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How did you feel this half term? And should teachers have degrees? You have your say…

12 April 2022

1. Wrapping up the Spring Term

That’s a wrap! 🎬

After another busy term, the vast majority of you are either on your first or second week of the Easter break. Enjoy it – it’s well deserved! With Easter being late this year, were you all going to have the break before the Easter weekend, or over it?

London and the East of England wanted a longer summer term – with 89% of teachers in these regions taking the two weeks before Easter off. The South West had the most teachers who persevered through to this week – just 7% had last week off.

Bar chart showing the results to the question "Which whole weeks are you off for Easter holidays this year", split by dates in weekly increments throughout April.

How did you find this term?

With Covid still making the rounds in schools, you definitely didn’t think it was business as usual, just 24% of you thought as such. The best words you thought were hard work (88%), tiring (83%) and manic (56%).

Classroom teachers enjoyed this term the most – with 38% of them saying this term was enjoyable, compared to 29% of headteachers.

Bar chart showing the results to the question "Thinking back over the last half term, which words would you use to describe your job?"

2. Degree, or not degree

It’s funny how things come around again and again. This time, the Easter conversation on Twitter is about whether people should have a degree to be a teacher or not.

It does appear many of you are in agreement – 80% of you think that you should have a degree in order to become a qualified teacher. Whilst this is high – it does represent a fall in percentage compared to when we last asked in 2018, 88%.

Stacked bar chart showing the results to the question "Do you think you should be able to become a qualified teacher without a degree", compared to when last asked in 2018.

Some hypothesised that there might be a difference between phases, but not the case. The biggest difference we could find was between subjects 👀

30% of maths teachers think that you should be able to qualify without a degree, compared to 15% of Languages teachers.

But – why? Initially, we thought it might be linked to recruitment shortages, but according to the latest data, MFL are further behind teacher recruitment targets than maths, so that can’t be it. Any ideas? Do let us know!

Bar chart showing the results to the question "Do you think you should be able to become a qualified teacher without a degree", split by phase and subject taught.

3. Freaky Friday

Primary and secondary teaching are completely different ballgames and teachers’ experiences differ hugely depending on phase. So – trying out the other can be daunting!

We asked secondary teachers what class they’d like to teach if they were to teach in a primary school. We did leave a get-out option, with 31% of secondary teachers saying they’d rather not teach in a primary school at all!

Of those who did pick a year group – Year 6 was the most popular choice, by almost half of secondary teachers. Most likely because it’s not too far away from the age group they usually work with. Although we did hear that some of you voted for a lower year group for a ‘true primary experience’.

Bar chart showing the results to the question "Imagine you were told that you were required to do an exchange with a primary teacher and teach in a primary school for a year. Which year group would you pick", split by sex and primary phase.

Of course, we asked a similar question to primary teachers. Although this time we asked which subject they would want to teach to a KS3 class. English was the most popular option among primary teachers, taking 26% of the vote, with a Humanities subject second. Science was not at all popular – just 7% of primary teachers wanted to take that mantle.

Slightly more KS2 teachers would opt for maths if made to choose – 22% compared to 14% of EYFS/KS1. With similar logic to the above, perhaps because the content is a smaller step up than from EYFS/KS1.

Other subjects got smaller votes – although PE was more popular for primary teachers to go for than Science – but only just!

Bar chart showing the results to the question "Imagine you were told that you were required to do an exchange with a secondary teacher and teach a key stage 3 subject for a year. Which would you pick from this list", split by primary phase and subject.

4. 🔥

Fire alarms. Very necessary but with students around can be major nuisances!

In the past term three-quarters of teachers say that their fire alarm has gone off, but only 4% of teachers say that it’s been sounded due to a genuine concern – that’s a lot of time outside of the classroom. While 51% of teachers say this has been deliberately done for practice, 21% of teachers say that a student caused the alarm.

There are big differences between primary and secondary though. Two-thirds of primary teachers held a fire drill this term, compared to just over one-third of secondary teachers. Despite this, there was no difference in the percentage of teachers who hadn’t had a fire alarm, as secondary teachers were more likely to have experience it gone off through other means.

Bar chart showing the results to the question "Has the fire alarm at your school gone off in the past term", split by phase and free school meal quartile

Not much has changed since 2018, either! Back then, we saw a similar percentage of teachers saying a fire alarm had been caused by either a student or staff error. However, the percentage caused by a contractor has dropped since 2018, having been 13% then and only 5% now.

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 from the past week was: Ten takeaways from an Ofsted visit

And here are the rest for your reference:

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