Press release

Teachers divided about school report cards

17 February 2010

Although a new survey from NFER suggests that teachers are divided about whether introducing School Report Cards (SRC) is a good idea, most of them agree with the details in the government’s current proposals about what should, and should not, appear in the new scheme.

In November 2009 NFER’s regular Teacher Voice omnibus survey asked almost 1400 teachers about their views in general on the proposed introduction of the School Report Card, and their thoughts about specific measures to be included on it.

Findings

Is the introduction of the SRC a good idea? 30% of teachers responding positively, 37% responded negatively, and the remaining teachers were unsure. 

Which specific details should be included in the SRC? A number of factors were considered to be ‘very important’ or ‘quite important’ for the majority of the teachers:

Only two measures were seen as significantly less important: teacher continuing professional development and teacher retention; 55% thought CPD  and 48% felt retention are  ‘not very important’ or ‘not at all important’.

Conclusions and recommendations

Overall it is clear that a number of teachers are uncertain about the benefits of the introduction of the SRC.  Comments included that there is already sufficient monitoring of schools taking place and that current school literature, such as prospectuses, contains sufficient information of this nature.  As the SRC is currently being piloted and further developed it is likely that these attitudes could change before its full introduction. 
As part of its introduction a marketing campaign around the benefits of the SRC is likely to be of value, especially as a significant minority of teachers remain uncertain about whether the introduction is a good idea or not.

NFER’s Sarah Maughan said: “It’s interesting that teachers’ views about what the SRC should include are in line with the government’s proposals. However, with roughly a third of teachers being unsure about the SRC, it’s clear that the DCSF needs to give them more information about this significant change in reporting schools’ achievements.”

END


For more information contact:

Gail Goodwin, NFER Media and Communications Manager,
on 01753 637159, mob: 07736 378344,
g.goodwin@nfer.ac.uk


Notes for Editors

Background

In an announcement in October 2008, Ed Balls, Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, announced that School Report Cards would be introduced to give parents a new, simpler and more comprehensive way of understanding schools’ performance and achievements.  The Report Cards would be based on the model in use in New York schools.  Following the announcement, the DCSF launched a consultation on the Report Cards and their proposed content.  A model for School Report Cards is currently being developed and piloted in England.

Methodology

In November 2009 NFER conducted its regular Teacher Omnibus survey, with 1,378 practising teachers from 911 schools in England.  The panel included teachers from a wide range of roles, from headteachers to NQTs. 692 teachers were from primary schools and 686 were from secondary schools; as the responses were largely comparable for teachers from both sectors combined results are given in each case. 
The questions investigated teachers’ views in general to the proposed introduction of the SRC, and their thoughts about specific measures to be included on it.

Full findings are available here