Scottish teachers report lower job demands, better relationships and lower perceived stress levels than those in England and only 4% are considering leaving their jobs

Dr Jermaine Ravalier, who is co-lead of the Psychological Research Group at Bath Spa will present his findings on stress among UK teachers at a conference in Brighton today. Teachers in England reported higher job demands, worse relationships and higher perceived stress levels than Scottish teachers. Scottish teachers reported higher levels of organisational change. In the Times Education Summary preview, this was presented as somehow clearly negative and the report was headlined as:

‘40 per cent of Scottish teachers consider leaving their jobs in next 18 months’

I haven’t been able to access the research report to assess the quality of its methods and thus the value of its findings. However, here are two key parts of the methods which were made clear:

  1. The EIS teaching union helped share the researchers’ survey;
  2. It attracted nearly 5 000 responses.

So, first, this research was promoted by a trades union with no interest in research validity or reliability but rather interested in pursuing higher wages and better conditions. I applaud those intentions but they are likely to skew research findings toward the negative. Ask most  professions if they’d like more money, less stress or better conditions and if they’d like to leave for an easier life and what do you expect to find?

Second, the research ‘attracted’ 5 000 responses. This means that the respondents were a self-selecting sample and not a scientifically randomised sample. Self-selecting samples are not likely to be representative of the population as-a-whole but rather to have attracted almost entirely those with negative perceptions. This point is further reinforced by the fact that only 5 000 of Scotland’s 50 970 teachers (10%) bothered to respond to what was presumably an easily-completed, online, tick-box exercise taking only minutes to complete.

Returning to the TES headline above, the 10% response rate should make the headline:

‘4 per cent of Scottish teachers consider leaving their jobs in next 18 months’

If I get a chance to see the research methodology in full, I’ll make further comment.

https://www.tes.com/news/school-news/breaking-news/40-cent-scottish-teachers-consider-leaving-their-jobs-next-18-months

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9 thoughts on “Scottish teachers report lower job demands, better relationships and lower perceived stress levels than those in England and only 4% are considering leaving their jobs

  1. Bugger (the Panda) September 11, 2017 / 10:12 am

    Go get ’em Floyd

    Like

      • Bugger (the Panda) September 11, 2017 / 10:49 am

        John Wayne

        Like

  2. Ludo Thierry September 11, 2017 / 12:29 pm

    Hi John – Hi M. le Panda.

    Was “Go get ’em Floyd” not the end line from a TV ad for sweets from years back (early 1970’s )? Can’t remember which brand – but they were chewy things.

    Was the John Wayne link not slightly different? – was that not from ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’ (sorry if spelling error). Did Jimmy Stewart not get tripped over by Liberty Valance (Lee Marvin) and John Wayne insist that Liberty pick up the plate from the floor – and to prevent a gunfight Liberty’s henchman Floyd said “I’ll get it Liberty” – It’s decades since I saw the film so I could easily be wrong! – It is a pretty good movie though – John Ford I think? – Cheers, ludo

    (PS – I liked the bit when the local paper editor asked at bar for his ‘usual’ and barman told him bar was closed for the election – and editor says something along lines “..that’s taking democracy too far..”)

    PPS – I thought the reports about the Teachers’ ‘survey’ sounded pretty dodgy – suspicions now confirmed! – good to see that a more clearheaded interpretation of the figures is now available.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Clydebuilt September 11, 2017 / 7:19 pm

    “A self selecting sample” who knew they could cause problems for the Scottish Government by voting thus. Unionists like Headlines that give the SG problems.

    Surprisingly the BBC never questioned the survey.

    Liked by 1 person

    • johnrobertson834 September 12, 2017 / 7:46 am

      The only one they have ever questioned was mine in January 2014!

      Like

  4. Bugger (the Panda) September 11, 2017 / 7:35 pm

    Could have been in a circular about early retiral. My wife did it before the Tories upped the State retiral age.

    Liked by 1 person

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