A huge amount of research evidence shows that teachers – assisted by other school staff – are the most valuable resource available to schools. Yet, as highlighted in a recent academic paper data about school staff is currently rather patchy.
What excites us most about TEP is that it offers the potential for schools – and the wider education sector – to become more informed about how engaged teachers are in their job, the factors driving their engagement, and insights into how this might be improved. Critically, we have a genuine commitment for this to be evidence-led.
By TEP collecting regular information from school staff, we will develop a better understanding of how key aspects of their engagement at work – such as their views of behaviour at school or their workload – change over time, including at key points during the academic year. It will also allow schools to look at how the actions they take at class, school or Trust level, potentially improve the engagement levels of their staff.
We appreciate that this endeavour will only work if the data we collect is of high quality. Any good statistician will tell you, rubbish-in, rubbish-out. That is why TEP has a commitment to smart surveying, limiting the amount of time it will take staff to complete. Following a thorough baseline data collection, a limited sub-set of questions asked at each timepoint, our aim is to minimise the input needed from staff in order to achieve maximum impact.
No question set is perfect, but the commitment to being research led will ensure that as more evidence is generated and integrated back into the platform, we will be able to build a clear picture of the ‘predictive validity’ of engagement data on hard outcomes like retention, which is potentially of great significance to the sector.
As we build the TEP community of schools we will collectively have a much better understanding of the drivers of engagement at work amongst school staff. We hope as many schools as possible will join us to build the dataset and contribute to a much better national understanding of how we build sustainable working cultures.
Get involved – Take part in the Foundation year Autumn Census
Get in touch before 20th October to involve your school or trust in the Autumn census (13th –24th November). Gain a baseline understanding of your staff’s engagement to identify areas of focus for your leadership team and to track progress across 2023-24.