you love the daily read, so here are the ones from last week

The most read tip this week was: How can you make whole-class feedback work?

And here are the rest for your reference: