CIE0068

Written evidence submitted by Dr David Lundie and Dr Jeremy Law

Teachers’ Responses and Expectations in the COVID-19 School Shutdown Period in the UK

A Report from the University of Glasgow School of Interdisciplinary Studies

 

Dr David Lundie

Dr Jeremy Law

 

 

 

 

 

Dr David Lundie is Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Glasgow School of Interdisciplinary Studies. His research has focused on school ethos, values, and multi-sectoral work in schools. This has included a British Academy research project into schools’ implementation of the Prevent duty, and a Templeton Foundation project exploring schools’ approaches to fundamental British values. He is Associate Editor of the British Journal of Religious Education, and was Director of the Centre for Education and Policy Analysis at Liverpool Hope University from 2017-19. His book, School Leadership Between Community and the State, is due out in 2021, published by Palgrave Macmillan.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

1. This report gives our recommendations for the next phase of education planning, on the basis of a survey of 704 teachers across the UK.

2. On the capacity of children’s services, teachers expressed serious concerns for the mental and physical wellbeing of children. 38.9% of teachers expect many more of their children to be labelled at risk or have interventions from social services by the end of the lockdown, and this rises to 68.4% for teachers working with more deprived populations. (Further details on p.7-10) Factors of concern include emotional neglect, unemployment, family breakdown, bereavement, loss of friendships and routine, lack of physical activity and food insecurity.

3. On the support available for pupils during closure, again mental health and safety feature as significant concerns. While teachers were generally positively disposed to providing online learning, only 28.3% of teachers feel prepared to meet the emotional and behavioural needs of students during closure, and only 38.2% believe their school’s pastoral support will be sufficient to address the challenges when schools re-open. 90.1% believe that more pastoral support will be needed when schools return, and 59.7% of teachers argue for a rebalancing of schools’ priorities away from examination results and towards pastoral care. Schools which already have a clear, compassionate and consistent ethos are better disposed to confront this challenge – with 59% of teachers in such schools agreeing their school’s pastoral support would be up to the challenge, and 94.4% agreeing that their school’s values and ethos will be more important than ever when schools reopen.

4. Very many teachers are hopeful that the current closure provides an opportunity for a more radical rethinking of the educational model in the UK. 81.8% of respondents have actively sought out CPD to improve their online teaching during the closure, and 78.1% expect that a new balance will need to be struck between the former model of face-to-face teaching and the online model which has rapidly emerged. Rather than seeing this as a contingency plan, we would urge the Department to consider how long-term change could be effected, with a focus on long-term restoration rather than short-term reopening. (Further detail on teachers’ expectations and aspirations is provided on p.12-16)

5. Recommendations:

-          (i) The Department should work with mental health charities and researchers to develop, resource, implement and evaluate whole-school interventions aimed at improving mental health and wellbeing as the number one priority upon reopening schools.

-          (ii) The Department and Ofsted should highlight leading practice in whole school pastoral support, and work with the sector to ensure there are adequate resources for all schools to rebalance their focus toward pastoral care.

-          (iii) The Department should seek out enthusiastic teachers who are already championing innovation, invest substantially in research, innovation and restructuring aimed at a long-term rebalancing of education to retain the benefits of a hybrid in-person/online model aimed at preparing young people for the societal and economic challenges of the future.

-          (iv) Given that many of the factors impacting children’s mental health and wellbeing relate to wider economic and social uncertainty, it cannot be the job of education alone to mitigate the impacts of recession or societal collapse. The Department needs to work with other branches of Government to focus on a more humane transition to the ‘new normal’; teachers are optimistic about these possibilities and can play a key role in this.


CONTENTS:

              Socially Distanced Reopening                                                                      p.4

              Mental Health and Wellbeing                                                                      p.7

              Online Learning and the Attainment Gap                                          p.11

              School Ethos, Teacher Values and the Future of Schooling              p.12

              Methodological Note                                                                                    p.17


SOCIALLY DISTANCED REOPENING

6. On the reopening of schools, 78.5% of teacher expect the current closure of schools to last for 3-6 months, and a further 5.1% expect the closure to last longer than this. 77.5% report that many pupils and teachers were already absent and self-isolating prior to closure, and a similar proportion expect the same to happen when schools return. 10.9% of teachers report being in a vulnerable population and following the government’s Shielding guidance, and 77% of teachers would be concerned for their own safety if asked to return to face-to-face teaching before COVID-19 has been completely defeated (for example through a vaccine).

7. During this closure, 88.9% of teachers are continuing to teach their class online, and in addition 40.6% are teaching the children of key workers and vulnerable children in school, meaning that many are balancing both roles.

When schools return, I expect the following changes to have been made (tick all that apply):

Number

%

Reduction in the length of the school day

189

26.9

Staged return – youngest students may return first

176

28

Staged return – oldest students may return first

438

62.3

Reduction in the length of the school week – different students attend on different days

517

73.5

Smaller class sizes

607

86.3

No outdoor play

135

19.2

No assemblies

578

82.2

No sports clubs, activities or PE lessons

373

53.1

Teachers will be expected to wear Personal Protective Equipment, such as face masks

336

47.8

Students will be expected to wear Personal Protective Equipment

242

34.4

Much of the first term will be spent re-establishing behaviour norms and routines

589

83.8

Much of the first term will be spent assessing students’ progress during the closure and setting targets

422

60

Much of the first term will be spent addressing the social and emotional impacts of social distancing and the COVID-19 pandemic

599

85.2

Temporary suspension of school inspections

499

71

Temporary suspension of examinations

293

41.7

Many parents will withdraw their children from school due to ongoing concerns about COVID-19 transmission

544

77.4

Many parents will withdraw their children due to a desire to continue homeschooling

47

6.7

I expect school to be much the same as it was before the shutdown

18

2.6

Table 1: Teachers’ expectations about the conditions they expect when face-to-face teaching returns. Only 32% of respondents are confident their school could implement these measures.

8. The question of the purposes of schools is quite distinct from the question of the purposes of education which has typically occupied philosophers of education (c.f. Arendt, Dewey, Peters, Standish, Young, et al.). In some ways, even the most divergent of these thinkers have been working within a somewhat restricted paradigm for as long as we have viewed education as synonymous with full-time brick-and-mortar schooling. While at least some of the purposes of education can be met through online and home delivery models, as at present, there are particular advantages to schools as spaces of enclosure. These include:

(i)      Universal Entitlement to the Curriculum – while it has been the subject of extensive critique by education academics, accountability regimes of compulsory attendance, standardised testing and inspection enable Government to be assured that all children are receiving a minimum entitlement to education. With regard to a socially distanced return, it is unthinkable that inspection and testing could be immediately re-imposed, and we should anticipate that many parents will continue to remove their children over fears of coronavirus transmission. At present fewer than 5% of children labelled as vulnerable are taking up their entitlement to continued schooling. Combined with the findings of an IFS Report that fewer than 30% of the poorest quintile of the population would be willing to send their children back to school at present, compared with 55% of the richest quintile, reopening schools is alone unlikely to address the attainment gap.

(ii)    Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural Development – another key aspect to narrowing the attainment gap is the influence of peers. In Key Stage 1 and the Early Years Foundation Stage in particular, secondary socialisation is key to the achievement of key milestones to support later learning. Again, a socially distanced return presents challenges for socialisation, particularly in KS1/EYFS. Expecting young children to return in an environment where they must remain at their desks, not play together or share toys, and not interact with one another would present such challenges and such radical changes from normal schooling that it would be hard to imagine how meaningful learning could occur. Further, these formative years set the norms and habits which children will continue through their schooling – if social distancing is to continue for 12-18 months, it could be very difficult for these younger children to re-learn how to interact with peers after such a long period of habituation toward non-contact. At Secondary level, the school constitutes a ‘liminal’ environment where students make guided transitions from childhood to adulthood (Conroy 2004; Merten 1999) and its absence poses a heightened risk of isolation and radicalisation, which can have long term impacts.

Pastoral support for pupils in this challenging time is one of the areas teachers feel least confident in supporting online. A return to face-to-face classes, in whatever form, presents advantages in addressing these challenges. More detail is provided on the pastoral and mental health aspects of the crisis on p.7-10.

Schools’ ethos and values, and the promotion of fundamental British values, are another important purpose of schooling, distinct from online education from home. The structure of the school day is an important aspect of this. While some aspects, such as assemblies, constitute a disproportionate risk, and 82.2% of teachers expect these to be cancelled, other aspects are essential to preparation for adult life. 82.2% of teachers teachers agree that their schools’ ethos and values will be more important than ever when schools return, and a further 34.9% find it difficult to maintain behavioural expectations, and 35.3% struggle to provide pastoral support during online learning. More detail on ethos and values is provided on p.12-16. Further research into young people’s values and wellbeing during the crisis is being carried out by Zuffiano, Shannon & Lundie (forthcoming).

(iii)   Opening the Economy – though unpopular among educationalists, it must be acknowledged that a core function of schooling in society is to free up parents to rejoin the workforce. A socially distanced return involving maximum class sizes of 10, as currently practiced in Germany and Denmark, would lead to a situation where only around 1/3 of children could be in schools at any one time. For adults to return to work on a flexible schedule while children are in school for 2 days per week or 1 week in 3 would present enormous logistical challenges for employers, compounded for parents with more than one child in school. Further, since 88.9% of teachers are currently providing online support for their students, if students were to return to face-to-face classrooms this would potentially leave a gap in support for the 2/3 of pupils learning from home at any time, as well as those shielded due to vulnerabilities and those whose parents refuse to send them in to school while the virus is at large.

9. It is not the place of this report to make recommendations on the epidemiology of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the authors would draw the Committee’s attention to the concerns raised by the British Medical Association, National Association of Headteachers and National Education Union and would caution against any premature attempts to reopen schools, given the significant social, educational and economic detriments to operating a socially distanced reopening of schools noted above.

10. A long term focus on the restoration and rebalancing of education, with a focus on teacher and student wellbeing, is preferable to a hasty reopening of schools.


MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLBEING

11. Teachers expressed significant concerns about a range risks to pupil mental health. Home environment, outdoor space and access to technology exacerbated teachers’ perceptions of all of these risks.

Table 2: Risks to young people’s mental health

 

% Agree/ Strongly Agree

Mean Score

Many of my students will have chaotic home lives during the lockdown

72.3

3.892

I am worried that my students may be experiencing emotional neglect at home during the lockdown

61.8

3.596

I am worried that my students may be experiencing physical abuse at home during the lockdown

33.2

3.001

Many more of my students' parents (or carers/guardians) are likely to be unemployed by the end of the lockdown

66.8

3.748

Many more of my students' parents are likely to undergo family breakdown by the end of the lockdown

44.4

3.413

Many more of my students are likely to be labelled 'at risk' or have interventions from Social Services by the end of the lockdown

38.9

3.178

I expect many students will have lost a friend or relative to COVID-19 over the coming months

49.7

3.402

Table 3: Teacher expectations about young people’s mental health following the lockdown

 

% Agree/ Strongly Agree

Mean Score

I expect students will have more difficulty regulating their behaviour and attention after they return to the classroom

88.2

4.249

I expect students will experience separation anxiety after they return to the classroom

66.5

3.762

I expect students to have developed greater self-reliance during the lockdown

26.3

2.809

I am fearful that after this crisis children will be more individualistic, with lower attention spans, fewer friends and fewer shared interests

38.1

3.049

I am fearful that after this crisis there will not be enough resources to address the mental and physical health effects felt by many young people

78.9

4.05

Table 4: Risks to young people’s physical wellbeing

 

% Agree/ Strongly Agree

Mean Score

Many of my students will not be doing any physical activity during the lockdown

49

3.269

Many of my students will spend time doing outdoor physical activity such as walking, cycling or gardening with their family during the lockdown

57.4

3.392

I expect many more of my students will be malnourished by the time they return to the classroom

24.9

2.808

I expect many more of my students will be overweight or obese by the time they return to the classroom

35.9

3.103

Table 5: Addressing teachers’ health and wellbeing concerns

 

% Agree/ Strongly Agree

Mean Score

I feel prepared to meet the emotional and behavioural needs of my students during the lockdown

28.3

2.718

I feel prepared to meet the emotional and behavioural needs of my students when they return to the classroom

39.8

2.98

My school's pastoral support will be adequate to the task ahead when face-to-face teaching returns

38.2

2.934

I am hopeful that after this crisis education in this country may become less target driven and more humane

90.1

4.388

I am hopeful that this crisis will bring people together, build greater social cohesion and better links between the generations

91.1

4.371

When face-to-face teaching returns, my school's values and ethos will be more important than ever

81.3

4.129

When face-to-face teaching returns, many students will require more pastoral support than before

90.1

4.359

When face-to-face teaching returns, my school will need to rebalance its focus away from examination results and towards pastoral care

59.7

3.719

When face-to-face teaching returns, my school will need to intensify its focus on academic attainment to close the attainment gap and make up for lost learning

46.7

3.259

12. A minority of teachers (39.8%) feel prepared to meet the challenges to students’ emotional and mental health when they return to the classroom, and even fewer believe their school’s pastoral support is up to the task. A large majority of teachers (78.9%) are concerned that there will not be enough resources to address these challenges, and over 90% believe that children will require more pastoral support than before.

13. When asked to prioritise solutions, more teachers point to the need for greater attention to pastoral care (59.7%), with only a minority suggesting the first priority should be academic attainment (46.7%). School ethos and values are seen as an important aspect of this by 81.3% of teachers, suggesting the priority should be investment in whole-school solutions, over more targeted interventions, recognising that the impact of the pandemic on children’s emotional and mental wellbeing has been felt across the whole population.

14. Understanding the impact of deprivation on mental health and wellbeing is also significant. While we did not ask about deprivation directly, several questions can be combined to give a measure of several factors which may negatively impact students’ ability to cope with the current closure:

Q.23: Many of my students have chaotic home lives in normal times (Mean:3.578 St Dev:1.117)

Q43: Many of my students do not have access to outdoor spaces at home (Mean:2.999 St Dev:1.092)

Q74: All of my students have a device that can access the Internet at home (Mean:2.507 St Dev:1.213)

Data on the risks, expectations and solutions in the preceding charts is presented below, with a focus on the most deprived quintile (scoring Q74 inversely, total score of >12 out of a possible 15) and the least deprived quintile (total score of <8 out of a possible 15). Results show very substantial differences in the concerns of teachers working among students who are affected by these deprivation factors. This points to the need for particular investment in whole-school solutions to address the pastoral, emotional and mental health needs of children in the most deprived areas of the country. On physical abuse, for example, one of the Adverse Childhood Experiences, fully 63.2% of teachers in the most deprived quintile believe their students may be at risk, compared with just 5.2% in the least deprived schools.

15. Similarly, responses on physical activity show 2 full points of difference, with 87.5% of teachers working with the most deprived students believing they will be doing no physical activity during lockdown, compared to just 12.2% of teachers in the least deprived group. Only 2.6% of the least deprived group expect many more students to be malnourished, compared to 56.6% of teachers in the most deprived quintile. This points to the need for more radical re-imagining of the educational settlement, and its intersection with economic and societal equity, rather than a short term focus on restarting schools and physical education interventions.

Table 6: risks, expectations and solutions on mental and physical wellbeing, most and least deprived:

 

% S/Agree (Mean)

Least deprived

Most deprived

Many of my students will have chaotic home lives during the lockdown

72.3 (3.8)

26.3 (2.7)

100 (4.8)

I am worried that my students may be experiencing emotional neglect at home during the lockdown

61.8 (3.6)

17.5 (2.4)

94.8 (4.5)

I am worried that my students may be experiencing physical abuse at home during the lockdown

33.2 (3)

5.2 (2.1)

63.2 (3.7)

Many more of my students' parents (or carers/guardians) are likely to be unemployed by the end of the lockdown

66.8 (3.7)

43.8 (3.2)

84.6 (4.2)

Many more of my students' parents are likely to undergo family breakdown by the end of the lockdown

44.4 (3.4)

21.9 (2.9)

72.1 (3.9)

Many more of my students are likely to be labelled 'at risk' or have interventions from Social Services by the end of the lockdown

38.9 (3.2)

11.4 (2.4)

68.4 (3.8)

I expect many students will have lost a friend or relative to COVID-19 over the coming months

49.4 (3.4)

44.7 (3.2)

63.2 (3.7)

I expect students will have more difficulty regulating their behaviour and attention after they return to the classroom

88.2 (4.2)

72.8 (3.8)

94.9 (4.6)

I expect students will experience separation anxiety after they return to the classroom

66.5 (3.8)

58.9 (3.5)

75.7 (4)

I expect students to have developed greater self-reliance during the lockdown

26.3 (2.8)

36.8 (3)

24.3 (2.7)

I am fearful that after this crisis children will be more individualistic, with lower attention spans, fewer friends and fewer shared interests

38.1 (3)

23.7 (2.6)

53.7 (3.4)

I am fearful that after this crisis there will not be enough resources to address the mental and physical health effects felt by many young people

78.9 (4.1)

69.3 (3.7)

90 (4.3)

Many of my students will not be doing any physical activity during the lockdown

49 (3.2)

12.2 (2.3)

87.5 (4.2)

Many of my students will spend time doing outdoor physical activity such as walking, cycling or gardening with their family during the lockdown

57.4 (3.4)

88.6 (4)

30.1 (2.7)

I expect many more of my students will be malnourished by the time they return to the classroom

24.9 (2.8)

2.6 (1.9)

56.6 (3.5)

I expect many more of my students will be overweight or obese by the time they return to the classroom

35.9 (3.1)

17.5 (2.5)

53.7 (3.5)

I feel prepared to meet the emotional and behavioural needs of my students during the lockdown

28.3 (2.7)

36.8 (3)

26.5 (2.6)

I feel prepared to meet the emotional and behavioural needs of my students when they return to the classroom

39.8 (3)

49.1 (3.2)

39.7 (2.9)

My school's pastoral support will be adequate to the task ahead when face-to-face teaching returns

38.2 (2.9)

43 (3.2)

33.1 (2.9)

I am hopeful that after this crisis education in this country may become less target driven and more humane

90.1 (4.4)

84.2 (4.2)

90.4 (4.4)

I am hopeful that this crisis will bring people together, build greater social cohesion and better links between the generations

91.1 (4.4)

93 (4.3)

89 (4.4)

When face-to-face teaching returns, my school's values and ethos will be more important than ever

81.3 (4.1)

78.9 (4)

80.1 (4.1)

When face-to-face teaching returns, many students will require more pastoral support than before

90.1 (4.4)

82.5 (4.1)

94.9 (4.7)

When face-to-face teaching returns, my school will need to rebalance its focus away from examination results and towards pastoral care

59.7 (3.7)

46.5 (3.6)

66.2 (3.9)

When face-to-face teaching returns, my school will need to intensify its focus on academic attainment to close the attainment gap and make up for lost learning

46.7 (3.3)

34.2 (2.9)

55.9 (3.4)

16. With regard to the solutions proposed by teachers, the gap between least and most deprived narrows, suggesting teachers feel well adapted to meet the needs of their own students in whatever setting they are working. On the aspiration that education becomes more humane, teachers in the most deprived schools are even more optimistic than those in the least deprived. Many more teachers serving the most deprived students are supportive of changes – both to address the attainment gap and the pastoral needs of students.

17. Government should be aware, in light of these statistics, that more ambitious change is likely to be advantageous to those who are least well served by the current educational system.

ONLINE LEARNING AND THE ATTAINMENT GAP

18. We asked teachers to answer a series of questions about their high attaining and low attaining pupils. The gap between them is concerning on nearly every question. In the scoring below, answers are weighted on a scale of 1-5 (1= strongly disagree, 5= strongly agree):

Table 7 – Differences between average responses about high- and low-attaining students’ engagement with online learning during COVID-19 closure.

 

High Attaining (Mean)

Low Attaining (Mean)

Difference

My students are engaging well with the online learning activities I have set them during the closure period

3.759

2.085

1.674

I am confident my students will continue to engage well with online learning for as long as schools remain closed

3.759

1.934

1.825

My students are likely to seek out independent opportunities for learning

3.792

1.863

1.929

My students' learning will suffer without other students to work alongside

2.893

3.882

-0.989

My students' parents have the time, understanding and inclination to support their students' learning needs from home

3.442

2.259

1.183

My students have a home environment (space, computer equipment, routine, etc.) which is conducive to learning

3.624

2.398

1.226

My students may find new ways to learn at home which will benefit them when they return to school

3.813

2.419

1.395

I worry if I don't hear from my students online for a day or two

3.033

3.746

-0.714

19. There are substantial differences across all questions, with the highest differences around independent learning (nearly 2 response increments of difference), and continuation with learning in the longer term.

20. On the subject of student engagement, a simple count of responses shows these differences even more starkly – 498 teachers agree that their high attaining students are engaging well with online learning, compared with just 25 who agree that their low attaining students are engaging well. We should not lose sight of the fact that this still leaves a significant tail of 206 teachers whose high attaining students are not engaging well, but the contrast with low attaining students is particularly stark.

21. 67.7% of teachers agree that differentiating work by ability is just as important as it was during face-to-face teaching, and 68% agree that following up in non-attendance and non-engagement is just as important as it was before, though 29.9% admit they do not know how to follow up non-attendance and non-engagement during online learning, and 35.8% are unsure how to apply behavioural expectations during online learning.

22. Responses highlight different levels of impact from the influence of parents, peers and environment in exacerbating the attainment gap during school closure.

SCHOOL ETHOS, TEACHER VALUES AND THE FUTURE OF SCHOOLING

23. Several questions in the survey addressed the issue of messaging, consistency and expectations[1]. These have been combined into a single scale to measure the extent to which teachers feel that their school has communicated clear messages to them and their students during the lockdown.

24. Several questions measured teachers’ values and dispositions toward teaching[2], and their values and dispositions towards technology[3].

25. A series of questions sought to situate schools’ values and ethos on a continuum from an attainment focus to a pastoral focus[4].

26. The impact of these series are combined here to understand their impact on teachers’ expectations about the long term future of education. This section seeks to answer three questions:

(i)      How consistently have government and school leaders communicated the aims, purposes and expectations for online learning during the COVID-19 school closure?

(ii)    In what ways do the values of the teaching profession guide responses to reshaping education after the COVID-19 crisis?

(iii)   In what ways do schools’ values and ethos shape teachers’ expectations for the future of education after the COVID-19 crisis?

Table 8: Teachers’ views about messaging

 

% Agree/ Strongly Agree

Mean score

I feel well-informed about COVID-19 measures and their impact on education

33.5

2.868

My school has provided clear guidance to teachers on expectations for online learning during the lockdown

63.1

3.539

Expectations for online learning during the lockdown were communicated clearly to students and parents

61.8

3.51

My Senior Leadership Team’s response to the present crisis has been driven by our school’s ethos and values

66.6

3.733

During the lockdown, my school has sought ways to continue to live its ethos and values

67.8

3.777

The school’s ethos and values have largely been ignored during the lockdown

12.4

2.311

When face-to-face teaching returns, my school’s values and ethos will be more important than ever

81.5

4.129

27. Given the findings communicated earlier, that 77% of teachers would be concerned for their own safety by any return to face-to-face teaching before COVID-19 has been completely defeated, and that 49% expect many pupils to have lost a friend or relative to the disease, there may be considerable challenges to communicating a more nuanced message about the management of health risk.

Table 9: Teachers’ expectations and aspirations about the future of schooling, adjusted for values and dispositions toward teaching

 

Average % S/Agree (Mean Score)

Most disaffected quartile

Least disaffected quartile

I am hopeful that after this crisis, parents may have a greater understanding of the value of what teachers do

94.6 (4.506)

92.3 (4.331)

93.8 (4.597)

I am hopeful that after this crisis we may have the chance to re-evaluate some outdated practices and modernise what it means to be a teacher

90.1 (4.330)

82.9 (4.153)

95 (4.538)

I am hopeful that after this crisis education in this country may become less target driven and more humane

90.3 (4.388)

87.9 (4.23)

91.9 (4.481)

I am hopeful that this crisis will bring people together, build greater social cohesion and better links between the generations

91.2 (4.371)

86.8 (4.159)

92.5 (4.478)

Part of my job as a teacher after this crisis will be to prepare my students for a world of scarcity in which very many people may never again find paid employment

30.4 (2.974)

25.8 (2.856)

44.1 (3.310)

Part of my job as a teacher after this crisis will be to prepare my students for a world in which they will get to re-evaluate many of the things we have taken for granted about how we treat the environment and one another

90.1 (4.217)

90.1 (4.115)

93.2 (4.348)

Part of my job as a teacher after this crisis will be to find a new balance between what we did in the past in face-to-face classrooms and what we are learning to do now online

78.1 (3.874)

78.6 (3.862)

80.7 (3.994)

After face-to-face classes return, we will be expected to make more use of online learning than we did before the lockdown

60.8 (3.681)

59.3 (3.596)

63.4 (3.709)

Being a teacher in 2022 will be very similar to being a teacher in 2019

23.8 (2.531)

23.1 (2.568)

19.3 (2.39)

28. The more positively teachers identify with their professional values, the more optimistic they appear to be about the possibilities for radical change. Given the present teacher retention and workload crisis, the government should invest in raising morale and foregrounding the professional autonomy of teachers as an enabler of the radical change needed for the future.

Table 10: Teachers’ expectations and aspirations about the future of schooling, adjusted for values and dispositions toward learning technology:

 

Average % S/Agree (Mean Score)

Most positively disposed quintile

Least positively disposed quintile

I am hopeful that after this crisis, parents may have a greater understanding of the value of what teachers do

94.6 (4.506)

96.8 (4.636)

93 (4.431)

I am hopeful that after this crisis we may have the chance to re-evaluate some outdated practices and modernise what it means to be a teacher

90.1 (4.330)

96.1 (4.565)

82.9 (4.1)

I am hopeful that after this crisis education in this country may become less target driven and more humane

90.3 (4.388)

91.6 (4.519)

89.1 (4.346)

I am hopeful that this crisis will bring people together, build greater social cohesion and better links between the generations

91.2 (4.371)

90.1 (4.539)

89.9 (4.292)

Part of my job as a teacher after this crisis will be to prepare my students for a world of scarcity in which very many people may never again find paid employment

30.4 (2.974)

32.3 (3.046)

23.3 (2.846)

Part of my job as a teacher after this crisis will be to prepare my students for a world in which they will get to re-evaluate many of the things we have taken for granted about how we treat the environment and one another

90.1 (4.217)

93.5 (4.333)

89.1 (4.1)

Part of my job as a teacher after this crisis will be to find a new balance between what we did in the past in face-to-face classrooms and what we are learning to do now online

78.1 (3.874)

89.7 (4.235)

58.9 (3.415)

After face-to-face classes return, we will be expected to make more use of online learning than we did before the lockdown

60.8 (3.681)

80 (4.201)

41.9 (3.223)

Being a teacher in 2022 will be very similar to being a teacher in 2019

23.8 (2.531)

16.8 (2.338)

33.3 (2.738)

29. On questions of technological innovation, disposition towards technology provides a marked difference. Nearly twice as many of the teachers who were least positively disposed toward technology are likely to say teaching in 2022 will be very similar to pre-lockdown schooling, compared to those who are most positively disposed, and they are only half as likely to say that they will be expected to make more use of online learning. Age does not appear to be a factor in accounting for dispositions toward learning technology[5].

 

 

 

 

Table 11: Teachers’ expectations and aspirations about the future of schooling, adjusted for schools’ values and ethos

 

Average % S/Agree (Mean Score)

Most attainment focused schools

Most pastorally focused schools

Lowest quintile for all ethos related items

I am hopeful that after this crisis, parents may have a greater understanding of the value of what teachers do

94.6 (4.506)

90.2 (4.437)

97.9 (4.706)

92.3 (4.429)

I am hopeful that after this crisis we may have the chance to re-evaluate some outdated practices and modernise what it means to be a teacher

90.1 (4.330)

87.4 (4.266)

89.5 (4.43)

88.1 (4.292)

I am hopeful that after this crisis education in this country may become less target driven and more humane

90.3 (4.388)

86.7 (4.308)

91.6 (4.566)

88.8 (4.313)

I am hopeful that this crisis will bring people together, build greater social cohesion and better links between the generations

91.2 (4.371)

95.8 (4.444)

95.8 (4.664)

83.9 (4.16)

Part of my job as a teacher after this crisis will be to prepare my students for a world of scarcity in which very many people may never again find paid employment

30.4 (2.974)

34.3 (3.042)

34.9 (3.063)

35.7 (3.028)

Part of my job as a teacher after this crisis will be to prepare my students for a world in which they will get to re-evaluate many of the things we have taken for granted about how we treat the environment and one another

90.1 (4.217)

88.8 (4.154)

92.3 (4.392)

89.5 (4.174)

Part of my job as a teacher after this crisis will be to find a new balance between what we did in the past in face-to-face classrooms and what we are learning to do now online

78.1 (3.874)

85.3 (4.042)

81.1 (4)

70.6 (3.681)

After face-to-face classes return, we will be expected to make more use of online learning than we did before the lockdown

60.8 (3.681)

55.9 (3.676)

59.4 (3.688)

55.9 (3.650)

Being a teacher in 2022 will be very similar to being a teacher in 2019

23.8 (2.531)

23.1 (2.566)

26.6 (2.615)

25.9 (2.5)

30. There was little conclusive data about whether a pastoral or attainment focus led to more positive dispositions or optimism, though it was clear that where teachers

Table 12: Teachers’ concerns about pupils’ mental and emotional wellbeing, adjusted for schools’ values and ethos

 

Average % S/Agree (Mean Score)

Most attainment focused schools

Most pastorally focused schools

I feel prepared to meet the emotional and behavioural needs of my students during the lockdown

28.3 (2.7)

31.3 (2.8)

36.1 (2.9)

I feel prepared to meet the emotional and behavioural needs of my students when they return to the classroom

39.8 (3)

41 (3)

50.7 (3.2)

My school's pastoral support will be adequate to the task ahead when face-to-face teaching returns

38.2 (2.9)

43.8 (3.1)

59 (3.4)

I am hopeful that after this crisis education in this country may become less target driven and more humane

90.1 (4.4)

86.8 (4.3)

91.7 (4.6)

I am hopeful that this crisis will bring people together, build greater social cohesion and better links between the generations

91.1 (4.4)

95.8 (4.4)

95.8 (4.7)

When face-to-face teaching returns, my school's values and ethos will be more important than ever

81.3 (4.1)

86.1 (4.3)

94.4 (4.7)

When face-to-face teaching returns, many students will require more pastoral support than before

90.1 (4.4)

88.8 (4.3)

88.9 (4.4)

When face-to-face teaching returns, my school will need to rebalance its focus away from examination results and towards pastoral care

59.7 (3.7)

63.8 (3.8)

50.7 (3.5)

When face-to-face teaching returns, my school will need to intensify its focus on academic attainment to close the attainment gap and make up for lost learning

46.7 (3.3)

48.6 (3.4)

44.4 (3.2)

31. There is substantially more confidence among teachers who report their school already has a strong pastoral ethos that they will be able to cope with the emotional and mental wellbeing challenges facing them when schools return. While there has been significant investment in raising attainment through inspection and training, these findings would suggest that the government should refocus on working to identify leading practice in the sector in pastoral support, and supporting the spread of this practice in the coming months and years.

 


METHODOLOGICAL NOTE:

32. This survey design drew on question indices for 6 factors:

-          Pupil mental health

-          Attainment gap

-          Messaging, communication and leadershio

-          School ethos and values

-          Professional learning and identity

-          Digital literacy

33. It was distributed electronically, via social media, with teachers encouraged to share the link with others. Among others, the survey was shared by the General Teaching Council for Scotland, the Catholic Education Service, the UCET mailing list, and several members of the Council for Subject Associations.

34. Ethical approval was granted by the University of Glasgow College of Social Sciences on 30th April 2020, reference number: 400190175.

35. Demographics:

60% of respondents were primary teachers, 33.3% were secondary teachers, and the remaining 6.7% were school senior leaders from both sectors.

79.8% of responses were received from teachers in Scotland, 17.6% from England, 2.3% from Wales, only 1 response was received from Northern Ireland, and 1 from the Channel Islands.

84.7% of respondents taught in Local Authority schools, 5% in faith schools, 7.4% in Academies and 2.9% in Independent schools.

90.3% of respondents were female, 9.7% male, with a median age of 40. 60.4% of respondents had been teaching for more than 10 years, 14% for 6-10 years, 16.1% for 2-5 years, and 9.5% for less than 2 years.

 

May 2020

17

 


[1] Questions 16, 17, 20b, 66, 67, 70, 71, 72, 76, 77, 104, 105, 107, 116, 118, 119, 134 in the survey.

[2] Questions 93, 94, 96, 97, 98, 99 (negatively weighted), 100, 101, 102, 103, 131 in the survey.

[3] Questions 75 (negatively weighted), 82, 87, 88, 90, 92, 95 in the survey

[4] Questions 68, 78, 86, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 117 in the survey

[5] The median age of the least positively disposed quintile was 38, while the median age of the most positively disposed quintile was 42.