Tara Elie spoke to Laura McInerney this week. Laura is a former teacher and education journalist who currently writes a regular column for The Guardian and for the weekly newspaper Schools Week.
Laura begins by explaining what Teacher Tapp is. This data-focussed phone app encourages teachers to take a few seconds per day to share their answers to three education questions. The questions vary every day and could be opinions or simple questions about the life of a teacher.
“The aim is to build up a picture of teachers’ working lives which is far more accurate than anything which has existed before.”
Once you have entered your own answers, you can see the results of the nationwide responses. Laura says there are about 2,500 teachers who respond every day so the data is certainly useful. Some interesting findings include:
- Teachers get to school really early
- The majority of teachers have at least 3 extra duties each week
- They usually have at least 3 meetings after school per week
- 50% of teachers run extra-curricular activities
- Most teachers do at least 3-7 hours of marking outside working hours per week
- Around 40-50% of teachers admit to marking books in front of the TV
The data is used by Laura and her colleagues to help to inform national debates and campaigns. Listen to the episode to hear how this is being done.
Laura also tells the story of how she found herself in court, wearing her trademark yellow jacket (see below) fighting Michael Gove and the DfE over what the department claimed were vexatious Freedom of Information requests!