Who Is Teacher Tapp For?
(And other Frequently Answered Questions)

Anyone can download the app from the Google App Store or Google Play. It’s free to download and use, easy to set up and you can start using it straight away!

We designed the app for teachers working in English schools — whether state or private. Currently, it may be less relevant to non-teaching staff (such as teaching assistants), teachers in early years settings, further education or schools outside of England – however we are now operating in other countries too.

Teaching is often talked about, but teachers often don’t get a voice. So, Teacher Tapp was created to give teachers a voice. Teachers’ opinions are too often unknown and therefore easily ignored. Co-founders, Laura McInerney and Becky Allen, are former teachers who believe that understanding teachers’ lives helps schools to retain staff and reduce the number of people leaving the profession, while improving teaching so it works for all.

The Teacher Tapp app allows teachers to share thoughts and opinions by answering three short multiple choice questions sent to their phone at 3:30 pm each day. Thousands of teachers complete the survey each day and are helping to build a picture of what it’s really like in schools so things can be changed for the better.

The app is a free and easy CPD resource that can improve your teaching. You can also see what thousands of your teacher colleagues across the country are thinking about the most important education issues of the day.

Teacher Tapp has been hugely influential for me in acting as a gateway to research and opening up my eyes as a school leader” – Jonathan Mountstevens

Whether you’re a business seeking insight into the products and services that teachers want and need, a researcher looking to recruit teachers or a policy specialist who needs to boost your advocacy position with teacher opinions, the Teacher Tapp app is for you. Find out more about how to submit a question here.Businesses, researchers, teachers, and policymakers can also submit questions to be included in the daily surveys. Our advisors work with them to make sure questions are helpful and relevant to teachers. 

Welcome! At Teacher Tapp we love questions! Here are some of the ones we get asked most frequently. (Email hello@teachertapp.co.uk if you have any others)

It’s a daily survey app where thousands of teachers answer daily questions so their collective opinions can be heard and used to inform school leaders, media, policy makers and organisations creating products for schools. Over 7,000 teachers in the UK take part each day because they love answering questions and seeing the results!

After downloading the app, put it on your homepage and click to allow notifications. Each day, at around 3.30pm, you will be notified there are new questions to answer. Open the app and start tapping. It’s that simple!

If you are having problems with notifications, please click here to check your notification settings are as they need to be. 

The app may occasionally freeze. If this happens please close the app  entirely and restart the app after that. This normally sorts any problems (including the screen showing ‘no results’).

If you continue to struggle to open the app, or if you experience any other difficulties, please email us at hello@teachertapp.co.uk.

Life gets busy sometimes and it happens where you have missed a day! On these occasions ‘Lifelines’ can be used to save your streak.

You will be prompted to use your lifeline when accessing your app the following day. Please note that should you miss two consecutive days in a row then the lifeline is not available. Once a lifeline is used it will take 10 days to renew itself.

If you have used a lifeline to save your streak but cannot see your streak immediately please do not worry! It can take a little time for the information to filter through. If you used your lifeline after 3.30pm on a particular day then your streak will reappear the following day by 3.30pm.

Sadly, no. The app only holds 24 hours worth of data. 

BUT each Tuesday we do a Teacher Tapp blog that goes out in the daily tip, and that has links to last week’s tips in it. These blogs are available on our website. You can dig around to find the tip you wanted.

This is great news! If you love Teacher Tapp please do:

  • Tweet your love of Teacher Tapp. Or put it on Facebook!
  • Share the questions in staffrooms and over lunch. Get all of your colleagues to sign up by using this PDF
  • Running an CPD or NQT session? We’ve got 7 slides to help you tell your colleagues all about Teacher Tapp

Anyone can sign up to Teacher Tapp but the questions are focused on school issues, so you won’t be able to answer lots of them honestly if you do not teach in a school for 5-18 year olds. Also, while teachers in FE colleges, early years, overseas, etc, can join the app, their data will be stripped out of the analysis. As Teacher Tapp gets smarter, we want to add in ways for these groups to take part – we’ll keep you updated!

Our systems are designed to encrypt and separate identifying information from answers to questions. We will never release school-level data, nor your personal data. For the past decade Becky has worked on some of the most sensitive databases in the country (including the National Pupil Database), so is well-versed in the issues surrounding safe use of large datasets, and Alex (our Chief Technical Officer) worked for 9 years in database development for a telecoms company before he was a teacher, so he knows his stuff too. You can read about this in our Privacy Policy.

All information is held by Teacher Tapp, which is owned by Education Intelligence Limited – a company created by Alex, Becky and Laura. As Directors of the company we have to be responsible for making sure it is looked after.  Crucially, we promise not to sell your personal data. Read more about this in our Terms and Conditions.

The app was created using a grant from The Gatsby Foundation and Nesta. It was originally an experiment, which we did in our spare time, and it took a lot of it! The experiment has proved a success and since we hit the 2,000 daily users mark, education organisations have increasingly approached us about how they can ask questions or get analysis of past responses. To make Teacher Tapp sustainable (so we can pay people to manage the app, the questions and the data) we charge organisations to ask questions and place adverts. However, we do not sell or give away your personal data, contact details, school-level data, or data that gives away your identity.

Will I know if an organisation has commissioned Teacher Tapp to ask a specific question?

No. Firstly, if we said in advance who commissioned the topic of a question it could introduce bias to the results. But, secondly, and more importantly, we are in control of the questions that come onto the main app and we only ask questions that we feel are fair, which are genuinely seeking to find an answer (not a pre-defined answer), and that meet our editorial beliefs around the usefulness of questions. We do not engage in push polling.

There is no straightforward answer to this question. It depends on what we are asking and seeking to find. If we ask 1000 random teachers their opinion on a policy, then as long as all we want is the random opinion of 1000 teachers, we will have an answer that reflects the views of the profession. It won’t be a very accurate answer if we only ask 1000 primary teachers, or 1000 male teachers, as that isn’t representative of the workforce. So we periodically check behind-the-scenes to see how representative we are compared to the known population of school teachers.

We can apply post-stratification weights to analyses to make sure the panel is representative of the teaching population, at least in terms of the characteristics we can easily measure (i.e. school region, type and pupil demographics; teacher age, gender and seniority). This is the sort of thing  we do for researchers or organisations looking to get more detailed analysis, similar to what we provide each week in our open-access blogs. 

No. Not every teacher is employed at a school – some work as supply teachers and so are employed by agencies. And not every teacher has qualified teacher status – some of our teachers are unqualified trainees on school direct, others are unqualified and not on teacher training routes – making verification through that route tricky too.

Instead, on sign-up, teachers manually write in the name and postcode of their school, and then we run a check that these are consistent. We also periodically ask questions to see if answers are clashing with answers and therefore signifying an unlikely teacher. We are able to treat someone as ‘not a teacher’ and remove them from the results. Some people also sign up with a non-teacher status (and don’t count in results).

We are always open to improving this system. If you have any ideas for how to do without making the sign-up onerous or giving away masses of personal data. If you have suggestions, do let us know via hello@teachertapp.co.uk

Before we launched Teacher Tapp we compiled over 500 questions from a number of sources:

  • We had some questions that we had asked teachers in past research studies
  • We took lots of standard questions on personal background, attitudes and well-being from the major UK social surveys
  • We asked researchers of teacher careers around the world whether we could have the surveys they had used.

But we also want our panel to be asked questions that are topical or even just-for-fun. So each week we make up a few extra questions based on what politicians have been saying and what things teachers are talking about on twitter. If you have a question you think teachers would enjoy answering then type it into the feedback box on the app.

We also allow organisations to commission questions for research or business intelligence, and we freely provide questions and analysis to teachers conducting their own research (e.g. for a dissertation) where their needs to fit with our users’ interests.

Making social survey datasets publicly available isn’t always straightforward. It isn’t enough to simply remove the personal contact details and school names and publish the whole lot because people would still be uniquely identifiable. For example, it might be possible to see that there is only one black male teacher in the South West region in the study. Now suppose a headteacher in the South West region sees that one of their (black male) teachers is using Teacher Tapp. The headteacher can then look up how that teachers feels about their school and their daily life.

The standard ‘fix’ for this problem (which DfE uses for pupil data, incidentally) is to ensure that no combination of responses is identifying to less than 5 individuals. However, this doesn’t work for on-going longitudinal studies because we never know what questions we might ask in the future that could lead to people being retrospectively identified in past data. For example, now suppose there are 10 black male teachers in the South West region, so we release data that reveals what these teachers think. Later, we decide to find out their ages and learn that only one is under 25 years old. Suddenly, having this new piece of information has revealed a teacher in the public data.

We have a wealth of experience in dealing with these data privacy issues and solutions, but as a tiny organisation it is going to be hard for us to work towards facilitating its wider use. Instead we are doing the following: firstly, we are organising hackathon days where people get a chance to play in the data in a secure environment where they can’t walk away with anything and we can control which data is released; secondly, we are working with individual teachers who would like to use the data for a masters dissertation or other research to create bespoke datasets they can use. If this sounds like you then please get in touch.

Knowing your school helps us in two ways. First, it means we don’t need to ask you lots of questions about the type of school you work in. We can look up your school’s location, institutional type, governance, performance and inspection rating in administrative data. Second, it helps us to see whether the teachers who are joining Teacher Tapp are representative of teachers across the country. We realise that this information is highly sensitive – your school name is never held in our database alongside any of your responses and we won’t name schools or pass your personal information back to your employer. You can read more about this here.

Maybe! If they are just causal research questions where the headline data we give you on the app is enough, then complete the online suggestion form by clicking here.

If you are conducting research for a formal project then read here how we can support you.

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