HMI: Matters for Discussion

Notes on the text

1 Ten Good Schools
2 Classics in Comprehensive Schools
3 Modern Languages in Comprehensive Schools
4 Gifted Children in Middle and Comprehensive Secondary Schools
5 The Teaching of Ideas in Geography
6 Mixed Ability Work in Comprehensive Schools
7 The Education of Children in Hospitals for the Mentally Handicapped
8 Developments in the BEd Degree Course
9 Mathematics 5 to 11
10 Community Homes with Education
11 A View of the Curriculum
12 Modern Languages in Further Education
13 Girls and Science
14 Mathematics in the Sixth Form
15 The New Teacher in School


The New Teacher in School
HMI Series: Matters for Discussion No. 15

London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office 1982
Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen's Printer for Scotland.


The complete document is presented in this single web page. You can scroll through it or use the following links to go straight to the various sections:

1 Introduction
2 The work
3 The training
4 The training and the task
5 The school and the new teacher
6 Conclusions
Appendix 1 Questionnaires issued to schools and probationers
Appendix 2 Statistical note


[title page]

Department of Education and Science

HMI Series: Matters for Discussion 15


The New Teacher
in School

A report by Her Majesty's Inspectors







London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office


[page ii (unnumbered)]

Nothing said in this discussion paper is to be construed as implying Government commitment to the provision of additional resources.


© Crown copyright 1982
First published 1982

ISBN 0 11 270309 7


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Contents
Page
1. Introduction
1.1 Nature and purpose of survey1
1.3 Summary of findings1
1.4 Size and nature of sample2
1.5 Techniques of enquiry and inspection3
1.7 The schools4
1.10 The teachers4

2. The work
2.1 Overall assessment6
2.3 Relationships with pupils and classroom management6
2.5 Planning and preparation of work8
2.6 - aims and objectives8
2.9 - preparation9
2.10 - marking9
2.13 - choice of materials10
2.15 - links with previous work11
2.16 - achievement of aims11
2.18 Match of work to pupils11
2.20 - in primary schools12
2.26 - in secondary schools14
2.30 - pupils' response15
2.32 Language in the classroom15
2.33 - dialogue and discussion16
2.38 - extending pupils' language17
2.42 - questions and answers18
2.51 Lesson profiles20
2.52 - primary schools20
2.58 - secondary schools22
2.60 Summary22

3. The training
3.1 Mastery of teaching skills24
3.2 HMI's assessment25
3.3 The categories25
3.18 - comment31
3.21 The new teachers' views32
3.23 - some basic teaching skills33
3.31 - matching work to different abilities35
3.34 - some skills for primary school teachers36
3.41 - the balance of training courses38
3.50 Differences between BEd and PGCE and between different kinds of training institution41


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Contents continued
Page
4. The training and the task
4.1 Introduction45
4.3 Primary45
4.4 - general characteristics of teaching programme45
4.5 - age range taught46
4.7 - subjects taught in relation to those studied46
4.15 - overall match of teaching programme with training49
4.18 - summary51
4.22 Secondary52
4.23 - general characteristics of teaching programme52
4.24 - subjects taught in relation to those studied53
4.30 - match of teaching programme with academic qualifications and professional preparation57
4.34 - age range taught in relation to age range for which teachers were trained59
4.35 - match of teaching programme with teaching practice59
4.36 - summary60

5. The school and the new teacher
5.1 Appointment61
5.4 School expectations and assessment62
5.7 The school's role in induction63
5.16 Members of staff involved in induction66
5.18 Nature of support given to probationers66
5.20 - in primary schools67
5.27 - in secondary schools68
5.37 Constraints on the probationers' teaching programmes71
5.44 The LEA's role in induction74
5.51 Summary77
- HMI's assessment of induction arrangements77
5.57 - the new teachers' satisfaction with their jobs78

6. Conclusions
6.1 Overall conclusions80
6.2 Significant elements in success and failure80
- personal qualities80
6.4 - appropriateness of training81
6.7 - nature of the teaching job and conditions of work82
6.10 - types of training and their contents83

Appendix 1 Questionnaires issued to schools and probationers
85
Appendix 2 Statistical note100


[page v (unnumbered)] Tables

Tables
Page
1 School size2
2 School type2
3 Secondary school subjects. Numbers of probationers teaching each subject2
4 Nature of course taken by new teachers5
5 Place of training5
6 Quality of teacher-pupil relationships and class management7
7 Quality of planning and preparation of work8
8 Quality of teaching process and match of work to pupils12
9 Quality of language used in the classroom15
10 Quality of questioning techniques18
11 Probationers' views about aspects of their training (1)33
12 Probationers' views about aspects of their training (2)35
13 Probationers' views about aspects of their training (3)36
14 Probationers' views about the balance of training courses39
15 Subjects taught by primary teachers to classes other than their own46
16 Age ranges taught by primary teachers46
17 Subjects taught by primary teachers and subjects in which they had not been trained 47
18 Primary teachers who had taken an academic or professional course in each subject48
19 Match of age range for which primary teachers trained with age range they were teaching50
20 Match of age range taught by primary teachers or teaching practice with age range they were teaching51
21 Overall match of teaching programme with training for primary teachers51
22 Age levels taught by secondary teachers53
23 Ability levels taught by secondary teachers53
24 Proportion of teaching programme of secondary teachers with mixed-ability classes53
25 Subjects taught by secondary teachers54
26 Level of training by subject of secondary teachers56
27 Match of teaching and training by subject of secondary teachers57
28 Match of academic study of secondary teachers with their teaching programme58
29 Extent to which the academic and/or professional training of secondary teachers was being used by the school59
30 Match of age range for which secondary teachers were trained with the age range they were teaching59
31 Match of teaching practice with teaching programme for secondary teachers60
32 Overall match of training and teaching programme of secondary teachers60
33 Arrangements made by school to assist probationers (1)65
34 Members of staff involved in induction66
35 Arrangements made by school to assist probationers (2)67


[page vi (unnumbered)]

Tables continued
Page
36 LEA induction arrangements - the school's view73
37 Level of school and LEA support - HMI's assessment76
38 Quality of personal relationships - HMl's assessment77
39 New teachers' opportunities for professional development - HMl's assessment78
40 New teachers' satisfaction with their jobs78

A1 Mastery of subject-matter of lessons observed by type of course and type of training institution
102
A2 Mastery of teaching skills by type of course and type of training institution103
A3 Schools' assessment of teachers' equipment by HMI's assessment of mastery of teaching skills103
A4 Teachers' satisfaction with different types of training course104
A5 Teachers' satisfaction with balance of time within training course by type of course104
A6 Teachers' satisfaction with balance of time within training course by type of training institution105
A7 Schools' provision of opportunities for professional development by teachers' job satisfaction106
A8 Support from heads and other school staff by teachers' job satisfaction106
A9 Teachers' relationships with heads and other staff by teachers' job satisfaction107






[page vii (unnumbered)]

Figures
Page
Fig 1 Overall assessment by HMI of quality of work6
Fig 2 Mastery of teaching skills - HMI's assessment24
Fig 3 Mastery of teaching skills/type of course: primary42
Fig 4 Mastery of teaching skills/type of course: secondary42
Fig A1 Distribution of length of teaching practice by type of course108






[page 1]

1 Introduction


Nature and purpose of survey

1.1 The great majority of teachers in our schools are trained in some 100 institutions - universities, polytechnics, and LEA-maintained and voluntary colleges and institutes of higher education - in England and Wales. They follow two main types of course, the "concurrent", in which training and academic study can proceed in parallel through most or all of the course, and the "consecutive", in which training follows the completion of academic study. They themselves display very different personal qualities, their social and academic backgrounds are by no means uniform, they experience a great variety of different patterns and styles of preparation for teaching, and when they enter teaching, their experiences are again as varied as the schools in which they find themselves. The generalisations which follow must therefore be interpreted in the context of a great complexity of interacting variables.

1.2 The present study seeks, in the context of this variety.

i. to assess how well newly trained teachers in general are equipped for the work they are assigned in their first posts, and
ii. to judge the extent to which schools make the best use of the skills, knowledge and training that new teachers bring to their first posts, and the extent to which support is provided where it is needed.
The study also attempts to identify the circumstances of training and school environment which seem to be associated with the new teachers' level of satisfaction with their jobs and with the quality of work in their classrooms.

Summary of findings

1.3 The overall picture presented by the survey is a mixed one. Many newly trained teachers are dissatisfied with some aspects of their training; nearly one in four are in some respects poorly equipped with the skills needed for teaching; three out of ten are not being provided by the schools in which they have taken up their first post with conditions likely to promote their professional development and many of these are receiving little support from heads or fellow staff; many, in both primary and secondary schools, are engaged in teaching subjects in which they have themselves little academic background. On the other hand, the majority are well trained, appointed to suitable posts, given teaching tasks which ca II upon their skills and knowledge and provided with support in those areas in which they need help. There is a considerable amount of "job-satisfaction", especially among primary school teachers. The effectiveness in the classroom of some newly trained teachers is impressive and few show serious weaknesses that are not at least in part attributable to inexperience and likely to be remediable, given suitable conditions for teaching. This report, particularly in its final section, suggests ways in which some of the reasons for lower levels of achievement might be removed.


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Size and nature of sample

1.4 During March 1981 visits were made by HMI to a sample of294 schools in England and Wales in which newly trained graduate teachers* were spending their first year of teaching. In each case one new teacher was observed at work, and the specialism of the visiting HMI was matched to the age-level and nature of the work with which the teacher was mainly concerned. The distribution of schools by size and type and, in the case of secondary schools, the numbers of teachers engaged in teaching each subject are given in Tables 1 to 3**.

Table 1 School size (1)

Table 2 School type

Table 3 Secondary school subjects

*ie including BEd and PGCE-trained teachers: certificated teachers were not included in the sample. See Appendix 2 paras 1-5 for statistical details.

**For comparison purposes, Table 26 displays the numbers who trained in each subject.


[page 3]

Techniques of enquiry and inspection

1.5 Before the visits, questionnaires, which had been previously tested in a pilot exercise, were sent to the heads of schools and to the probationers. Heads were asked for information about the nature and organisation of the school and the arrangements for the appointment and induction of probationer teachers. The new teachers were asked to give information about their training and their current teaching programmes in school, and to express their views about the extent to which their training had in various ways equipped them for the jobs that they were doing. (Copies of these questionnaires are reproduced in Appendix I). During the visits, each lasting a full school day, HMI followed up the information provided in the questionnaires through talks with the head, the new teacher, and other members of staff, particularly those with responsibility for helping or advising the new teacher. They also visited two "lessons?" in which the probationers were involved, usually one in the morning and the other in the afternoon, observing and assessing the work and spending between 35 and 70 minutes in the classroom on each occasion. At least one of the lessons observed was selected to be typical of the newly trained teacher's timetable and to relate, where appropriate, to the main academic subject of training. In the majority of secondary schools visited, both lessons seen were in the probationer's specialist subject. For each of the 588 lessons, a short descriptive account of the work was written, and assessments recorded of the overall effectiveness of the lesson and of a number of aspects of the teaching, such as the relationship developed with the pupils, the match of work to the pupils' capabilities, the use of language in the classroom and the choice and exploitation of teaching materials. Recognising that the quality of work is very much influenced by circumstances, HMI also recorded the presence and degree of any "constraints" that appeared to be affecting the lessons seen, taking into account such matters as the reported "difficulty" of a class or group, the availability of suitable materials or equipment, and the presence or absence of helpful guidelines or syllabuses. The assessments made of the work were, however, based on the criteria that HMI would use for assessing any work in schools, irrespective of the level of experience of the teachers concerned and the existence of any observed constraints on their teaching. The criteria are implicit in the evaluation of work seen which forms the second section of this report.

1.6 The sections that follow thus call upon three different kinds of evidence -

a, factual information provided by heads or probationers (eg about the type and size of school, or the type of training course undertaken)
b, the records of observation and assessment by HMI both of work in the classroom and of the school context within which that work was carried out, and
c, views expressed by heads and members of staff, including the new teachers, either in response to items in questionnaires or in the course of discussion with HMI.
In relation to the third source of evidence, it is important to remember that, while these perceptions can be recorded accurately, they are direct evidence only for the views of those who expressed them and not

*The term "lesson" is used in this report for convenience to denote both the single or double period in a secondary school usually devoted mainly to one subject or area of the curriculum and the comparable span of time in a primary school during which either a single activity or a variety of activities might be taking place.


[page 4]

for the nature or quality of the matters about which the views were expressed.

The schools

1.7 Nearly a quarter of the 20 I secondary schools in the sample had either been newly opened or reorganised within the last five years, while many fewer primary schools were in this category (15 per cent). All primary schools and the majority of secondary schools (86 per cent) were of mixed sex. Of the remainder, 9 percent were boys' and 5 per cent girls' schools. Catchment areas had been defined broadly under six categories (see questionnaire Sl in Appendix I) and the schools were drawn fairly evenly from all of these - just over a third of them were in less favoured areas, either in city centres or the less prosperous suburbs of large conurbations. Most schools were on a single site - fewer than one in five of secondary schools and fewer than one in ten of primary schools operated in divided premises. About half of both the primary and secondary schools had suffered a significant" change in size over the last three years: in the case of primary schools, the great majority of these had suffered from falling rolls, while in the case of secondary schools rather more had increased in size than had faced a decline in pupil numbers.

1.8 In terms of school organisation, over three-quarters of the primary schools reported that they had some specialist teaching, the commonest subjects thus organised being music (57 schools), physical education and games (28), French (19), science (17), and art and craft (10). Secondary schools were mostly organised on the basis of subject departments (85 per cent).

1.9 Considerable use was being made of part-time teachers - three-fifths of primary schools and over four-fifths of secondary schools had at least one part-time teacher on the staff, and these figures included probationers in five of the primary schools and 29 of the secondary schools. However, only four of the probationers (all secondary) in the sample had been appointed on a part-time basis, Two-thirds of the primary schools had only one probationer - the teacher from this sample - on their staffs. In contrast, over three-quarters of secondary schools had three or more probationers on their staffs, with nearly a quarter having seven or more, the higher numbers being most often found in the larger schools.

The teachers

1.10 Of the 294 teachers in the sample over two-thirds were women, the proportion in primary being almost three to one and in secondary one to one. Over three-quarters of the teachers were aged between 21 and 25. The rest were fairly evenly spread through the age group26 to 50, with only a very few over 40. Over three-quarters of the primary teachers had taken a three- or four-year BEd course of training; three-fifths of the secondary teachers had taken a first degree followed by a PGCE course. Two-thirds of the primary teachers had trained at institutes or colleges of higher education, one in five at polytechnics and one in ten in university departments of education. Nearly two-fifths of secondary school teachers had trained at university and the rest were spread between polytechnics and LEA-maintained and voluntary institutes or colleges of education.

*That is, a change affecting curriculum and/or organisation.


[page 5]

Table 4 Nature of course taken by new teachers

Table 5 Place of training

1.11 It is interesting to note that, as might have been expected in the aftermath of the 1977 reorganisation of teacher training, over a third of the teachers believed that the work of the institution in which they had trained had been affected by external influences such as mergers or the threat of closure; the fact that more of the primary teachers fell into this category reflects the higher proportion who had been trained in the maintained sector.

1.12 Very few of the teachers in the sample appear to have had any extended experience of work outside education - only 16 had had a gap of three years or more between graduation and training. The design of the sample was such that virtually all the teachers in it were fresh from college, so no information can be derived about the proportion of students who postpone entry into teaching for whatever reason after training.

1.13 A third of the primary teachers did not have a permanent appointment - ten were on termly contract and most of the rest on yearly contract. Three of the secondary teachers had been appointed on a termly basis and a further 13 on an annual basis.


[page 6]

2 The work


Overall assessment

2.1 The aims and content of the 588 lessons seen in this survey differed widely. The pupils' ages, class sizes and the settings for the lessons were extremely-varied: 16 year olds doing experimental work in a chemistry laboratory, a large class of I I year olds revising mathematics in a conventional classroom, 9 year olds discussing topic work in small groups, and 3 to 5 year olds in a nursery class engaged in activities in groups, pairs or as individuals. The criteria used to assess the work are therefore relative to the circumstances, style and subject matter of the lesson observed. On this basis, 6 per cent of the lessons were rated excellent by any standard (see paragraph 1.5)and a further 48 per cent good or very good- an encouraging picture of the work of teachers in the very early stages of their careers. Some 30 per cent were rated fair, and the rest poor or very poor.

Figure 1 Overall assessments by HMI of quality of work

2.2 The quality of new teachers' work is affected by many factors, among them the nature of their training and the extent to which it matches their job, and the general context of the schools in which they are teaching, including the level of support they are receiving. These are considered in Chapters 3,4 and 5. But in the case of some of the lessons seen there appeared to be quite specific constraints which were judged to influence their effectiveness substantially. These constraints are listed and discussed in paragraphs 5.41ff.

Relationships with pupils and classroom management

2.3 The new teachers. with very few exceptions - virtually none in primary schools, where they generally teach fewer children in the course of the week - had established relationships with their classes which were at least adequate and in over three-quarters of the cases good. While the style of relationships reflected differences in the


[page 7]

personalities of the teachers, characteristics which were commonly found included: a quiet, calm, relaxed, good-humoured attitude on the part of the teachers, combined with firmness and a sense of purpose; a demonstration of interest in and knowledge of the pupils individually and an appropriate level of expectation of them; and mutual respect, the pupils recognising the personal qualities, knowledge and skills of the teachers and the teachers being sensitive to the needs of the pupils and respecting their contributions whatever their limitations. Where these qualities were shown, pupils were confident enough to playa full part in the lessons, to offer their own ideas and ask questions or seek help when unsure, while the teacher could blend praise and encouragement with an occasional reprimand, the latter without arousing resentment.

Table 6 Quality of teacher-pupil relationships and class management

2.4 Good relationships between teachers and pupils are the foundation for successful management of a class, but on them must be built a mastery of a number of techniques and skills, many of which are considered separately later in this section. More narrowly, the factors associated with good classroom management which were most frequently mentioned were a crisp, orderly, punctual start to the lesson with any necessary preparations completed beforehand, and a planned and tidy ending, an assured manner, good use of the eye and voice and the giving, where necessary, of clear instructions by the teacher. Where lessons were clearly foundering, an important contributory factor in several cases was the hesitant or passive manner of the new teacher. In primary schools, where it is more common to find individuals and groups working in a variety of different subject areas, there are additional skills of organisation demanded of the teacher, not least that of ensuring that all pupils know what is expected of them and within what bounds they may exercise choice. This form of organisation demands that the teachers should move purposefully around the classroom anticipating needs, checking and extending the pupils' work. Movement of this sort seems also to be a desirable feature of the more formal lesson, whether in primary or secondary school. In seven lessons out of ten, teachers were found to manage


[page 8]

their classes well; in one out of ten they had poor control. There was only one case of a probationer in a primary school and a handful of examples amongst the larger number of probationers in secondary schools whose control was very weak.

Planning and preparation of work

2.5 On the evidence of the lessons seen, the majority of new teachers conceived appropriate aims and objectives for their lessons, and planned their lessons well, taking into account previous work done by their classes. In these respects over three-fifths of the lessons observed were considered to be successful. In over half of them, the teachers made a good choice of books, materials or equipment to match their aims.

Table 7 Quality of planning and preparation of work

Aims and objectives

2.6 In selecting appropriate aims and objectives the teacher has to take account of the age and abilities of the class, their previous experience and the nature of the subject being studied. These had obviously been considered by most of the newly trained teachers. Many of them had been helped in formulating their aims and in fitting a lesson or series of lessons into the context of the course of study by guidelines and syllabuses (provided by the school) which demonstrated coherence and progression. They were able to adapt these to the particular needs of their own pupils, within them to define encompassable objectives for the single lesson, to anticipate problems both practical and intellectual that might arise during the lesson and to have the confidence to digress from their plans in response to leads from pupils without losing their way. Timing is an important ingredient, as when in a lesson devoted to reading and discussing a novel the exciting end of a chapter coincided neatly with the end of the period. Occasionally, limited expectations and a narrow range of


[page 9]

specified aims and methods laid down by the school provided a constraint on the new teachers' freedom to carry out interesting and appropriate work. (See paragraph 5.41 b.)

2.7 "Clear" and "specific" are terms of commendation often used of teachers' objectives. In a number of cases these were communicated to the class and methods of achieving them discussed with the pupils. A fourth-year secondary home economics class, for example, listened to their teacher's statement of aims and objectives and themselves discussed long and short-term objectives for the four week unit of work they were engaged in. More generally, in a number of the more successful lessons observed, pupils had some understanding of the teacher's objectives for the lesson and knew the purpose of the activities in which they were engaged and were thus able to be more active participants.

2.8 In one lesson out of five the teachers had set themselves and their classes 'aims which were entirely or almost entirely inappropriate. In most cases the inappropriateness lay in the limited and narrow scope of the aims, for example, the recording or memorising of facts or the practice of techniques without any attempt to develop a depth of understanding or to maintain a progression. There were also a number of lessons the aims of which had been seen purely in terms of the content of the text book or the demands of the examination syllabus. It was rare but not unknown for a teacher to approach the lesson with no clear idea of its purpose.

Preparation

2.9 Planning and preparation are closely linked. A third-year music lesson ran smoothly and with good pace because all the electronic equipment to be used had been placed ready for action, and musical scores prepared and set out for the class beforehand. A fourth-year home economics lesson benefited from the foresight and imagination of the teacher, who had anticipated the difficulties each pupil might meet in the piece of work he or she had chosen to do. Where preparation was inadequate - as was the case in some 15 per cent of the lessons seen - time was wasted, children's motivation dissipated and behavioural problems created while teachers belatedly attempted to assemble materials or equipment.

Marking

2.10 For some lessons an important form of preparation is the marking of previous work. In just over a quarter of the lessons seen, either the question of marking did not arise or there was no evidence on which judgement could be made. In the remainder, pupils' work had been thoroughly and constructively marked in only half the cases, while in almost one in five the level of marking was unsatisfactory. The position was rather better in primary than in secondary schools.

2.11 A distinction can be made between the practice of seeing and checking pupils' work regularly and thai of ad ding comment of a kind that might highlight strengths and encourage progress, not only drawing attention to error but also suggesting strategies for improvement. The first aspect attracted more favourable comment than the second. Written work from most classes had indeed been seen and checked, though there were some cases where exercise books and


[page 10]

files had not apparently been looked at for a term or even since the beginning of the year. In a few cases marking was irregular or confined to a few pupils in the class. Coverage in another case did not extend to class work, which was in consequence scruffily presented, in contrast with the homework books which had been seen regularly. While the practice of many probationers in respect of marking was unsatisfactory, it appears that in only a minority of schools in the survey had a policy for marking been discussed and formulated by the staff.

2.12 This lack of policy may have contributed to the new teachers' uncertainties. Often, especially in secondary schools, a great deal of time and care had been devoted to marking, but no clear outcome was discernible - often spelling, punctuation and presentation were meticulously corrected, so that a thorough proof-reading job had been done. However, perhaps in their anxiety to spot every error of this kind, teachers had neglected to pay attention to significant - though often more intractable - faults in organisation and style. Some teachers had adopted a different approach: they obviously read the material carefully and added friendly and sympathetic comments, yet they consistently ignored errors or' all types in the writing. Thus, a pupil whose written output for one subject might in the course of a term have been many thousands of words would be left with little constructive help in developing his writing.

Choice of materials

2.13 An essential element in planning is the selection of appropriate books, materials and equipment for the range of pupils present in the class. In many situations this choice is only partly in the hands of teachers, especially in their first year of teaching. About two-fifths of the lessons seen were judged to have been adversely affected to some degree by constraints on the availability of appropriate teaching materials. (See paragraph 5.41 c).

2.14 It was therefore encouraging that a number of new teachers had made considerable efforts to familiarise themselves with the range of materials available in the school and to select what they regarded as suitable for their purpose even when it was not, from the school's point of view, always the expected choice, while others had supplemented what was already available in school with commercially produced or home made materials. These included overhead projector transparencies, worksheets and slides, as well as, more specifically, in modern languages recorded material on cassette, and in home economics examples of natural fibres. Home-produced materials often involved a great deal of work and it was a pity to see some of this unprofitably directed - the home-produced materials being different from but not always superior to those already available in school. Insufficient attention to the levels of reading comprehension by the pupils was one reason for the inappropriateness of some materials both home made and commercially produced. On occasions materials were well chosen but ill used because of a failure to understand their real purpose, potential, or practicability. Perhaps the least encouraging were the lessons in which teachers had resigned themselves to using the inadequate or unsuitable materials available in their schools and had made no attempt to supplement or adapt them.


[page 11]

Links with previous work

2.15 Planning also involves building implicitly or explicitly on previous work. The latter was most obviously exemplified by revision sessions which formed part of the lessons observed, discussion within the lesson during which teachers or pupils referred to previous relevant work, or written work already completed which led up to or was otherwise logically related to the subject matter of the lesson seen. Excellent use was made in a geography class with first-year pupils of a film seen the previous day: the teacher and the pupils both constantly referred to what they had seen, to illustrate discussion of processes like erosion, deposition and transportation. Some of the most telling examples are those where pupils themselves volunteered comments showing that they perceived the relevance of what they were doing to what had gone before. In primary schools visible evidence of previous work was frequently well displayed in the classroom and referred to in the course of the lessons. In secondary schools it was an encouraging, though rare, experience to observe teachers and pupils making lateral as well as sequential links, by reference to the pupils' experience in other parts of the curriculum. A good example was the geography teacher who encouraged one fourth-year pupil who was studying statistics and another who had learnt about calories in home economics each to contribute his knowledge to a class discussion on economic development in the third world. Failure to build implicitly on earlier work sometimes led to the dreary repetition of material which, apparently unknown to the teacher, had previously been mastered by the pupils.

Achievement of aims

2.16 The most successful lessons were those where well thought out aims were achieved through careful planning and pacing of the work. More than four-fifths of the lessons observed showed some success of this sort. Occasionally lessons which started with clear objectives were deflected in their course and achieved other equally valuable aims. Sometimes the aims themselves were inappropriate and made few demands on the pupils, so that their achievement did not represent a successful outcome.

2.17 Where aims were not being achieved it was commonly because their existed a discrepancy between what appeared to be taking place and what was really happening, between "busy-ness" and learning, between superficiality and depth. What appeared on the surface to be a "successful" lesson represented a process of "going through the motions" in which little learning took place. Examples of this were seen in a number of subject areas. In a mathematics lesson on geometrical transformation, pupils benefited from handling and drawing shapes but learned little about geometrical transformation that would be useful subsequently. In a library lesson, pupils handled books but there was little careful reading.

Match of work to pupils

2.18 The composition of the classes seen was very different in primary and secondary schools. A wide range of ability was present in more than nine out of ten of the primary classes seen. In secondary schools only about a quarter of the classes seen were described as of mixed ability. The rest fell more or less evenly into the three categories: above average, average below average and remedial. Even these groups were far from homogeneous.


[page 12]

Table 8 Quality of teaching process and match of work to pupils

2.19 It was judged that the pupils' capabilities were being suitably extended in about a third of all the classes seen, but in a further one-third there was room for some improvement and in the remainder pupils' capabilities were not being satisfactorily catered for. Where this was so the two extremes of the ability range, the more able and the less able, were more adversely affected than the average pupil. Thus in those classes which were sufficiently mixed for judgements to be made, the needs of more than five out of six of the average pupils were being suitably met, but of only two-thirds of the more able and less than two-thirds of the less able. The position in primary and secondary schools was broadly similar, though primary school teachers, despite the wider range of ability usually present, seemed to be rather more successful in catering for both extremes of ability.

In primary schools

2.20 In primary schools, lessons which catered well for all abilities present called on a number of teaching techniques: assignments at different levels after a class exposition, well differentiated work-cards, skilfully varied oral questioning which maintained a good pace and individual and group work with well organised intervention by the teacher.


[page 13]

2.21 On the other hand, in most areas of the curriculum there were lessons where the work was aimed at the average, the abler pupils becoming bored and the less able frustrated, often because of the difference in the speed with which they could carry out their tasks. In some classes the work was too easy and the pace too slow for virtually all the children present. Where there was some differentiation, opportunities for extension for the abler pupils or further reinforcement for the weaker ones were sometimes missed. In other cases, the classroom skills of the teachers were inadequate to cope with the organisational problems of the individualised learning approach which they had chosen to employ.

2.22 Given support and guidance, young children can take increasing responsibility for organising some parts of their own work. The extent may range from choosing among play activities to deciding on the way in which sections in a topic book may be ordered and presented, sharing out tasks in a group activity, selecting tools and media in an art lesson, or determining the amount or balance of work to be covered in a given period of ti me within guidelines set by the teacher.

2.23 These opportunities help to give children a sense of purpose in their work and may increase motivation, develop self-reliance and cooperation. They are therefore an important aspect of teaching approaches. However, they require an understanding of children's development, and teachers who are confident enough to give children such responsibility and sufficiently skilled in their own organisation to provide adequate guidance and support so that the opportunities are constructively used.

2.24 In those primary school lessons observed where it was thought appropriate for children to have opportunities to organise their own work, these were made available in a third of the cases, while in two-fifths of the lessons the work was over-directed by the teacher. Examples of the latter were the classes where work was tightly prescribed on a work-card production line which tended to deny initiative to both teacher and child, or where the children's contribution to a lesson could be as narrow as copying a passage from the blackboard and filling.in blanks from words already listed. It may be that many of the newly trained teachers over-directed the work in the belief that this would assist their class control. Some may simply have been playing safe in the presence of an observer.

2.25 Over-direction is sometimes the result of a lack of confidence on the part of teachers in their mastery of the subject, and it was disturbing to find that in nearly a quarter of the primary school lessons seen teachers showed signs of 'insecurity in the subject being taught. This is a far higher proportion than in the secondary schools in the sample, no doubt in part because the range of subjects primary teachers are called upon to cover goes well beyond those that they have studied in depth at college or indeed at any time after the age of 16. This insecurity in some cases led to the choice of undemanding or unsuitable materials, unrealistic tasks for pupils in which the teachers could offer little help, and failure to recognise opportunities to extend or deepen children's understanding and skills.


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In secondary schools

2.26 In secondary schools, lessons which extended the capabilities of the pupils tended to be marked by a good choice of teaching materials which made demands on the pupils, well planned purposeful tasks which allowed for contributions from pupils of different ability, good well paced oral work with differentiated levels of questioning, and a variety of learning styles combining class exposition with group or individual work. The aim of such lessons generally went beyond the acquisition of skill or knowledge to a fuller understanding of the subject.

2.27 Lessons which catered less well for the age range of pupils present were based on tasks which were trivial, dull and undemanding or simply ill matched to the pupils' capabilities. In one history lesson with pupils of mixed abilities, for example, the teacher showed little awareness of the range of ability. The work was based on facsimiles of seventeenth century documents. which were far too difficult for the less able readers to cope with, without more help than was provided. In other lessons tasks were sometimes insufficiently differentiated (the copying of notes which pupils were well capable of making themselves was a common example), materials were inappropriate or poorly exploited, questioning techniques insufficiently developed (often depending solely on the volunteer to answer questions) and the pace generally slow.

2.28 One area of concern is the very limited extent to which pupils in secondary schools were given opportunities to organise their own work. I n nearly two-fifths of the lessons where such opportunities could well have been given, this was not in fact done. Less highly directed lessons often provided opportunities, generally in the form of work in groups, for pupils to explore issues in discussion before "reporting back" to the class. Work in pairs (eg practising newly acquired expressions in a foreign language) or individually also gave opportunities for pupils to exercise choice between the use of different materials or different methods and to plan and pace their own work. Opportunities for pupils to work in this way do not, however, guarantee success. Careful preparation and clear direction are also essential, as well as good classroom control. Moreover, the purpose of the work must be clear to pupils, and they must have sufficient mastery of the required skills to carry out their tasks without frustration, if this style of learning is to be successful. These conditions were not always present.

2.29 As might be expected, in three-quarters of the secondary classes seen the newly trained teachers clearly demonstrated mastery of the subject that they were teaching - sometimes at a very high level which earned them the respect of their pupils. The effectiveness of a music lesson for example was greatly increased by the quality of the teacher's own playing, illustrating the structure of the piece under discussion, and a feature of the best modern languages lessons was the high standard of fluency and accuracy displayed by the teachers. Somewhat worryingly, one teacher in ten revealed insecurity in the subject they were teaching.* Lack of subject knowledge led to teaching approaches which maintained an often slavish adherence to the textbook reliance on narrow questions often requiring monosyllabic

*Such insecurity was recorded in 25 lessons (out of 402) taken by 22 teachers (out of 201), excluding those lessons where there was an obvious mismatch between the subject of the lesson and the teacher's training. The subjects and numbers of lessons in each were as follows: art (2), French (3). RE (2). PE (3), English (5), history (4), science (5), home economics ( I). Eight of the teachers had taken an honours degree (or equivalent) in the subject they were teaching, and four had taken the subject at ordinary degree level or as main subject in BEd. The rest had taken the subject at a lower academic level.


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answers, an inability to follow up and extend pupils' answers and an over-prescriptive method whereby the teacher was able to remain within a constricted, safe pattern of work.

Pupils' response

2.30 In both primary and secondary schools. where work that was intrinsically interesting was making appropriate demands upon pupils, where there were good relationships leading to a relaxed working atmosphere and where the teachers were able both to communicate their own enthusiasm to the children and to present their material in such a way as to relate to the children's own experience, not unexpectedly the pupils showed a high level of interest, enjoyment and involvement. This often spilled over the bounds of the lesson and led to their mounting exhibitions or displays in the classroom or pursuing and developing in their own homes topics which had aroused their interest at school.

2.31 In rather fewer than one in five of the lessons seen pupils were bored and uninterested. Much of the work in these lessons were simply dull by any standards, unambitious and unimaginative, often dominated by a great deal of formal exposition by the teacher or by dictated or copied information. There was little verbal exchange between pupil and teacher and there were few opportunities for the pupils to play an active part. Time was often wasted on inappropriate and pointless activities. Such lessons presented an inducement, which was surprisingly rarely taken up, for the children to respond by gentle sabotage or openly bad behaviour.

Language in the classroom

2.32 In a survey of this kind, where the lessons seen were so various, uniformity of language use is hardly to be expected or to be desired. Groups of different sizes, containing pupils of different ages and abilities and engaged in activities of very different kinds communicate and interact differently to achieve their separate aims and purposes. Criteria for assessing the quality of language work in the classroom must therefore be adjusted accordingly.

Table 9 Quality of language used in the classroom


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Dialogue and discussion

2.33 In about four lessons out often there were many useful dialogues between teachers and pupils, and pupils were encouraged to express their own thoughts and ideas, but in only three out of ten did there appear to be a conscious attempt to extend the pupils' language. These figures are disappointing when compared with the generally high quality of relationships between teachers and pupils (Paragraph 2.3). A good classroom atmosphere might have been expected to lead to a better development of language than was often the case. A rather higher proportion of lessons seen in primary schools were successful in terms of the quality of language work, and this was especially so in relation to the extension of pupils' language. Perhaps primary teachers see this as a more central concern than do secondary teachers.

2.34 In the best examples, teachers talked to pupils, not at them, and pupils felt free to contribute and were taken seriously. This situation was helped by an environment which encouraged the sense of involvement of all present and where activities were planned in which pupils could take an active part, I n primary schools it was sometimes assisted by the presence of other adults beside the teacher.

2.35 In many lessons with younger children, objects in the classroom were used as starting points for discussion. In a junior class a child's comment about the edge of the world led to a study of the globe and the agreed finding that the world had surface but no edges. Such sequences were often initiated by the children themselves. Open discussion took place in all areas of the primary curriculum between teacher and class, group or individuals, and among children. Its use highlighted the skill of some teachers in varying the approach to suit the needs of the children and the context of the activity. In secondary classes, examples of small-group work on difficult texts or demanding work cards illustrated how dialogue and discussion could contribute to learning; in a third-year class a "critics' forum" on books they had read involved pupils in dialogues with the teacher and with each other. The teacher taking part in such dialogues needs to be a patient listener and to feel confident enough to leave space for pupils to reply, to explain what they are doing and to ask their own questions. Some teachers obviously found it easier to foster this kind of atmosphere in small groups than with the whole class. Yet other teachers sometimes hurried relentlessly along to achieve their often well conceived plans. In one junior classroom a boy, anxious to respond, was driven to say, "Hang on, Miss. Give us time to think!"

2.36 Lessons which lacked this open exploratory dialogue at appropriate points shared certain characteristics. The least significant perhaps was trouble with control: a few secondary teachers (and even fewer primary teachers) appeared to suppress opportunities for discussion because they feared that things might get out of hand. In some such cases teachers were able to talk helpfully to individuals but could not maintain a dialogue with the whole class or even with a group.

2.37 Another powerful inhibitor of helpful discussion in both primary and secondary classrooms was the excessively "closed" nature of the activity offered, where the teacher obviously assumed


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that preparation and provision (text books, work cards, blackboard notes) were sufficient, and failed to provide opportunities for the children to question, discuss or explain. Needless to say, opportunities for useful dialogues between pupils were disappointingly rare in such cases. Even where the balance of talk by teacher and pupils was more even, or more carefully judged, control of the dialogues that took place was sometimes too tight: teachers were over anxious to pursue their lesson plans. The pupils' initiatives sometimes took second place to the lesson planning, and interesting comments were curtailed or ignored.

Extending pupils' language

2.38 Where dialogue and discussion are a common feature of lessons, pupils are more likely to express their own thoughts and ideas and to engage in the sort of talk which allows them to make new ideas of their own, which leads them to understand a process, or which gives them practice in forming and testing an hypothesis. Examples of exploratory uses of language were to be found at every stage from the infant class onwards. An example comes from a secondary fourth year English lesson to low-ability pupils. The teacher told the class briefly about an imaginary unidentified accident victim. She brought in a few "possessions" and then encouraged the class to speculate about what kind of person the victim was and how the police had set about identifying her. The talk which ensued allowed pupils to develop hypotheses and test them against each other.

2.39 Not all classroom talk is productive, nor is it always easy for teachers to elicit useful contributions from their classes. It is even more difficult to make sure that the opportunities, when created, are used to extend the pupils' language repertoire, in terms of range of styles, breadth of vocabulary and syntactic development. It was notable that the only area in which many good examples could be found of teachers' extending their pupils' language was that of vocabulary. Some secondary teachers made considerable efforts to increase the range available to pupils of the specialised terms needed in their subjects. In the best cases, the teachers introduced the new terms within the context of the pupils' exploration of processes and phenomena; they did not rely merely upon labelling and listing techniques.*

2.40 Few teachers showed themselves aware of possibilities for extending the range of linguistic styles available to pupils. There were only rare examples of lessons planned to give pupils the experience of using language in varied situations, perhaps through taking on different roles. Fewer teachers still were observed to make systematic efforts to encourage their pupils to use a variety of forms of expression, apart from the few occasions when, especially in primary schools, the teacher asked children to rephrase their contributions or themselves offered alternative ways of expressing a point.

2.41 In about a half of the lessons observed the teachers' use of language was judged to be appropriate to the occasion, with the secondary teachers scoring rather more highly in this respect. Exposition by the teacher frequently played an important part in the development of the work, particularly in the secondary school, In

*The lesson described in paragraph 2.58 exemplifies this process.


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many cases the language used was clear, precise and economical and teachers were sensitively aware of the linguistic abilities of their pupils. They took care to use words and forms within their understanding and to anticipate and deal with points of potential difficulty, modifying their explanations to suit the pupils' needs. In a science lesson, for example, a teacher used technical and non-technical terms for the same process, deliberately relating them and drawing attention to the equivalence in meaning. The material in these cases had obviously been thoughtfully prepared and was well delivered in a lively and interesting way. There were, however, cases of lessons containing inappropriately many and long stretches of monologue from teachers who were not always aware of the opportunities that were missed when they spent too long on exposition and too little time on class Of group discussion.

Questions and answers

2.42 In view of the fact that questions and answers are one of the most frequently used teaching techniques in both primary and secondary schools, it was disappointing to find that, while the teachers distributed their questions well amongst the pupils in over half of the lessons seen, they varied their style of questioning to suit the occasion in fewer than a third, and made good use of the pupils' responses to carry the work forward in only two lessons out of five. In each of these respects primary teachers were rather more successful than secondary teachers.

Table 10 Quality of questioning techniques

2.43 Where questioning was well distributed, there was often a careful balance between questions addressed to the whole class and those addressed to named individuals. Teachers were observant and did not allow silent or timid pupils to remain uninvolved for the whole lesson, but questioned them directly, drawing them out, if necessary, with encouragement. They did not content themselves with calling on only those pupils who were ready to answer, but made a point of involving every pupil during the lesson. In such classes it was useful to find that an atmosphere had been created in which pupils' contributions were valued by the teacher and by the rest of the class.

2.44 In the lessons where questioning was confined to a few pupils these were often either the ablest or the most vociferous, or both. The


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danger, which some newly trained teachers did not have the experience to avoid, was that compulsive talkers had more than their fair share of both questions and answers. In primary classrooms where the children were working in groups, questions were sometimes restricted to members of a single group, while the majority were left without this stimulus. Sometimes teachers addressed the whole class almost exclusively, and rarely directed questions to the silent, or they aimed their questions at the back wall, so that only those who wished to respond did so. In secondary classes, lack of balance in the distribution of questions was occasionally compounded by the prevailing lack of order and discipline; in these cases, the line of least resistance was to confine questioning to the most cooperative.

2.45 Questions may be open, in the sense that they put few constraints on the form and fewer on the content of the answers, or closed: genuine, in the sense that they are seeking information that the questioner does not possess, or 'ritualised', in that they are prompts towards a predetermined response or even 'slots' left for the pupil to fill in. And there are degrees both of genuineness and openness. The teacher's choice from this wide range depends upon the purpose to which questioning is put in the classroom - testing of recall, diagnosis of error, exploration of attitudes, summarising of argument, development of powers of logical reasoning. All of these and many other purposes may be appropriate on different occasions.

2.46 The survey shows that about one in three teachers were able to exploit this range of possibility quite successfully. Some had developed a very flexible technique, varying open with closed questions so as to elicit brief or extended replies as occasion demanded. Often the type of question was varied according to the pupil addressed. In a mixed-ability first-year secondary class learning French the teacher asked open questions requiring longer replies of the abler children and encouraged the least able by asking them a larger number of closed questions demanding one-word answers, which they felt confident to give.

2.47 A number of teachers were skilled at breaking down a problem into stages so that, by posing supplementary questions, they could narrow or broaden the scope of the enquiry helpfully for the pupils. One junior class was learning about the great plague. The lessons included such closed questions as "What did the doctors advise patients to do?", and then, more open, "What precautions might have been taken to stop the spread of plague?" Flexible questioning was a feature of some good secondary science lessons where teachers elicited the observations of the class and then went on to involve them in elucidating and elaborating the scientific principles at stake.

2.48 The great majority of teachers, however, were less than ideally skilful and flexible questioners. There was an undue preponderance of questions whose purpose was only to test factual recall and which required short answers, often only single words. Lessons containing too many relatively closed questions limited the pupils' opportunities to express and elaborate their own thinking. Even where questions took a more open form there were occasions when teachers


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were seeking only predetermined 'right' answers and pupils had clearly developed considerable skill in reading their teachers' minds. Other weaknesses observed in questioning techniques were superficiality, the questions failing to probe the knowledge of the pupils or to develop and stretch their reasoning powers, and imprecision, questions being so vaguely formulated that pupils were left uncertain of what was required of them.

2.49 Teachers were successful in two out of five lessons in making use of the pupils' answers. They were typically alert to notice when a contribution was particularly illustrative of the subject under discussion and skilful at highlighting the important points that arose, sometimes getting pupils to repeat and link significant observations and involving the class in summarising their discussions.

2.50 Teachers who did not exploit their pupils' contributions so well - perhaps from lack of confidence, lack of imagination or excess of rigidity - failed to see the opportunities that presented themselves. They tended to ignore interesting comments that were slightly off the point and were deaf to observations which, however sensible, did not fit into their own preconceived plan of the lesson. In one junior history class the teacher showed pictures of Egyptian treasures, asking the question, "What is it?" and anticipating one-word answers. A boy replied, "It's a dagger - a ceremonial dagger because of its ornate decoration". The teacher said, "Oh yes - that's right", and moved to the next picture. One effect of this kind of approach was that pupils had too few opportunities to extend their powers of reasoning and to explore and compare a number of solutions of the same problem.

Lesson profiles

2.51 In addition to recording their assessment of different aspects of the work observed HMI also wrote descriptions of the lessons and made a number of additional comments on what they had seen. These contributions were scrutinised with a view to building up profiles of the characteristics of the most and least successful lessons seen in primary and secondary schools. The following are brief descriptions of selected lessons which display characteristics associated with work of high quality.

Primary schools

2.52 I n primary schools such work fell into two distinct categories. In the first category were lessons where the teacher worked mainly with the class as a whole. Sometimes the work was the same for all but sometimes a common introduction led to differentiated work. In these lessons there appeared to be a well planned approach where the beginning aroused interest and all the children were drawn in. Development then led to the setting of tasks where either through some differentiation, or through teacher support and challenge, an attempt was made to cater for different abilities. The lessons ended with discussion which drew the work together and brought them to a satisfactory conclusion.

2.53 An English lesson for a 29-pupil class of 8 year olds started with the children seated around the teacher in a carpeted area of a mobile classroom. The teacher played a tape-recording of a market trader selling a toy. The "patter" gave a vague though colourful description


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of the toy with a warning of dire effects if the red and yellow buttons were pressed at the same time. The children's interest and curiosity were aroused and there were many questions during the discussion which followed. Sections of the tape were replayed when necessary in order that the pupils could work out their own answers. The children then wrote their own descriptions of the toy, describing what would happen if the buttons were pressed. The teacher moved around the class working with individuals and small groups of children, listening, questioning and extending responses.

2.54 Another example was a 26-pupil class of 10 year olds following a long-term project on their immediate environment. A large-scale plan of a housing estate was available and the children discussed what should be provided - houses, schools, shops, street lighting, play areas - and where they should be placed. Th rough skilful questioning the children were made to think like planners and they began to explore the central ideas of people living together in close community. At one time two groups of children disagreed strongly about the siting of a school and were required to examine the evidence which they had produced. All the children were involved at all stages of the lesson.

2.55 An example of a lesson in which a common introduction led into differentiated work was one with a 31-pupil class of9 year olds in mathematics. The lesson began with a revision of work previously done on area and perimeter. Questioning was appropriately varied, challenging the more able pupils and encouraging the least able. Examples were demonstrated on the blackboard and two levels of follow-up work were provided. The pupils were encouraged to check their calculations by drawing diagrams on squared paper. The teacher worked with individual children; as they finished this work it was checked and they were given graded worksheets of a suitable level of difficulty.

2.56 The second type of lesson was that devoted mainly or entirely to group and/or individual work. Sometimes the children were working on the same subject, for example, in mathematics using commercially produced assignment cards, sometimes on more than one subject. Children knew what to do and moved easily and quietly into groups. The range of work was well supported by equipment. Activity was developed and sustained by the teacher's timely interventions. Where appropriate the lesson ended with a short class discussion.

2.57 8 year old children were engaged on a lesson which involved group and individual work in more than one subject area. The class was divided into three groups and continued with work started on the previous day. The first group worked from commercial work cards, consulting with the teacher when necessary. A range of appropriate support material was available. In an adjoining work area, children were engaged on a series of experiments on floating and sinking. The work was well structured, appropriate materials were at hand and pupils were encouraged to form hypotheses, observe carefully and make deductions. The third group of children had collected a variety of musical instruments and were using these to answer questions on


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prepared work cards. The questions sometimes called for specific answers, eg "How can you playa high or a low note?" or more open-ended responses, eg "Describe the instrument or comment on the sounds it makes".

Secondary schools

2.58 The aim of a laboratory lesson in biology with 23 low-ability second-year pupils was to extend recent work on reproduction. The lesson started with good questioning techniques, through the extension of pupils' language ("when the sperm goes into the egg" became "when the sperm fertilises the egg"), the teacher's own use of language (the pupils' "stat" became "thermostat") and exploitation of pupils' responses. A demonstration followed and fertilised hens' eggs at various stages of development were opened and examined by pupils. This produced considerable interest and many questions, all of which were handled in an encouraging and confident manner. One pupil asked how chicks breathe and the class was invited to scan their booklets, where they found the necessary information. Pupils were constantly encouraged to observe, speculate, and look for patterns. Opportunities were provided for individual and small-group work and the teacher moved easily about the class questioning, reinforcing and, where appropriate, extending the explanation. Finally, pupils were asked to write their own account of how the egg was opened and what was observed with questions such as, "Why should eggs be turned regularly during incubation?" and "Why is the embryo near the top of the opened egg?", set for homework. The pupils were involved and interested and scientific thinking was encouraged.

2.59 I n a history lesson, 30 able )1 year olds had been engaged in examining various ways in which historians learn about the past - in particular about the Romans. Previous written work revealed an excellent range of topics and approaches involving diagrams, maps, imaginative writing and critical examination of different types of evidence. The lesson opened with a reminder of previous enquiries and a display of aerial photographs to illustrate how ancient buildings, field systems etc, can be identified. This led through open-ended questioning to discussion of the role of the archaeologist and a comparison was drawn with the work of a detective. The exercise set for the pupils was the examination of a "coin hoard" consisting of coins from 1860 to the present day. Pupils were asked to make deductions and this led to good oral work including extended responses. The question "How do we explain the small quantity of foreign coins in a mainly British collection?" evoked spirited and ingenious replies. The lesson proceeded by means of short explanations by the teacher, coupled with searching questions. The objective was clear - a critical examination of historical evidence and the pupils were closely involved in the activity.

Summary

2.60 Paragraphs 2.52 to 2.59 illustrate a number of factors identified most frequently as associated with good practice and which, taken together. were found to be particularly significant. These include: pupils' participation, interest and involvement; good organisation with a balance and variety of activities, efficient use of materials and equipment; good relationships often characterised by a shared sense of purpose and mutual respect; productive and lively discussion


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usually associated with appropriately varied questioning techniques; good planning and preparation and a choice of content appropriate to the ages and abilities of the pupils. These factors were clearly interdependent and it was rare to find work of high quality in respect of some of them but not of others.

2.61 Characteristics most commonly associated with lessons of low quality included: poor relationships and class control, particularly in secondary schools, where occasionally these seriously inhibited the teaching and rendered meaningless any comment on other aspects: little dialogue between teacher and pupils or little class discussion; ill defined aims and poor planning; bad organisation and unclear instructions producing uncertainty and confusion: undemanding work and poor quality of learning; insufficient differentiation of tasks to take account of differences of ability and attainment in a class or group; an excessive amount of copying of written material or the taking down of dictated notes.

2.62 Successful or unsuccessful lessons were not consistently associated with the presence of older or younger children, or children of different levels of ability or with the size of the class. It should, however, be noted that in nearly all the least successful lessons, teachers were working under external constraints of one sort or another (see paragraphs 5.41ff). Lessons which fall into this category exemplify serious weaknesses of teaching techniques or failure to form satisfactory relationships with pupils, but it seems likely that these shortcomings were in many cases exacerbated by the circumstances of the lessons. Under more favourable conditions, some might well have been more successful. Finally, the presence in the classroom of an observer affects the work differently in different circumstances. HMI's presence may well have served as a constraint upon the teacher in some cases.



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3 The training


Mastery of teaching skills

3.1 HMI judged to what extent the new teachers displayed a mastery of the skills they might have been expected to acquire as a result of training, and to record this on as-point scale, the lower end of which indicated a serious lack of some basic skills. With some 130 HMI involved in the assessments, however careful the briefing, there is bound to have been some variation in the level of judgement, and some teachers might well have been included in an adjacent category by a different observer. HMl's judgement, however, relates closely to the schools' assessment of the new teachers' mastery of teaching techniques", though tending to be somewhat more severe. The judgements may also have been influenced by the circumstances of the lessons seen, which in some cases made it more difficult for the probationers to display their mastery of some teaching skills. Though good and bad lessons were seen in a variety of circumstances, it has already been pointed out that nearly all the least successful lessons were affected by external constraints of one sort or another, and these are analysed later (paragraphs 5.37ff.). There are also problems of definition - one cannot with any certainty distinguish between the skills derived from training (at college or in the early months of teaching) and those derived from natural attributes which could have led to successful teaching largely independently of training. All these provisos underline the need to treat these categories with caution as far as the individual teacher is concerned. Overall, however, they may be taken to give a broad indication of the range of effectiveness of the

Figure 2 Mastery of teaching skills on a 1-5 scale** - HMI assessment

*See paragraphs 5.5ff, and Appendix 2 paragraphs 14ff.

**Ratings are on a scale 1-5 where 1 = displays a mastery of all the skills he/she might have been expected to acquire through training and 5 = lacks some basic skills.


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initial selection and training of this group of teachers. The categories themselves have relatively little meaning apart from the characteristics displayed by the teachers included in each of them. The following summaries, derived from the comments which HM I made to illustrate and explain their assessments, attempt to sketch these characteristics. Examples are added of primary and secondary teachers in each category.

HMI's assessment

3.2 It is broadly encouraging to find 43 per cent of primary teachers and 40 per cent of secondary teachers in the first two categories, and the great majority - nearly three-quarters - of both groups of teachers in the top three categories. But, at the same time, one is bound to ask why, when there is no shortage of applicants for teaching posts, as many as a quarter of the teachers in the sample should be markedly deficient in a number of the teaching skills which they might have been expected to acquire through their training. (See Figure 2).

The categories
Category 1

3.3 Nine of the 93 primary and 25 of the 20 I secondary teachers were placed in this category. They showed exceptional confidence and natural talent and their personal qualities had combined with the training to contribute to the level of success being achieved. Enthusiasm, perceptiveness, energy, hard work, common sense, intelligence, firmness, adaptability, tenacity, intuitiveness, sensitivity, and friendliness were amongst those qualities which helped them put their training into effective practice. These teachers were described as showing a high degree of competence in planning and classroom organisation, excellent relations with pupils, good lesson preparation. with work pitched at the right level, skilful questioning, good pacing and sound subject knowledge. Many demonstrated imaginative teaching approaches. Several teachers were particularly interested in establishing means of testing the effectiveness of the learning that was taking place.

3.4 A primary school example from the first category is a four-year BEd graduate from a voluntary college with geography as her main subject, described by HMI as unusually gifted. She was very well satisfied with both the balance and content of her training. Her work with 9 and 10 year olds covered the whole primary curriculum except music and her training had prepared her for most of the areas except drama and religious education. She was receiving very good support from the school, and relationships in the school were very good. There is no reason to doubt her judgement of her initial training, and the school, staffed with able teachers, was run in such a way that all could share in each other's strengths. The two lessons seen were very different - one was an oral class lesson: in the other, children worked in groups. In the former the teacher and nine year old pupils were engaged in discussion about the planning of the area around the school. All the children were involved, they responded well to open questioning, and when they differed among themselves (sometimes strongly) they were encouraged to resolve the difference by reference to the evidence they themselves had provided". I n the latter, dialogue between teacher and pupils was again good. The children worked in groups according to personal choice and also chose whether to do first their assigned work in mathematics or English. The teacher varied the time she gave to groups and individuals according to their needs, but

*See also paragraph 2.54


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those who were not receiving attention at anyone time continued to work steadily and purposefully. The teacher called upon a wide range of teaching skills and showed no real weaknesses of technique.

3.5 An example from secondary schools is a university graduate in English who had trained at the university from which he graduated. His concluding comments on his PGCE course are worth recording:

"Generally I was very satisfied with my PGCE course, principally because I didn't expect it to give me all the answers. I did feel that several of the tutors on the course were completely out of touch with what was going on in the classroom; however, these were balanced by a few really outstandingly good teachers. Teaching practice [at the comprehensive school to which he was later appointed] allowed me scope to learn much about socially deprived children and those from different cultural backgrounds. I felt completely integrated into the life of the school and its staff-room. . , the term passed very quickly and enjoyably and was the highlight of the year. My [English] tutor's visits were unintimidating, honest, constructive and generally appreciated as was the advice which several members of the English department offered me." In his first post the support he was receiving from the school was good and relationships appeared excellent. His teaching programme, a heavy one, matched his ability and training very well. All identifiable factors pointed to continuing success. First, his personal qualities of enthusiasm, concern and sensitivity as well as his sociability made him much liked and respected by staff and pupils. His academic background was highly respectable and he showed great commitment to his subject. His classroom management was most impressive - he could obtain silence or lively discussion without apparent effort. His pacing and timing of lessons was extremely good, and he introduced a good variety of useful activities. He was clearly a naturally good teacher who had put his academic and professional training to very good use.

Category 2

3.6 The range of teaching skills* displayed by teachers in this category included good class management, good relations with pupils and satisfactory lesson preparation and presentation leading to an interesting and stimulating working environment. Aspects which were identified as requiring further attention and development for some of the teachers included assessment procedures and differentiation of content and teaching approaches for pupils with different abilities, including those in mixed-ability classes. Doubt was sometimes expressed about the teachers' preparedness for dealing with disadvantaged pupils; some too were ill equipped for teaching multiethnic groups. Occasionally the need was noted for teachers to adjust the pace of the lessons, to improve the impact of their work, to exploit learning opportunities more fully, to avoid over-direction and provide sufficient challenge for pupils to develop independence in study skills. A number of those included in this category showed personal qualities such as those mentioned in the preceding paragraph. which contributed strongly to the mastery of the skills displayed. A few secondary school teachers appeared to need some extension of skills and knowledge, particularly in second and other teaching subjects.

3.7 An example from primary schools of this category is a three-year BEd graduate trained in a polytechnic which she entered as a mature

*The range of skills referred to here and elsewhere is that described in Chapter 2.


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student. Her main subject was religious education but the course also provided a broad coverage of the curriculum for 4 to 8 year olds. She was well supported by the school, and had very good relations with the head and staff. She had shown herself very ready to profit from the advice of more experienced teachers. She had been given a very testing assignment, perhaps inappropriate for a probationer, that of establishing a new nursery unit, with all that that entailed - ordering books and equipment, establishing relationships with parents, and developing a working association with an NNEB assistant. She had two groups of 4 year olds, each for half a day, about a third of whom were from ethnic minorities - the school was in a depressing inner city area to which the bright and attractive classroom in which the unit was housed presented a cheering contrast. Her previous experience as a social worker had proved valuable and she appeared to have quickly established very good relations with the children and their parents. In the two lessons observed the teacher and the NNEB assistant provided a variety of well planned individual and group activities. There was a great deal of talking and laughing and friendly cooperation between the children, while others were completely engrossed in painting or building with construction sets. In general the children worked well together and were encouraged by the two adults to talk about what they were doing. The main weakness indicated by her teaching was the failure to plan and carry out a fully effective language programme across the ability range of her pupils. The head of the infants school was aware of this and planned to provide special help in the months ahead.

3.8 A secondary school example of this category, also a mature student, took a three-year BEd degree at an institute of higher education with mathematics as her main subject. She was in general very well satisfied with her training, the main weaknesses she identified being in relation to the pastoral side of her role, the teaching of ethnic minorities and preparation for the world of work. More seriously the work in her specialist subject was focussed almost exclusively on 'modern' mathematics and this has related poorly to her current post where the mathematics taught was largely 'traditional'. In general she felt that the time devoted to the main subject at college was less than it should have been, though the complementary breadth of the college curriculum had given her confidence to do the supply work she had been called upon to do in various subjects for teachers who were absent. While in general she had received good support from the school, the long absence of the head of department had been a disadvantage. In the mathematics lessons seen the teacher managed her work well and her quiet approach was very effective. She set realistic objectives and achieved them through her good relationships with the pupils and her very competent adjustment of work to the range of abilities present. With both II year olds and 15 year olds the topics might have been handled more imaginatively and their possibilities more fully developed. This was particularly the case with the class of II year olds whose work on coordinates was restricted to calculating values and plotting points. The lesson went smoothly according to plan. Pupils did what was asked of them, they drew on previous knowledge and accepted what was offered with limited enthusiasm - greater demands might well have earned fuller


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response. Within the limitations she adopted, the work was competently and efficiently handled. The teacher's appointment was a temporary one and officially part-time, though in fact she was teaching a very heavy programme of 37 out of40 periods, much of it in subjects outside her specialism. This made the appointment a most inappropriate one for a probationer and rendered the degree of success she was achieving the more commendable.

Category 3

3.9 Generally teachers placed in this category had developed satisfactory organisational and management techniques although they revealed shortcomings in certain other respects, particularly those associated with a relatively low expectation of pupils' attainment. More generally there was some lack of success in matching levels of work with pupils' abilities and aptitudes and in maintaining steady progress. This was of particular concern where pupils with special needs were involved, whether in the context of urban disadvantage, multi-ethnic communities or generally within mixed-ability classes. Amongst primary teachers, weaknesses were also noted in timing and judging the right time to step in to help pupils or challenge them to think more deeply. Some teachers showed inflexibility in their teaching styles and in one or two cases a lack of skill in evaluating their own teaching. Some specific curriculum shortcomings were noted, mainly in mathematics, language, reading" and PE. A number of secondary teachers showed weaknesses in some aspects of the methodology of teaching their main subjects and in the effective use of questioning. Some failed to mark pupils' work purposefully. There were a few examples where lack of confidence impeded effectiveness.

3.10 A primary school example from this category is a four-year BEd graduate trained at an institute of higher education which he entered as a mature student. He took a middle years course and followed main courses in mathematics and art. He was teaching a group of nine year olds for all subjects, including several for which he had no preparation in his training, eg science, history, geography, music and religious education. He himself commented on this, as well as his lack of preparation for teaching the full social and academic range of children and for the pastoral side of his role. Relationships in the school were good, but support was of a neutral kind - advice and help were available, but this rather quiet, insecure new teacher did not appear ready to ask for help. In both the two lessons seen, one in mathematics, and the other in physical education, while the lesson framework was sound, the content was poorly planned with no flexibility to cope with the different abilities of the pupils. In mathematics the pace was slow, many children were bored and the noise level was unacceptable. In physical education there was little development of pupils' skills - little real teaching took place. The teacher had good relationships with the children, was hard-working and conscientious and prepared his work thoroughly, putting in long hours in the evenings. More positive guidance from the LEA and the school might well have made this effort more productive.

3.11 A secondary school example is a four-year BEd graduate in religious education who had trained at an institute of higher

*The frequency of mention of these subjects in this context to some extent reflects the fact that English and mathematics were far more commonly seen during visits to primary schools than any other subjects, art and science being the next most commonly observed.


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education. She was in general satisfied with her training, particularly in preparing her to plan and evaluate lessons and to manage the classroom. Part of her main subject study had been in groups which included students reading for degrees in theology and this had been stimulating. The level of support, especially from senior tutor and head of department and the quality of relationships within the school were good. She had 12 different groups to teach during the week and the consequent marking load was a heavy one. The teacher had a commanding classroom manner, displayed good relationships with her pupils and managed them well. Her objectives, however. were limited and her questioning techniques were poor. She failed to exploit the possibilities of language development - for example, imprecision in the children'S use of words was not sharpened up. This was particularly shown in a lesson concerned with the concept of friendship. Pupils were first asked to write answers to questions about friendship, a story illustrating friendship was then read and this was followed by questions and discussion. It was at this point that opportunities were lost for coming to grips with the subtleties of meaning - pupils' answers were insufficiently probed, the abler pupils got away with easy conventional responses and the experience of the children themselves was not fully drawn upon. The teacher herself recognised her weaknesses in exploiting the relationship between language and the development of ideas, and felt that she had been poorly prepared for this side of her work in the course of training.

Category 4

3.12 Teachers in this category showed some failure in classroom control, organisation and management. There were weaknesses in planning the lesson content and in selecting appropriate materials for the less able and the more able, particularly in mixed-ability classes, in assessing pupils' progress, in involving pupils fully in their work and in exploiting learning opportunities. Primary teachers showed weaknesses in some area s of the curriculum such as language (especially reading) and mathematics. Secondary teachers' subject knowledge was not always matched by professional competence and confidence - in some cases training had apparently failed to keep abreast of contemporary development in the teaching of the subject. There were several instances where shyness and lack of confidence tended to contribute to the difficulties which the newly trained teacher was experiencing. On the other hand, occasionally personal qualities, particularly those of determination and willingness to work hard, appeared to be positive factors which compensated for technical weaknesses or indicated potential for overcoming difficulties.

3.13 A primary school example from this category was a three-year BEd graduate from a voluntary college trained for first schools. with religious education as her main subject and history as a subsidiary subject. She was generally satisfied with her training though she recognised weaknesses in her preparation for teaching mixed-age groups and less able and socially deprived children. She considered that she would have been better prepared if more time had been spent on professional studies - "my professional studies courses in art consisted in six hours of contact time with tutors in a three-year course". It appeared that, though there were three probationers in the school, the level of support and the quality of relationships were not


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good. HMl's judgement was that, despite her training, the probationer lacked understanding of the sort of work appropriate to 5 year olds. The lessons observed showed serious weaknesses across the range of teaching skills. In one the majority of children were largely left to their own devices while the teacher concentrated on reading practice with individuals. In the other, in which the children were arranged in groups, the tasks set were undemanding and failed to arouse the children's interest. The work as a whole was pedestrian.

3.14 A secondary example is a polytechnic music graduate who took a PGCE at a voluntary college. The teacher commended the PGCE course for the experience it gave him of work in schools, the generally good balance of the work and the emphasis on the practical side of training. He was more critical of the over-intensive timetable which led to superficiality, the 'irrelevance' of much of the writing he was asked to do and above all of the out-of-date teaching methods in his subject, caused, he believed, by his method tutor's lack of contact with schools. In his present post his teaching was very largely restricted to music but the school approach to music depended on familiarity with a range of electronic equipment, included synthesisers, for which his training had not equipped him. One lesson observed led up to the recording of a piece of music in the contemporary 'pop' idiom performed by the pupils. At the end of the lesson their performance was compared with a professional one. The discussion started well but was not sustained. The other lesson involved creative music-making in groups which then came together to perform to each other. The class enjoyed the lesson but were at times too boisterous - the teacher found it difficult to control the over-excitement which his style of teaching had generated. The effectiveness of the work seen was in fact greater than might have been expected from the gaps in the teacher's mastery of skills, largely because of his energy and enthusiasm. He had a very full timetable (36 out of 40 periods) and also took groups of pupils in lunch hours and after school. He was very tired at the end of the school day.

Category 5

3.15 In this category were placed four primary and 18 secondary teachers, All demonstrated serious shortcomings in a wide range of teaching skills. Many showed limited classroom control and lack of the organisational skills necessary for teaching a wide range of ability. Some primary teachers had been inadequately prepared for certain curricular areas. In a few cases the personal qualities of the teachers, including the will to succeed, were helping to outweigh the failings of training or support; in others they compounded them.

3.16 An example of this category from the primary schools is a three-year BEd graduate who entered an institute of higher education as a mature student. She took a first school course with mathematics and history as main subjects, and a range of professional studies which covered most of the curriculum she was teaching in her first post. She described herself as 'reasonably satisfied' with her training, though she found the theoretical bias, especially during the first year, before she had any experience in schools, unhelpful. Weaknesses she pinpointed were in preparation for teaching mixed-age groups, working in an integrated programme and open-plan conditions, and


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classroom management. No doubt these deficiencies were brought home to the teacher by the difficulties of her teaching assignment - a class containing children from three age groups. This was regarded by HMI as probably the most demanding job in the school, and it was therefore particularly unfortunate that little or no help appeared to be forthcoming either from school or LEA. The teacher's relationships with her colleagues did not seem to be easy. She was aware of the combination of skills needed and had ambitiously attempted a pattern of work which integrated most of the day's work, but was ill equipped to carry it out. The result was that in the lessons seen there was very little actual teaching and not enough work to keep the children fully occupied even at a fairly modest level of learning. The outcome of this was a high level of noise and restlessness throughout the lesson. Most worryingly, the teacher appeared to accept this without distress.

3.17 An example from secondary school is a university graduate in science and mathematics who took a PGCE at the university from which he graduated. He was in general satisfied with his training, though he singled out the pastoral side of his role as one for which he felt ill prepared. The school had provided a modest level of support, though the head of department's contribution to this appeared to be poor. The lessons observed showed the teacher's weaknesses in nearly all the relevant teaching skills, though he clearly knew his subject well. There were poor relations with the pupils and a general lack of control in the classroom. Preparation and marking were not sufficiently thorough, and the teacher was unselfcritical. In one of the lessons seen, the first ten minutes of the single laboratory period was spent in giving out books, dealing with late arrivals and generally trying to gain control. Few listened to the teacher's half-hearted revision of earlier work on carbon dioxide and an attempt to demonstrate the reaction of this gas with limewater ended in chaos when all the limewater was accidentally blown out of the bottle. The experiment was abandoned at this point. A worksheet and a quite inappropriate textbook were given out and the pupils, with varying degrees of enthusiasm, spent the last part of the lesson trying to answer the questions, while the teacher moved about the class explaining individually when difficulties arose. The other lesson seen was comparable. The circumstances in which this probationer was teaching, however, were hardly favourable. The two classes observed were both difficult, and if, as HMI was assured, they were typical of his programme, the probationer was having a very demanding introduction to teaching. The fact that his teaching took place in nine different rooms in the course of each week did not help.

Comment

3.18 It is notable that in the case of both primary and secondary teachers in almost all the categories the commonest weakness appeared to be the failure to assess pupils' work and to match teaching methods and materials to their needs, particularly where there was a wide range of ability, aptitude or cultural background present. Accepting the fact that this is both probably one of the most demanding tasks that face teachers and also one which they progressively learn to tackle more skilfully with increased experience, it is difficult to resist the conclusion that more attention should be given to this area of professional preparation in the course of training. This conclusion needs to be related both to the teachers' own


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perceptions of the extent to which their training had prepared them for such tasks (see paragraphs 3.31 to 3.33) and to HMIs' judgement that this is one of the areas in which schools had offered probationers rather less help than in many others (see paragraph 5.51).

3.19 Though HMI were asked to concentrate their assessment on skills acquired through training, it was difficult in many cases to separate these from the personal qualities of the teachers, and this suggests that the selection of suitable students for training is as important as the content of the training itself.

3.20 The weaknesses identified were sometimes associated not so much with the quality of training as with its appropriateness for the teachers' current tasks. 6 of the 24 primary teachers and I I of the 53 secondary teachers in categories 4 and 5 were in their present posts as the result of appointments described by the schools as "not suitable"*, generally because the job did not match their training whether in phase or subject or both.

The new teachers' views

3.21 In the questionnaires that were filled in before HMIs' visits the new teachers were asked for their views about the extent to which their training had prepared them for a number of tasks that they might meet in the schools, and about the balance of time devoted to different elements within their training. Clearly their views were influenced by a number of factors: the type of course they had followed and its structure; the nature of the institution in which they had trained and the circumstances of the institution at the time (see paragraphs 1.10 and 1.11); the quality of teaching in the different components of the course that they had followed; their own individual strengths and weaknesses; the nature of their first posts and the type and extent of the difficulties which they had met; the quality of education and level of expectation obtaining in the schools in which they were teaching. It must also be remembered that their views are likely to change at different stages in their teaching careers - their judgement of the college course five years after starting teaching might be very different from that halfway through their first year. Some of the teachers' perceptions need to be interpreted with care because it is clear from their comments that a few made a mental distinction between college-based work and school practice and' based their judgements only or mainly on the former, while the majority (as was intended) treated the training programme as a whole. Nevertheless. we can derive from their responses, taken as a whole, a reasonably clear and coherent picture of the degree of satisfaction that the teachers felt about the level of preparation they had received for different aspects of their teaching. This degree of satisfaction is an important element in building up confidence in the first year of teaching.

3.22 Teachers were asked to make their responses on a 5-point scale: a sixth category enabled them to state that they felt that preparation for anyone of the 21 tasks listed was not appropriate to the course they had followed. An opportunity was given for further comment or the mention of other aspects of training, and the following paragraphs reflect the generosity with which teachers responded to this opportunity. There were some differences between the opinions of

*See paragraphs 5.1ff.


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those who had been trained through the PGCE and BEd routes and these are discussed in paragraphs 3.50ff. HMl's comment on the views of the teachers in the light of their own assessment of work in the classroom is referred to in paragraph 3.39, and reference to one common discrepancy between the views of the teachers and their performance is made in paragraph 3.33.

Table 11 Probationers' views about aspects of their training (1)

Some basic teaching skills

3.23 In the case of a number of basic teaching skills concerned with planning, classroom management, assessment, subject teaching and the use of language in the classroom, the majority (between 70 and 86


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per cent) felt at least adequately prepared (Categories 1 to 3) and over half well prepared (Categories 1 and 2). (See Table 11).

3.24 More secondary than primary teachers considered themselves well prepared to teach their specialist subject and to understand its place in the curriculum. The responses of the primary teachers indicated that a number of them (about one in five) did not regard these questions as appropriate. This is surprising, since a curricular subject studied in depth with the content and approach closely linked to its teaching in school can be of value to primary teachers through giving them extra confidence in an area of the curriculum and opening up the possibility of their acting as consultants to other staff as they gain in skill and experience.

3.25 More secondary than primary teachers felt well prepared for classroom management, over a quarter of primary teachers feeling that they had had little or no preparation in this respect. It may be that primary teachers in their first year of teaching are made more aware of the complexities of classroom management by the style of teaching they adopt and that the demands made upon their preparation are thus greater.

3.26 More primary teachers than secondary teachers felt that they had been given a good understanding of the place of language in learning, though it is possible, judging from some of their additional comments, that the full implications of this item were not recognised by either group.

3.27 Sound training in the use of audio-visual aids involves not only the acquisition of skills, such as operating a tape-recorder, but, more significantly, an understanding of the principles governing the selection, preparation and use of teaching materials to support planned activities which may range, for example, from the presentation of an audio-visual course in modern languages teaching to making pre-recorded material for individuals or small groups engaged in the early stages of reading and writing. Most schools have a good supply of audio-visual equipment so it is disappointing to record that only about half of the probationers felt that they had been well prepared to use it.

3.28 Just over half of the teachers considered themselves at least adequately prepared to relate their teaching to the world of work, rather fewer in the case of those in primary schools, over a quarter of whom thought that such preparation was not appropriate to their course of training. It is clear that many of the teachers interpreted this question narrowly as referring mainly to direct links with industry.

3.29 Three teachers in ten felt that they had had little or no preparation for assessing their pupils' work, and this is worrying in view of the key role of assessment in matching teaching methods and work to pupils' abilities.

3.30 Over a half felt inadequately prepared to undertake pastoral duties in relation to the welfare of the class in their charge. The


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pastoral role of the teacher is very different in primary and secondary schools. Secondary school teachers in particular expanded on this item in their additional comments. No fewer than 28 of those who commented indicated that the work of a form tutor was either not covered in their course or could have been given greater emphasis, while only one teacher commented favourably on his preparation for this role. Both primary and secondary teachers also mentioned their lack of preparation for communication, at both formal and informal levels, with children's parents.

Table 12 Probationers' views about aspects of their training (2)

Matching work to different abilities

3.31 Teachers may expect to have in their classes children with a wide range of ability and of social and cultural backgrounds. There are obvious limitations in a training which, in the words of one of the respondents, prepared her "adequately for teaching in a small suburban primary group in a middle-class area" but not "for the Special Priority Area urban multi-cultural mixture" that she was now experiencing. About three-quarters of the teachers in the sample considered themselves at least adequately prepared for teaching able pupils, two-thirds for teaching less able pupils, a half for teaching the socially deprived and fewer than a half for teaching children with different cultural backgrounds. Secondary teachers were more likely to be satisfied than primary teachers with their training for teaching the more able and less satisfied with their training for teaching the less able and the socially deprived.

3.32 There was a tendency for more teachers working in schools in less favoured catchment areas, likely to contain socially deprived children, to report themselves satisfied with their preparation to teach such children. In particular, some primary teachers spoke highly of their training for teaching the less advantaged, and said that the problems had been extensively and helpfully discussed. One difficulty mentioned by several teachers, however, was that some of the topics


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were available only as optional courses - "it was impossible to take all of them or sometimes even to take the one that you particularly wanted to follow because of other course demands". Few teachers thought that such areas of work were not appropriate to their course (perhaps it is surprising that there were any who thought so) and one cannot but feel concerned about a situation where roughly a half of the teachers felt that they had had little or no preparation for teaching either socially deprived children or children of cultural backgrounds different from their own.

3.33 The vast majority of teachers in primary schools and nearly two-thirds of the secondary teachers in the sample had programmes which included the teaching of mixed-ability groups. Such classes make particular demands on the teacher's ability to plan a suitable programme or organise the class in different ways for different activities, to manage resources and set appropriate levels of expectation for individual pupils. Three-quarters of all teachers considered themselves at least adequately prepared to teach such groups, with a greater level of satisfaction among primary teachers. Among secondary teachers, those whose programmes included a higher proportion of mixed-ability work were more satisfied with their preparation in this respect. In view, however, of HMI's assessment of weaknesses in this respect (see especially paragraph 2.19) it may be that many new teachers are not yet fully aware of the demands that such teaching should make upon them.

Table 13 Probationers' views about aspects of their training (3)

Some skills for primary teachers

3.34 A further group of questions was aimed particularly at the primary teachers. About three-quarters of the primary teachers considered themselves adequately prepared to teach mathematics and almost as many to teach reading. Comments from those less satisfied with their mathematics courses mentioned lack of training to deal with the extremes of ability, to sequence work or to develop mathematical


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concepts, and lack of opportunity to evaluate and become familiar with equipment and resources. On reading a typical comment made by teachers trained for the younger age group was, "We were provided with plenty of opportunity to study various reading schemes and given adequate information about the development of phonic and reading skills." Others complained of "an insufficient proportion of the course time devoted to the teaching of reading, in particular the development of pre-reading and early reading skills" while some referred to "too much theory and too little practical work".

3.35 A number of the primary teachers in the sample were teaching mixed-age classes, and more are likely to do so as school rolls decline. In view of the particular set of problems that such classes can present, it is disappointing to find that fewer than a half of the primary teachers felt reasonably confident about their preparation in this respect. Since mixed-age classes tend to be in reality extended mixed-ability classes, it may be that teachers received more training in this respect than they realised (see paragraph 3.33).

3.36 Of the primary teachers 45 per cent expressed the view that they were not prepared through their training for work in open-plan schools. The written comments from 8 teachers suggest that such training as they had received came from their experience on teaching practice in schools organised in this way. One added, "On teaching practice I taught three different age groups in three different situations from open-plan to formal. So I feel well equipped to face different situations which may arise." Since open-plan schools are not evenly distributed in relation to training institutions, it may be difficult to provide suitable experience. One teacher noted, "the teaching from the education studies department tended to concentrate on the integrated day, open-plan schools and informal teaching, and yet teaching practice was in more formal schools".

3.37 Three-quarters of the primary school teachers considered themselves at least adequately prepared to teach in situations where the work is largely based on the 'integrated day', a form of organisation that they are likely to meet in many schools.

3.38 A final question directed to all teachers refers to preparation for the various minor administrative tasks that teachers find themselves carrying out, from marking the register to collecting the dinner money. Virtually all the teachers considered preparation for these to be a relevant part of their training course, but three-quarters of them felt underprepared. Uncertainty as to how to tackle some of the small administrative tasks can loom surprisingly large amongst the anxieties of newly appointed teachers. "When first at my present school I was at a complete loss as regards duties such as marking the register, collecting the dinner money. This may seem a small point to raise, but one can look particularly stupid and new when one does make a mistake." Individuals called for more help in other duties such as playground supervision, arranging visits, accident procedure, report writing and the ordering of equipment. Since procedures in many of these matters vary from local authority to local authority, and even from school to


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school, it may well be that this aspect of training is more the responsibility of the school than of the training institution.

3.39 HMI commented whenever possible on the views of the newly trained teachers about the preparation they had received for different aspects of teaching, in the light of their assessment of these same aspects of work in the classroom and their overall judgement of the probationers' teaching skills. Such comments are available in nearly three-quarters of the cases. In just under a half of these HMI judged the probationers' views to be well founded, and in rather over a third they thought that probationers had been over-generous in assessing the effectiveness of their training, in the light of the skills they exhibited in the classroom.

3.40 It is therefore disturbing to find that in many of the aspects of training that have been discussed at least a fifth of the teachers felt ill-prepared and that in some aspects this proportion increased to nearly three-fifths. It is often pointed out that pressure of time is a very severe constraint upon initial teacher training, especially, though not uniquely, upon the one-year paCE course. When this pressure leads to the setting up of optional courses, in order to ensure that some coverage is available for every area, very careful thought needs to be given to what may properly be optional elements in teacher training and what belongs to the core. Some of the new teachers seem to have missed important elements of training either through unwise choices of options or the impossibility of pursuing some courses that they would have chosen but for timetabling difficulties. The teaching of the socially deprived, of children from different cultural backgrounds and (in primary schools) of mixed-aged groups, sometimes in open-plan surroundings, is likely to be part of the experience of the majority of teachers sooner or later in their careers. So the views of a substantial proportion of those included in the present sample, that they had not been adequately prepared in each of these respects, needs to be given serious consideration. Lack of preparation for the pastoral role which all teachers have to fulfil is an even more serious omission. Initial training is only a first stage, and the teachers' professional development must to a considerable extent depend on subsequent inservice training. Nevertheless, the teachers' security in their first year of teaching may in many cases depend on an adequate grounding in each of these areas.

The balance of training courses

3.41 Teachers were asked to comment on the balance of time devoted to different aspects of the courses they had taken. The lowest level of satisfaction was with the amount of time devoted to teaching method, where nearly three-fifths thought too little ti me had been given. Nearly a half of the teachers thought that too much time had been given to education studies, and too little to both of the main school-based activities, classroom observation and teaching practice. While the patterns of responses from primary and secondary teachers were broadly similar in most cases, there were important differences in emphasis. In particular primary teachers were less satisfied than their secondary counterparts with the time devoted to teaching method and teaching practice.


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Table 14 Probationers' views about the balance of training courses

3.42 The item about the balance of time allocated to academic and specialist subject work refers only to BEd, where academic and professional work often proceed in parallel. Here the views of primary and secondary teachers are opposed, Of secondary teachers, three-fifths were satisfied with the balance and a third thought that too little time was given to academic work. Of the primary teachers, only two-fifths were satisfied and almost half thought that too much time was given. The difference of views clearly reflects the difference in attitudes towards the importance of subject mastery for teaching in primary schools, and also the pressing need felt by primary school teachers for their courses to prepare them adequately for the wide range of curriculum areas they will have to deal with.

3.43 The great majority of new teachers responded to the invitation to add their own comments about their training, and these throw light on the criteria they used in judging the balance of their courses. One primary teacher who commended the balance between practice and theory in her PGCE said that just over a half of the academic year had been spent in a primary school. Another clearly regarded the close links between the different elements within BEd and their careful sequencing as aspects of good balance. Integration of this sort was weakest when there was a lack of cooperation or even "rivalry" between departments, or in some cases where courses were based on "modules viewed as isolated units". Another teacher, who described the course as very comprehensive, referred to the advantages and disadvantages of having a number of options made available. "The balance depended to a large extent on the range and consequent choice of option courses." Others welcomed the opportunity to ., devise your own programme of work to suit your own particular needs". The disadvantages of the options arrangement have already been referred to (paragraph 3.40).


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3.44 There was widespread criticism of the lack of application of much of the work in both PGCE and BEd courses to the task of teaching. The statement that the course "seemed to be preoccupied with the theory of education without any attempt to consider the practical problems that would be faced in the classroom" was typical of many. Some thought that "work in education studies became increasingly theoretical and distanced from the school as the course progressed through the four years". Others criticised the heavy load of education theory at the outset of the course, before it could be set within the context of school experience. The fourth year of some BEd courses was singled out for particular criticism by others as having "an overwhelming academic bias". One teacher commented about her final year, "I should have appreciated more contact with schools," while another whose final teaching practice came in the fourth year commended the timing.* In contrast there were a few students who found their education studies "informative, interesting and well balanced", providing "a sound theoretical basis from which to develop the practical skills of teaching". Others, while finding little practical value in their education studies at present, expected that at some future stage in their careers the value might become apparent.

3.45 Professional or teaching method courses were widely regarded as valuable, and many teachers would have liked more time devoted to them. But their comments reflect a variety of experiences within such courses. A secondary teacher of history, as a result of the PGCE method course, felt "well trained in the preparation of classroom materials, and how to make the best use of the materials available". But even method courses are not exempt from the criticism of being too theoretical, "All too often lecturers in professional studies fail to get down to classroom practicalities".

3.46 School experience, including both observation and teaching practice, was highly valued, and particular stress was laid by some teachers on the help and guidance received from the schools in which they had worked. But observation, it was felt by some, would have been more effective if it had been better structured and directed, with clearer guidance about the observations to be made and the use to which they should subsequently be put. The major criticism of teaching practice concerned its distribution, with the bulk of practice being crammed generally into the middle two years of a four-year course.

3.47 Whereas academic work was praised by one primary school teacher for combining "the study of a subject at an adult level with an understanding of how to teach it", adverse criticism was based, in a number of cases, on the inappropriateness, in the view of the new teachers, of the contents of the academic course and their "isolation from any practical application in schools". Some prima ry teachers felt that the study of two subjects at an equal but lower level than the present single specialist subject study would have been more valuable to them in teaching, while a middle school teacher felt almost "over-prepared" to teach her specialist SUbject, to the neglect of other subjects such as art and science which she was also required to teach.

*Fewer than one in three primary teachers and one in four secondary teachers in sample who had followed a four-year BEd had had their final teaching practice during the last year of the course.


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3.48 Two-thirds of the primary teachers who had completed PGCE referred to the shortness of the course. One said, "the one-year PGCE course is totally inadequate for the training of primary teachers", and others quoted time allowances of as little as 24 hours for studying the teaching of mathematics, 12 hours for art and craft and 5 hours for music. A number of secondary teachers were also highly critical of the length of the PGCE course.

3.49 About a third of the primary teachers expressed an overall view about their training, and of these, satisfied teachers outnumbered the dissatisfied in the ratio three to one. Secondary teachers tended to restrict their comments to specific points of praise or criticism, and the unfavourable comments exceeded the favourable. Even where they expressed general satisfaction - some 17 teachers described their course as" well balanced" - they usually hedged their judgement with some reservations.

BEd, PGCE and kinds of training institution*

3.50 In both primary and secondary schools the sample contained, in different proportions, teachers who had followed the BEd and PGCE routes, and who had trained in a variety of types of institution (see paragraph I. 10). Amongst the primary but not the secondary school teachers there was a statistically significant relationship between their mastery of teaching skills as judged by HMI and the type of course followed (see Figures 4 and 5). with teachers who had followed a four-year BEd course tending to show a better level of mastery than the other groups**. There was no significant association between the level of mastery and the type of training institution in the case of either primary or secondary school teachers***.

3.51 In both primary and secondary schools those who had followed a four-year BEd course were much more likely to consider themselves well prepared in most of the respects reported on earlier in this section. When the 21 measures are combined to form a single "index of satisfaction with preparation" (admittedly a crude one, since no attempt was made to weight them by importance) that tendency is confirmed, with significantly lower levels of satisfaction shown by PGCE-trained teachers. There was a smaller but still significant association between the levels of satisfaction and the type of institution in which the teachers were trained, a somewhat greater satisfaction being shown with courses in polytechnic departments of education.

3.52 If one turns to the balance of the training course, it is the PGCE-trained teachers who show a greater level of satisfaction with the time devoted to different parts of the course, particularly to teaching method and teaching practice, aspects of the course which most teachers valued highly. There is little difference in the level of satisfaction with the balance of time given to classroom observation or to education studies - most teachers thinking that too much time had been devoted to the latter whatever the type of course. Satisfaction with the balance of the course was more evident in those who had attended university departments of education or voluntary colleges than the other two categories.

*See Appendix II [sic] paras. 6-18

**This finding may be linked with the assessment by HMI of the teachers' level of mastery of the subject-matter of the lessons observed (see Table 8 and Appendix 2 paragraph 10ff).

***But see Appendix 2, paragraphs 12ff.


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Figure 3 HMI assessment of mastery of teaching skills on a 1-5 scale*. Primary

Figure 4 HMI assessment of mastery of teaching skills on a 1-5 scale*. Secondary

*Ratings are on a scale 1-5 where 1 = displays a mastery of all the skills he/she might have been expected to acquire through training and 5 = lacks some basic skills.


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3.53 These indications need to be interpreted with some care, because, as the fest of this report makes abundantly clear, both the teachers' mastery of teaching skills and their satisfaction with their training are affected by many other variables as well as the training itself. Placed in different schools, given different teaching programmes, observed under different conditions, the teachers' views about ., their training and HMl's assessment of their teaching skills might both have been very different. The findings themselves are not so inconsistent, or so unexpected, as might at first appear. In particular, it is not surprising to find that those whose professional training has spread over four years and who have spent a longer time in schools during that period both show a greater mastery of teaching skills and feel more confident in applying them than those who have had only a one-year course of training.

3.54 The teachers' views about the balance of the time devoted to different elements of the course need careful interpretation. In BEd the balance varies from year to year and teachers' judgements may be unduly biased by their nearer recollection of the later parts of the course. In some four-year Honours BEd courses the last year tends to be largely academic, with little contact with schools, and the preponderance of the work devoted to the education disciplines and the students' specialist subjects. This may well in part account for the feeling that too little time was being given to teaching practice and teaching method, even if over the course as a whole these were in fact adequately served.

3.55 Almost a half of the teachers who had followed a PGCE course thought that too much time had been spent on education studies. In fact, an analysis of several PGCE courses in the maintained sector based on an earlier study* shows a range of 60 to 90 hours or approximately 12 to 16 per cent of teaching time devoted to education studies. If it is the case that teachers should know something of the psychological and sociological factors that influence the learning and behaviour of children, and if they are to be given an opportunity of thinking at more than a superficial level about the aims of their work as teachers and the ways in which those aims can be incorporated into a curriculum, it is difficult to see how this can be achieved in much less than that time. It may be that what is seen as an imbalance is really a criticism of the lack of relevance, as the teachers see it, of the studies, and that colleges and universities should react to this high level of student dissatisfaction by ensuring that education studies are taught in such a way that the future teacher recognises them as an essential part of his professional equipment, integral to the business of classroom teaching. Even if, as suggested earlier (paragraph 3.44) that "relevance" may emerge later in the teacher's career, the prevalence of so negative a view of education studies in the early stages of teaching cannot be healthy.

3.56 Other considerations apart from that of time allocation may influence the teachers' judgements, as has been suggested in earlier paragraphs, but it is instructive to compare the balance of work in PGCE and BEd, from what we know of colleges, in these respects. For a variety of reasons, this can only be done on a very rough and ready

*See PGCE in the maintained sector DES 1980. The time devoted to education studies in BEd courses tends to be proportionately larger, see below paragraph 3.56.


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basis, because the two types of course are very differently structured, and the different elements frequently merge and so are not easily quantifiable. Teaching practice must be (somewhat artificially) quantified in terms of hours of "contact time" to make comparison with the other parts of the course possible. The balance of the different parts of the BEd course varies perhaps even more than in the case of PGCE, and for the purpose of comparison, the academic subject element (which does not exist in PGCE) needs to be excluded from the calculation. This varies widely from a fifth to a half of the whole BEd course. With all these reservations, comparisons based on a few typical examples of each type of course in the maintained sector* show that while quantitatively greater, teaching practice in BEd occupies a smaller proportion of the professional part of the course. It extends between 141/2 and 171/2 weeks (against 10 to 12 weeks in PGCE) but tends to occupy 14 to 16 per cent of the non-academic part of the course, as against 50 to 60 per cent in many cases in PGCE**. Teaching method or professional courses are rather closer to the PGCE proportion with (typically) between 30 and 50 per cent of the time, while in the PGCE courses considered the range was more in the order of 30 to 45 per cent. In BEd the professional course often includes a greater proportion of school-based observational work than is the case with PGCE. Education studies takes between 30 and 55 per cent of the time as against a more typical 14 or 15 per cent of the time in PGCE. Some examples of more recently planned BEd courses show a marked reduction in the case of education studies to below 30 per cent and a corresponding increase in school-based work, occupying in one extreme example some 60 percent of the time, about a third of this being devoted to school-based work associated with method and professional courses,

3.57 While it is dangerous to generalise from so few examples of so, varied a range of courses, it would appear that there may be some objective grounds for the teachers' views that teaching practice and teaching method were allocated a more generous proportion of time in their PQCE courses than in their BEd courses. But there are some signs that in the most recently proposed BEd courses the balance is being shifted markedly in a direction which, from their responses, students seem likely to welcome.

3.58 However admirable the training programme, its effects will be vitiated if there is not a reasonable degree of match between the purposes of the training and the nature of the teaching post. The nature and extent of this match in the case of the present sample of teachers is discussed in the following chapter.

*Examples drawn from "Developments in the BEd Degree Course" HMSO 1979 and "PGCE in the Public Sector" HMSO 1980.

**These figures are broadly supported by the students' reporting of the length of teaching practice in the present survey. See Appendix 2 paragraph 23.


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4 The training and the task


Introduction

4.1 The success of a newly trained teacher in the first post will depend upon various factors such as the quality of academic and professional preparation, the extent and nature of support provided by the school and LEA and the personal qualities which the teacher brings to the task as well as the task itself which the teacher is expected to undertake. For probationary teachers to gain confidence and competence and to prevent them from being under unnecessary pressure during the first difficult months of their teaching career, it is desirable that the nature of their preparation, both academically and professionally, should closely relate to the teaching programme they are required to undertake.

4.2 In the survey the probationary teachers completed a table showing the subjects which they had followed in their academic studies and in their professional/curriculum or method studies. They also indicated the level of study in each case. For academic studies they indicated minor supporting subjects as well as major studies and used the following codes:

1, subject studied to honours graduate level (single subject or joint honours) other than in BEd;

2, single subject studied to ordinary degree standard or as the only main subject in BEd ordinary Of honours;

3, subject studied as one of two or more subjects taken to the same level within an ordinary degree Of BEd ordinary or honours;

4, subject studied to subsidiary level in honours or ordinary degree other than BEd or as a supporting subject within BEd ordinary or honours.

For professional studies* they stated whether the subject was given a major or minor allowance of time.

Primary

4.3 Primary teachers also gave details of the subjects which they were teaching in school, indicating the age range taught and those subjects which were taken with classes other than their own. From the completed tables HMI judged the match between preparation and the teaching task at the individual subject level and the match of the overall teaching programme with the preparation.

General characteristics of the teaching programme

4.4 The primary teachers were essentially class teachers, responsible for teaching the whole curriculum, or all but a few subjects, to their own classes. About a third (35) of the newly trained teachers were also teaching a class, or classes, other than their own for one or more subjects, the subjects most commonly thus taught being PE, games

*This term is used in this chapter to denote courses concerned with the teaching of school subjects, often referred to in PGCE as "method" courses and BEd as "curriculum" courses. There is a wide variation in the length of these courses, and probationers were asked to make the subjective judgement whether they were major or minor in substance.


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and music (Table 15). 18 of the teachers were taking one subject with other classes, 12, two subjects, and 5, three subjects. 5 probationers worked with one other class, 15 taught two other classes and 15, three or more. In many cases (see 4.11) they were teaching subjects which they had not studied in the course of their training.

Table 15 Subjects taught by primary teachers to classes other than their own

Age range taught

4.5 A tenth of the new teachers taught lower infant classes, a twentieth upper infants, a quarter lower juniors and rather more than a half taught children in the upper junior age range (Table 16). A further twentieth were involved in other arrangements (such as a teacher in a two-teacher rural school who worked mainly in the 5 to 8 years age range but took art, craft and PE with the older children).

Table 16 Age ranges taught by primary teachers

4.6 Primary classes are generally of mixed ability and those taken by the newly trained teachers were no exception. More than 90 per cent were teaching classes described as either "mixed ability" or "about average for the school". Overall, 39 of the new teachers (two-fifths of the sample) were responsible for mixed-age classes. 20 of these classes spanned a two-year age range and 19 a wider range. (See paragraph 3.35).

Subjects taught in relation to those studied

4.7 Primary teachers teach all, or most, subjects of the curriculum and cannot have taken both an academic and a professional course in each. In matching new teachers' programmes to their training the subjects taught have therefore been compared with those studied during training whether at academic level or as a major or minor professional course. It is not assumed that these provide equally


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appropriate forms of preparation but the procedure is adopted because of the difficulty of generalising about complex programmes of training, made up of many elements, taught at different levels and inter-related in different ways in different institutions.

Table 17 Subjects taught by primary teachers and subjects in which they had not been trained

4.8 Virtually all the primary teachers were responsible for teaching mathematics, reading and language skills in their own classes or within some regrouping of pupils from a number of classes, (Table 17). Nearly all were asked to teach PE, art and craft and more than three-quarters were teaching RE and science. None of the other subjects listed in Table 17 was taught by more than three-quarters of the teachers but the figures need to be approached with caution since there is considerable overlap among such ill defined areas as social studies, integrated studies and environmental studies and between those and geography, history and language both in the school curriculum and in training courses. Hence, in part, the large number placed in the 'other' category.

4.9 The subjects which the probationers had studied followed a similar pattern. Practically all of them had taken courses in mathematics and English or reading and language skills, and nine out often had received some preparation in PE, art and craft. On the other hand between a quarter and a half of those teaching science, RE and geography had not studied these subjects during their training.

4.10 In all subjects, preparation for the majority of teachers consisted only of professional courses. In the case of mathematics, in particular, the proportion of teachers who had followed academic courses was much lower than for most arts subjects. (Table 18). More than three-quarters of the new teachers had received professional courses in mathematics, English or reading and language skills which they regarded as having taken a major amount of time. This is important in view of the emphasis on these subjects in the primary curriculum. On


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the other hand, the figure falls to about a third in physical education and to as few as 19 teachers in art and craft, 11 in science and 8 in religious education. Yet over three-quarters of the teachers were expected to teach these subjects.

Table 18 Primary teachers who had taken an academic or professional course in each subject at major and minor level

4.11 As already mentioned (see paragraph 4.4) 35 of the newly trained teachers were teaching a class or classes other than their own for one or more subjects. Two-fifths (14) of these did so in a subject in which they had taken an academic course during their training and almost all of them indicated that they had also received a professional course in the subject. On the other hand, a half (18) of these teachers were teaching one or more subjects in which they had taken only a minor professional course and 4 teachers were teaching subjects in which they had received no specific training at all*. It is surely important that the subjects which new teachers are asked to teach to other classes should be those about which they feel reasonably confident and well prepared if their skills are to be developed and undue pressures avoided.

4.12 A further analysis was carried out to distinguish those probationers out of the 35 mentioned above who were acting as subject specialists with one or more classes other than their own. This was done by comparing the subjects which the probationers said they were teaching to other classes with the subjects which the school said

*The latter group included teachers taking geography, music, drama and RE with their own and one other class, and a teacher taking French with another but not her own class.


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were taught as specialist subjects. In 17 cases there was agreement over one subject taught by the probationer. Almost half (8) related to games. Of the remainder, six teachers taught music, one mathematics and one science. One school indicated that there was specialist teaching in several subjects but did not name them, so the match with the probationers' teaching programme is uncertain. Apart from games it would appear that eight or nine of the 93 teachers were doing a small amount of specialist teaching in one subject. Of these, five of the musicians, the teacher taking science and the one doing mathematics had all studied their subject at academic level and most had also taken a professional course in it. One musician had only received a minor professional course.

4.13 Up to this point, attention has been focussed on the match between the teachers' preparation and the individual subjects which they were asked to teach in school. But this does not provide a picture of how the teacher's overall teaching programme relates to his training at academic and professional levels. Each teaching programme was examined, as a whole, to see how many of the subjects taught had been studied during training. Categories were broad and academic and major and minor professional courses were equally included. 69 of the 93 teachers had been given a teaching programme in which three-quarters or more of the subjects taught had been studied during their training. Twenty had studied between a half and three-quarters of the subjects taught and only four had a programme in which fewer than half of the subjects had been studied. All four had been trained for the secondary or middle-secondary age range but appointed to primary schools. One of them was teaching art and craft, geography, music. PE, religious education and science without training in these subjects. while the school curriculum did not include his specialist subjects, French and German. This is a striking example of a feature found in a few schools, namely, of probationers being asked to teach subjects in which they had no preparation while at the same time not using one or more subjects in which they had been trained. Examples are given on the following page.

4.14 The above figures need to be treated with caution since they take no account of the length and depth of the separate subject elements in the individual teachers' training courses, nor do they allow for the balance and inter-relationship of elements, both of which are important factors in determining the quality and extent of preparation to teach a broad curriculum. Also, several probationers teaching the younger age groups included areas of the curriculum (eg "general activities") in their programmes which are not represented as such in : the training institutions' professional courses yet may be covered in other ways.

Overall match of teaching programme with training

4.15 During their training, students opt for courses aimed at the particular age range which they want to teach; 3 to 9 years and 7 to 13 years are typical examples. Choice of age range is very important since it influences many aspects of training including the range and balance of curricular subjects which will be studied, the emphasis within curriculum studies and the type of school experience provided. A close match between the age range for which a teacher was trained and the


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age groups taught in their first post is therefore desirable. 86 of the 93 probationers had been given teaching posts within the age range which they had been prepared to teach. (Table 19).

Table 19 Match of age range for which primary teachers were trained with age range they were teaching

4.16 As may be expected, the match between the age range taught on teaching practice and that taught in the first posts exhibits a similar pattern. (Table 20). 71 of the new teachers had taught children on teaching practice of the same age as those in the class which they had been given in their first post. A further 16 had taught a similar age range, for example, a teacher who had taught 10 and 11 year olds in a primary school on teaching practice and who had been given a class of 9 year olds. Training institutions usually give students experience with the younger and older ends of the age range for which they are training, and often also with an adjacent age range. This accounts for the "partly appropriate" rating given to three teachers in Table 20*.

*For example one had trained for the 8-13 years age range. He had spent three weeks teaching practice in a junior school, two weeks in a middle school and five weeks in a comprehensive. During this time he taught all ages from 8-15 years. His first post was as a class teacher for 7 year olds, He also taught history and geography to 9 year olds.


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Table 20 Match of age range taught by primary teachers on teaching practice with age range they were teaching

4.17 Finally, the overall match of the teachers' training to the demands of their first posts was assessed taking into account the curriculum being taught and the age and ability of the class or classes. 40 of the teachers had been given teaching assignments which were closely matched to their professional preparation and a further 43 had jobs which were fairly well matched to their training. (Table 21). On the other hand, 5 teachers had taken up posts where about a half of their programme matched their training and a further 5 had a programme little of which was matched to their training.

Table 21 Overall match of teaching programme with training for primary teachers

Summary

4.18 The primary years span a wide range of child development from 3 year olds in a nursery class to II or 12 year olds about to transfer to secondary education. Although the curriculum contains many common elements, the content and presentation vary greatly according to the children's stage of development. Since training courses are adjusted to take account of children's needs at these different stages, it is encouraging to find that the vast majority of the newly trained teachers were asked to teach children within the age range for which they were trained.

4.19 Heads expect, first and foremost, that primary teachers will be class teachers, able to sustain a broad curriculum. Moreover, schools formulate their curricula in different ways. Terms such as "integrated studies", "social studies", "environmental studies" and "topics" differ in meaning between schools. It is therefore unlikely that the curriculum taught by newly trained teachers will match exactly the academic and professional courses which they have followed during their training. The fact that three-quarters of the probationers were teaching a programme in which three-quarters or more of the subjects being taught had been studied in training is therefore encouraging. However, in considering what support probationers will need from the school, heads need to be aware of subjects which have not been covered in training and also those which have only received a minor allocation of time, since the very breadth of the training curriculum implies that all subjects will not have been treated in equal depth. The


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new teacher will need more planned help in some subjects than in others.

4.20 A closer look at individual subjects gives some indication of the extent to which probationers are prepared for the subjects which they are almost certain to be called upon to teach. Almost all teach mathematics, language and literacy, physical education, art and craft. Virtually all receive training in mathematics and language which is usually substantial in terms of the time devoted to these subjects. The vast majority receive courses in physical education, art and craft though these tend to be less substantial. The picture in respect of science and religious education, which three-quarters of the probationers' are asked to teach, is less satisfactory.

4.21 It can be valuable for newly trained teachers to undertake a limited amount of teaching with classes other than their own, but it has to be recognised that this puts additional demands upon them in terms of classroom control and organisation and the extra time taken to prepare lessons for an unfamiliar class. It is therefore desirable that when probationers teach classes other than their own the work should be in an area of the curriculum which is one of their strengths, where they feel confident and have had a substantial amount of training through academic study or a major professional course.

Secondary

4.22 In addition to the information about their training (see paragraph 4.2), the secondary teachers also gave details of their present school timetables with the number of periods taught to classes of particular ability groups (classes of rather higher abilities than the average for the school, of average ability, or rather lower abilities than average for the school, classes of mixed ability, remedial classes) within each year group. For sixth form classes the teacher indicated whether the work was of GCE A-level standard or not. From the completed tables, information was derived about the characteristics of the teaching programme and judgements were made of the match between the preparation and the teaching task at the individual subject level for both academic and professional preparation and the match of the whole of the teaching timetable with the preparation.

General characteristics of the teaching programme

4.23 In most cases schools provided a teaching programme which recognised the need for newly trained teachers to obtain experience while not putting undue pressure on them. Over half of the teachers were provided with a reasonable spread of age levels in their timetable; over a quarter of teachers taught only classes with pupils aged 13 and above but none was teaching exclusively pupils in the fifth and sixth forms. (Table 22). Nearly one-fifth of the teachers took only pupils in the first three secondary years, seven of those being teachers in middle schools. Teachers were generally asked to teach a fair spread of classes across the ability range or classes of mixed ability. Only 4 per cent had a programme consisting predominantly of classes of higher ability, and fewer than 8 per cent had a timetable predominantly consisting of classes of lower ability. (Table 23). Just over a third of the teachers were not meeting mixed-ability classes and over a half were leaching mixed-ability groups for less than a quarter of their time (Table 24). In contrast some teachers were meeting a larger number of


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mixed-ability classes, 17 per cent teaching mixed-ability groups for more than three-quarters of their timetable. This figure includes teachers of subjects where mixed-ability teaching is almost universal, in particular physical education.

Table 22 Age levels taught by secondary teachers

Table 23 Ability levels taught by secondary teachers

Table 24 Proportion of teaching programme of secondary teachers with mixed-ability classes'

Subjects taught in relation to those studied

4.24 From the tables completed by the teachers, subjects were classified as: the only teaching subject, the major teaching subject, a minor teaching subject taught for four or more periods per week, and a subject taught for fewer than four periods per week. Nearly half of the teachers were teaching only one subject but the distribution between subjects was uneven. (Table 25). Only in modern languages (where a few were teaching two languages), craft design and technology and home economics were the majority not involved with teaching another subject. In mathematics the figure was 45 per cent and in English just under 25 per cent. Fewer than 20 per cent of the teachers of history, geography, music, religious education and physical education were confined to teaching the one subject.


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Table 25 Subjects taught by secondary school teachers

4.25 Of those teaching some English, nearly a third were teaching the subject as a minor subject of their timetable. This exceeded the numbers teaching English as their only subject or as a major subject. In no other subject did the minor contribution feature so strongly. However, in a number of subjects the newly trained teacher was making a contribution for fewer than four periods per week. Of those teaching history and geography over 30 per cent were making this small contribution and this was in some cases the result of participation in integrated programmes for younger children. Over 16 per cent of those teaching English were contributing fewer than four periods per week. About 40 per cent of those teaching physical education were also making a similarly small contribution, and in many cases this could be explained by the probationary teachers' contribution to games periods. Religious education was the only other subject where a considerable number of those teaching the subject (almost 40 per cent) were involved for fewer than four periods per week in that subject.

4.26 The academic levels of the higher education courses taken by the teachers, derived from information they provided, are displayed in Table 26. All the teachers included in the first column will have


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followed a PGCE course after their specialist degree; the great majority of those included in columns 2 and 3 followed BEd courses. The relationship between the academic preparation of the teachers and the level at which they were teaching their subjects in school was examined. For this purpose the fourth category was sub-divided, since it was considered likely that subsidiary courses in academic degrees are often more substantial and assume a higher threshold of knowledge and skill than do supporting subjects in BEd. The criteria of 'match' that were adopted are as follows:

4.27 It should be stressed that these criteria, though based on the best advice available, are to some extent arbitrary. For example, it could be argued that those teaching pupils in the middle years ought ideally to have the same level of academic preparation as those teaching older pupils. A more serious problem is that of equating levels of academic training within BEd with those in other types of degree, the more so because of the widely different amounts of time devoted to the academic element within BEd in different institutions (see paragraph 3.56). There are those who would question the adequacy of BEd main courses as a preparation for teaching up to A-level, at least in some subjects. It is certainly true that the type of academic preparation desirable may vary from subject to subject, and, for the purpose of the present analysis, such variations had to be ignored. Again no account was taken of 'over-qualification' in this context, though the extent to which the abilities of probationers were under-used is considered elsewhere (paragraph 4.33).

4.28 Table 27 shows for each subject the frequency with which probationers were teaching at a level appropriate to their academic qualifications for different proportions of the time*. According to the

*i.e, the time they were engaged in teaching that subject. In many cases those least qualified in a subject were engaged in teaching it for only a small proportion of their total teaching programme.


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criteria applied, in all subjects except social sciences most of the teachers were teaching at a level for which the course they had taken was likely to have equipped them adequately. In particular the numbers teaching at an appropriate level were particularly good in general science, physical science, biology, art, modern languages and home economics*. However, in some subjects there was a disturbing proportion of teaching taking place at a level for which the training was not really adequate. More than three out often of those concerned with the teaching of mathematics, history and English, four out often of those teaching geography, and half or more of those teaching religious education or physical education had no academic basis for their teaching.

Table 26 Level of training by subject of secondary teachers

*It will be noted, from Table 26 that the great majority of teachers of science and a majority of teachers of modern languages had trained through the PGCE rather than the BEd route, and could therefore satisfy the most stringent criteria referred to in the previous paragraph.


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4.29 Academic courses are usually supplemented by professional curriculum or method courses, but a comparison between the columns headed "Academic Studies" and "Professional Studies" in Table 26 shows that the reverse is not always the case - a number of those who took professional courses in mathematics, English, general science, art, music and physical education in particular had not taken academic courses in these subjects. Though, especially in BEd, professional or curriculum courses often have a substantial subject content, as well as a "method" element, they are not in themselves a sufficient preparation for teaching the subject in a secondary school. Consequently the presence of a satisfactory match between the teaching programme and professional course does not in itself necessarily mean that the teacher is well equipped. On the other hand, the absence of any such match points to a deficiency in preparation. Such a deficiency was evident in about half of those teaching religious education and over two-fifths of those teaching physical education. (Table 27). Some lack of professional preparation was also apparent among a third of the teachers of geography and a quarter of those teaching history. The proportion in most other subjects was smaller.

Table 27 Match of teaching and training by teaching subject of secondary teachers

The match of the teaching programme with academic qualifications and professional preparation

4.30 In the previous section the match between the preparation of teachers and their teaching of individual subjects was considered. This gives a broad assessment of the extent of preparation of teachers for individual subjects, but does not provide a picture of how the teachers' overall programmes in school, which may include several different


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subjects, relate to their training at the academic and professional levels. Each teaching programme was considered as a whole and the major and minor teaching subjects were identified. Each programme was then examined for match with the academic courses the teacher had taken. For this purpose there was no attempt to relate the level of the course taken as part of a degree with the level of teaching in the school as had been done for separate subjects, but simply to establish whether any subject being taught was supported by some academic course within the teacher's degree.

4.31 Over half of the newly trained teachers were teaching only subjects in which they had taken courses in their degree, but over a third were teaching at least one minor subject in which they had not followed a course in their degree. (Table 28). Eleven teachers had taken a course in at least one of their minor teaching subjects, but not in their major subject, and a further ten were teaching only subjects which they had not taken as part of their degree course.

Table 28 Match of academic study of secondary teachers with their teaching programmes

4.32 While recognising the difficulties of matching the needs of the school with the qualifications of the new teacher in all respects when a vacant post is filled, and particularly when schools have rightly considered the personal qualities of the candidates for the post before making a final selection, it is of some concern that nearly half of those in this survey were teaching subjects for which they had no appropriate academic qualification for at least four periods a week, and in many cases substantially more. The extent of this lack of match suggests that perhaps in some cases more care is needed in identifying the details of the teaching post clearly before making an appointment. Certainly where appointments are made for which teachers are expected to teach subjects in which they have no academic qualifications, support from the school and the authority is needed additional to any normal induction procedure.

4.33 Although demands were being made on some newly trained teachers to teach subjects without adequate preparation, a number of them had followed academic and professional courses in their degree or teacher training course which were not being used by the school. For about a third of the teachers their academic and professional preparation was being underused to either a moderate or serious


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extent. Of the 11 whose preparation was being seriously underused, the following examples may be quoted:

Table 29 Extent to which the academic and/or professional training of secondary teachers was being used by the school

Age range taught in relation to age range for which teachers were trained

4.34 Almost nine out of ten of the probationers had teaching programmes which were confined to the age groups for which the teacher had trained and only about one in twelve had timetables with a substantial part involving them in teaching pupils in age groups for which they had not trained. (Table 30), generally because they had trained for primary or middle schoolwork, and were teaching older children.

Table 30 Match of age range for which secondary teachers were trained with age range they were teaching

Matching of teaching programme with teaching practice

4.35 Teaching practice may be inappropriate to the probationers' programme because it did not cover the age groups with which they were later concerned; it may also be inappropriate for other reasons, as when confined to independent or selective schools if the first post is in a maintained full-range ability school. For 16 of the teachers the teaching practice was entirely inappropriate for their first post and for a further 25 teachers it was only partly appropriate. (Table 31). Teacher training institutions cannot always anticipate that students might obtain posts for age groups outside those for which they were trained to teach, but it might reasonably be expected that students in training should be given classroom experience with pupils of different


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abilities, interests and social backgrounds as far as it is consistent with their need to gain confidence in understanding the learning process and in mastering initial teaching skills.

Table 31 Match of teaching practice with teaching programme for secondary teachers

Summary

4.36 The overall match of the teachers' training to the demands of their first post was assessed, taking into account the match between their teaching programme and the subjects for which they were prepared academically and professionally (paragraphs 4.30 to 32) and between the age groups they were teaching and those for which they were trained. (Table 32). These criteria are less stringent than those used to determine match in relation to the teaching of individual subjects, but even by these for nearly one in five of the teachers a substantial part of their teaching programme was ill-matched to their training. Shortages of some subject specialists, difficulties in appointing teachers with appropriate qualifications when timetable requirements are for part-time contributions to two or more subjects, and the strong personal qualities of some teachers, which may override some lack of academic or professional qualification in the view of those concerned with the appointments, are all reasons which sometimes lead to mismatch between the preparation of a teacher and the teaching programme undertaken. However, it should be recognised that those who are undertaking a teaching programme, a substantial part of which they have not been adequately prepared to teach, may be finding pressures additional to the usual ones expected in the first post, and may require particular guidance and support during their probationary year.

Table 32 Overall match of training with teaching programme of secondary teachers


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5 The school and the new teacher


Appointment

5.1 Schools are generally closely involved in the selection and appointment of teachers, and their views about the appropriateness of these probationers' appointments present a generally encouraging picture. The qualities the new teachers brought generally matched the requirements of the job. There are, however, some instances where this was not so - eight primary school teachers and 15 secondary teachers (nearly 8 per cent of the present sample) were not considered suitable appointments in the view of the school heads. Sometimes this was because the vacancy had arisen as a result of a last-minute change of circumstances or because of delayed decisions about staffing which made adequate advertisement impossible. In these cases there was often no other possible candidate*. Where appointments were considered unsuitable, it was most often because the teachers had not been trained for the subject or combination of subjects they were required to teach, and examples of this arose in secondary schools in mathematics, science and modern languages, as well as with rather motley groups of subjects where the new teacher was clearly required to plug some gaps in the timetable. There were also two or three teachers trained for primary or middle school work who were ill equipped for dealing with the older age groups. Similarly in primary schools, inappropriate training was the main reason for unsuitability, as in the case of the modern languages graduate with a junior PGCE training who had no adequate curriculum base to teach from, or the graduate in Welsh whose training and teaching practice had been through the medium of Welsh, but whose first post was with a 5 year old group taught through the medium of English.

5.2 Sometimes there was a reasonable match of preparation and task on paper. whereas in reality the teachers concerned were not well-equipped: the subject knowledge of one mature probationer teaching science was rusty and his PGCE course, undertaken long after his initial academic qualification, had not been sufficient preparation for teaching; an art teacher's training, both in her own view and that of the school, was of poor quality; another probationer. whose teaching practice had taken place in an independent school, was ill prepared for her work in a comprehensive school. The schools considered some new teachers unsuitable on the grounds of personal qualities. In many cases the new teacher also recognised the unsuitability of the appointment, but had already made a large number of unsuccessful applications - the two parties had been brought together "by a match of desperation".

5.3 Generally the results were predictably poor, as measured by the quality of the classroom work. In the few cases where this was not so, it was because the outstanding personal qualities of the teachers had enabled them to cope with a situation where most would have floundered. Good support from the school and good relationships

*Nearly a half of primary posts had not been advertised and the remainder were divided almost equally between national and local advertisement. whereas more than four-fifths of secondary posts had been advertised nationally. Nearly a third of secondary posts and nearly a fifth of primary posts attracted no suitable candidate other than the one eventually appointed.


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within it clearly helped. On the other hand it was disappointing to note that in some unsatisfactory appointments. while the level of personal relationships within the school was good, the degree of support received by the teacher was poor. One might have expected that, where both probationer and school were aware of the exceptional difficulties under which they were working, an exceptional level of support might have been offered to help the new teacher through the initial difficult stages. In a very few instances the school clearly regarded the situation as a temporary one to be lived through - the teacher was on short-term contract and in one case operating only on a part-time basis.

School expectations and assessment

5.4 Schools were asked whether the newly trained teachers had proved to be well equipped for the jobs they had been given, taking into account their performance since taking up their duties. Not all schools applied the same criteria since these depended on their expectations about newly trained teachers in general as well as the requirements of a particular post. While about a half appeared to have expectations of the probationers that were entirely reasonable, in the judgement of HMI, over a third appeared to expect too much of newly trained teachers, and a small proportion expected too little. Put in another way, just over a third expected the new teacher to function in every respect as a fully fledged teacher, taking equal responsibility with other members of staff. It was assumed, for example, that if the new teacher took over the class or the timetable of an experienced teacher of twenty years standing, he would do just the same sort of job as his predecessor and expect no more support or help than the latter had received. The range of expectation was astonishingly wide, and bore little relation to the actual performance of the probationers. "They should know all the tricks of the trade in the professional teacher's book," one secondary head commented: another, "the school sees the probationer teacher as an apprentice .., qualified in academic terms but with much to learn in terms of practising in the school". Sometimes the school's low level of expectation of the new teacher arose from its own limited concept of its role and aims - it was satisfied with a less than adequately professional performance. This situation occurred rather more frequently in primary schools.

5.5 The main criteria which the schools applied in judging the probationers' performance were:

a. Professional competence, including:
i, the ability to control, organise and manage a class
ii, punctuality, good preparation, thorough marking
iii, a thoughtful approach to the curriculum - an understanding of the principles underlying schemes of work and of the inter-relationships of subjects
iv, an ability "to bring something new into the school", to be a source of new ideas, to make "a personal contribution".
b. Personal qualities

These played a significant part in the school's assessment in two-thirds of the cases. Amongst those most commonly mentioned were: energy, enthusiasm, commitment (including willingness to


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participate in extra-curricular activities), conscientiousness, confidence, imagination, resourcefulness, good relations with pupils and staff. willingness to seek advice and receptiveness to advice when given. Adaptability and the ability to "fit in" were also stressed.

c. Academic qualities

Primary schools looked for "an in-depth specialist knowledge in one subject and also a wide range of general subject expertise". They also stressed the importance of competence in teaching of English and mathematics. Some schools deliberately did not call upon the new teachers to apply their specialist knowledge outside their own classroom in the first year; others, perhaps recognising that this can provide a boost for the teacher's confidence, did so. "The probationer, who has a science degree, was asked to lead a staff discussion on the development of science in the school, and the head feels that this encourages the probationer to find a valued place on the staff'. This is only one example of an attempt to use the potential contribution of the new teacher.

In secondary schools, nearly three-fifths of the heads and/or senior members of staff mentioned adequate subject knowledge as a major requirement for the new teacher.

5.6 On the basis of such criteria schools considered the great majority of newly trained teachers in the sample to be at least satisfactorily equipped and two-fifths to be very well equipped for the jobs they had been given. Only one or two teachers were judged to be very ill equipped but about one in ten were considered unsatisfactorily equipped. However. HMI felt that some schools relied heavily on indirect evidence when reaching these assessment of the probationer's performance and that this was a consequence of the way in which they perceived their own role in relation to the probationer. Some heads, for example, deliberately avoided observing lessons because they felt that this would increase the teacher's insecurity and nervousness.

The school's role in induction

5.7 In most cases schools had thought out their role vis-a-vis new teachers in the light of their level of expectation, and this had led to a range of policies from non-intervention to over-protectiveness. Between the two extremes there was evidence in very many schools of a sincere and honest endeavour to incorporate new teachers into the staff team and to help them in their professional development.

5.8 There was wide recognition of the importance, for this, of the "right, happy atmosphere in which to work", and a general background of support and encouragement from the staff as a whole. In some schools, both primary and secondary, this was envisaged as a wholly informal and unplanned state of affairs. In others, induction was considered a more purposeful process requiring some level of structure, sometimes a designated member of staff with responsibility for the new teachers, and a clear objective such as "the continuation of the probationer's professional training" or "building on the work of the initial training institution". On the few occasions, mostly in


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primary schools. where there had been direct contact between school and college, this clearly helped to ensure that the training process carried through into the first year of teaching.

5.9 Many schools recognised the challenge faced by new teachers in their first year and the need to build up their confidence by adjusting their task to the level of their experience. Some heads saw this as involving the allocation of smaller than normal classes without unusually difficult problems, or a reduced teaching load. Occasionally, however, in the case of appointments in secondary schools to one-man departments, a new teacher inevitably carried a heavy responsibility from the start. In some such cases there was no one to turn to; in others. where a faculty organisation existed, the head of faculty was able to playa crucial role in providing help and advice.

5.10 Some heads recognised that an important element in the training of probationers was the quality of education that the school as a whole was providing and their own clarity of purpose. In such schools, new teachers were often involved in formal or informal discussion and planning. In other schools, both primary and secondary, there was a cosiness and lack of rigour which was unhelpful to the new teacher. Provided that the teacher could manage the class, the head and other members of staff were satisfied. In such cases the teachers' inadequacies were not recognised and no real help was forthcoming.

5.11 Schools also believed that they could and should help probationers to "discover their special gifts and extend them so as to fulfil themselves" and that the school as well as the teacher could be the beneficiary of such help. Sometimes they recognised that the probationer could make a valuable contribution to the school in one respect while badly needing help in another. Primary schools appeared to be particularly conscious of this: where such reciprocity occurred, it made for a very happy partnership between the new teacher and the school.

5.12 Schools usually arrange for newly appointed teachers to visit the school after appointment but before taking up post, and also provide them with information that could be useful for them at this time. Table 33 shows the frequency with which schools described this as their normal practice. The main purposes of such visits were generally to give probationers opportunities to get to know more about the school and to meet the staff. In primary schools there was often also an opportunity to meet the pupils - in many cases those that the teachers would have in their classes the following term - but this was much less common in secondary schools. One primary school in four of the sample gave probationers an opportunity to do some teaching at the end of the summer term. Both primary and secondary teachers generally received a school handbook. when this existed, a timetable, schemes of work and information about resources available within the school.

5.13 All these arrangements were mentioned by a number of teachers in the present sample as helpful, the most frequently mentioned being visits to the school, schemes of work and information about


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equipment and resources. The absence of schemes of work or guidelines in a few schools worried the probationers. Sometimes this absence was due to a change of head, but most often it was due to the policy or lack of policy of the school.

Table 33 Arrangements normally! made to assist appointed probationers before they take up their duties, as described by schools

5.14 One probationer appointed to a rural primary school in an area some distance from her home "took the opportunity to get to know the school during a visit lasting 2½ days, during which time she stayed with the deputy head. She particularly valued the chance to get to know the school and the children; an afternoon browsing in the library and looking at equipment: gathering a selection of text books to take away; attending a staff meeting where the teachers planned the topic for next term; the opportunity to teach a class for a day, though it was not her future class."

5.15 In another primary school the probationer spent four days in the school at the end of the summer term and also came in for three days (along with other members of staff) before the beginning of the autumn term. Others spent up to three weeks teaching in the term prior to their taking up the post. Both school and probationers regarded this sort of arrangement as very valuable. LEA's were sometimes involved. Occasionally the new teacher was paid for the period of teaching carried out ill the previous term (though this was often gladly undertaken without pay). Sometimes LEA advisers made contact with the newly trained teacher during their visits to the school - an example is mentioned where, on a new secondary teacher's second visit to the school, the religious education adviser met her and helped her to plan a scheme of work. Late appointments made it impossible for some teachers to attend the school during the previous term, but of these a significant number arranged to visit during the holiday period. One spent three or four days during the summer holidays in her classroom going through books, looking at resources.


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discussing the timetable with the head, and learning about the children in her class.

Members of staff involved in induction

5.16 In primary schools the head was the person most often seen as having a recognised role in the support of probationers. Except in small schools responsibility for the day-to-day support of the probationers was shared with the deputy head and/or a specifically designated member of staff. In secondary schools it was usually the head of department who was seen as the key figure in the support structure, with heads and deputy heads less frequently fulfilling that role. Specifically designated members of staff, such as professional tutors. were referred to much less commonly (see Table 34).

Table 34 Members of staff normally* involved in the induction of probationers by the schools

5.17 The frequency with which probationers mentioned the different members of staff reflected the same pattern. Particularly noteworthy were the frequent appreciative comments of primary teachers about the support of the head and of secondary teachers about the help they were receiving from heads of department. One of the best forms of training for a new teacher in a secondary school would appear to be membership of a lively subject department led by an effective head of department. The contribution of the members of staff concerned with the support of new teachers was the more impressive since in only about two-fifths of the secondary schools and a quarter of the primary schools did they receive any allocation of time for this purpose. Indeed, lack of time was mentioned on a number of occasions as hindering the effective role of the head of department in supporting the new teacher.

Nature of support given to probationers

5.18 The support given to newly qualified teachers once they were in the new posts took a number of forms (see Table 35). About half the secondary schools and rather more than a quarter of the primary schools said that they offered a structured induction programme, this despite the fact that many schools, particularly primary, had no more than one probationer on their staffs (see paragraph 1.9).

5.19 Six elements occur frequently within such structured programmes of induction. They are (in no order of priority):

the roles of the staff involved are clearly defined;
*See footnote to Table 33.


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probationers are aware that they may turn to a particular person or persons for help and advice and that help will indeed often be volunteered before they ask for it;
probationers attend regular, often frequent, meetings with staff responsible and, if appropriate, with other probationers; probationers are involved in discussions to explore a range of topics, sometimes academic but more often professional and administrative;
probationers' lessons are observed by senior staff who subsequently discuss the work with them;
probationers are given opportunities to see more experienced colleagues at work in the classroom.
Table 35 Arrangements normally* made to assist newly appointed probationers after they had taken lip their duties, as described by the schools

Primary schools

5.20 Though only a quarter of primary schools described their induction procedures as structured, many who did not nevertheless provided a well coordinated pattern of support which had the qualities of continuity, regularity and relevance and contained many or most of the elements mentioned in paragraph 5.19: there were regular discussions about the curriculum; teachers with responsibility for the development of language, mathematics and science taught alongside the probationer and there was a regular programme of lesson observation by the head and deputy head followed by discussion.

5.21 Arrangements were made in a number of ways for the new teacher to gain from working with experienced teachers. In one school, for example, the teacher responsible for the probationer was released from her own class for 1'12 hours a week throughout the year to work alongside the new teacher. Opportunities of this kind. which often arose naturally out of the existing pattern of work in the school, were highly valued by the probationers.

5.22 The practice of team teaching was exploited as a natural and effective context of support. In one school, the head and probationer jointly taught all children aged 8 to 10: each had a base group but there were various permutations in groupings for teaching purposes and some cooperative teaching.

*See footnote to Table 34.


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5.23 The staff of one school which did not describe its induction as structured had nevertheless clearly thought out the range of needs of the new teacher and the best ways to meet them. They saw their first duty as sorting out personal problems and settling the teachers into their new environment. They made an effort to find accommodation, put newcomers in touch with local clubs and societies which matched their interests and arranged staff dinner parties to build up social contacts. They recognised the need to give probationers time to get to know the school and to discuss problems. The probationers were given a reduced work load to allow time for observing the work of other classes. Every week the head reserved a time for an informal chat with the new teachers. The practicalities of the job were not overlooked; the head thought it was often minor routine matters that worried newly trained teachers, and he and his staff made a special effort to give information about these.

5.24 An important element in induction is the observation of the new teacher at work and the subsequent discussion and advice which is an essential part of the process, requiring time and thought. In one school, HMI judged the involvement in the process of two senior staff with responsibility for language and mathematics respectively as having had a marked influence on the probationer's work. In another the head himself had observed the probationer teach on several occasions, commented on the lesson, and then had had lengthy sessions of discussion with her about how things could be improved. Some new teachers who lacked this form of support would have welcomed direct observation of what was happening in their classrooms, as a means of both helping them to assess the outcomes of their work and of leading to relevant advice.

5.25 The acceptability of the help offered to the new teacher depends to a considerable extent upon the general atmosphere of the school and the quality of relationships to be found in it. A number of new teachers referred warmly to this as the basis of both professional and personal satisfaction with the job.

5.26 Some schools considered that a good school atmosphere was itself sufficient support for the new teacher. It was assumed that probationers would feel free to ask questions and to seek advice as they needed it. Hut this does not appear to be enough. Not all new teachers have the confidence to seek advice, especially when this involves what may appear to them as an exposure of their weaknesses, for many of them see the head as both supporter and assessor. Much depends, too, on the ability. which not all teachers have in their first year of teaching, to assess their own needs and to map out their own professional progress. In some cases both school and probationer were content with low levels of performance and lack of professional development. HMI judged that 5 primary schools failed to provide conditions suitable for the new teacher'S professional development, and that in a further 22, conditions were less than satisfactory - in all, nearly 30 per cent of the sample.

Secondary schools

5.27 In many examples of successful structured programmes in secondary schools the head, or sometimes a deputy, had oversight and


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provided general encouragement and advice. Often a deputy head or other senior member of staff designated as responsible for induction administered the programme, planned and convened the meetings and frequently took responsibility for the general professional elements, and made the probationer familiar with the organisation and curriculum of the school. This person often observed the probationer's lessons regularly and gave detailed advice. I n some schools probationers were attached to year leaders or experienced form tutors, alongside whom they could serve an "apprenticeship" in the pastoral and tutorial system. A few schools designated a more experienced but not very senior colleague from the same department as "mentor", to whom the probationer could turn for advice, help and sometimes friendship. In the best cases this created an informal contact with someone committed to good teaching and professional development. However, much depended upon the mentor's perception of his role and upon the new teacher's needs, personality and perceptiveness.

5.28 The head of department's role is crucial (see paragraph 5.17). It includes: familiarising the probationers with the department, advising about curriculum and teaching approaches (including marking), helping in the choice of books and materials, observing them teaching, and offering them the opportunity to see, and perhaps participate in, teaching by other members of the department. Many heads of departments saw it as an important part of their induction role to be available, and to be seen to be available, for consultation whenever needed, especially during the difficult first term, so that the probationers did not feel that they were battling with problems on their own.

5.29 In the most highly regarded structured programmes the meetings for probationers were usually quite frequent, sometimes even weekly. In one school. which saw its role very much as supplementing initial training, the programme of meetings began before the appointment was taken up and continued throughout the first year into the post-probationary year. Matters discussed at such meetings covered a wide range of professional and administrative topics, with a balance kept between the two. Particularly valued were programmes containing talks and discussion on curriculum, lesson planning and teaching approaches, and on administrative matters specific to the school such as report writing, record keeping and access to resources. Other induction programmes provided opportunities to hear about local support services.

5.30 Many schools took care to schedule meetings usefully, so that, for example, the session on report writing came at the end of the year and that on relations with parents just before the parents' evening. One probationer who valued the meetings arranged by her school much appreciated the opportunity given to the newly trained teachers to suggest their own topics for discussion. Formal or semi-formal meetings like these were also valued because they brought together a number of newly qualified teachers in the same school so that they could share their problems and impressions. However, some


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probationers found meetings not the best context in which to discuss particular problems such as difficulties of class control.

5.31 All the best structured programmes provided, sometimes unobtrusively, regular opportunities for the probationers to talk privately to the relevant senior member of staff, and this was often the main element in the less structured programmes which other schools adopted. An ad hoc approach in a supportive school where members of staff are available and helpful, but where no special provision is made, may be effective, but there is always the danger of gaps or omissions - of the probationer not being observed teaching, of a lack of professional criticism or detailed advice on the work in the classroom or sufficient help in understanding the full role the teacher is expected to play in the school. There may be such omissions particularly where probationers appear to be experiencing few difficulties.

5.32 If a school is to support and guide its probationers effectively and the evidence from this survey suggests that this is more likely to happen when help is offered within a structured programme - then there are certain prerequisites. Perhaps the most important are the willingness of the school to offer practical help, to adjust a timetable, for example, if a probationer is experiencing difficulties with a certain class, and the probationer's awareness that such help is available, and his willingness to take advantage of it. Some framework within which this process can take place is important, and the framework should establish clear points of reference to which the teacher can turn for specific help. Sometimes senior staff believe that they have developed a warm approachable attitude, but fail to appreciate how difficult it can be for a probationer to come to ask for help.

5.33 Effective support can often, though by no means always, compensate for apparent defects or omissions in training. Where probationers have to teach subjects or aspects of subjects in which their background is inadequate, the support provided by the staff of the relevant department can be both crucial and successful. In a few cases (perhaps as many as ten in this survey), a well planned induction programme, a helpful head of department who can offer useful guidelines, and advisory support from the LEA have all contributed to overcome what appeared to be a poor match of teacher and subject.

5.34 Where schools failed to support their probationers adequately there may be many reasons. Some concern the circumstances of the school: reduced numbers of probationers may mean that some elements of an induction programme had been discontinued; weak leadership or limited resources in subject departments can lead to a lack of supervision, classroom help or lesson observation. HMI judged that in 17 secondary schools suitable conditions were not being provided for the new teacher's professional development, and in 42 further schools the conditions were less than satisfactory, - almost 30 per cent of the sample.

5.35 Very occasionally the schools saw no reason to offer any special help: one very promising teacher suffered from the attitude of many


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experienced colleagues that "He is a qualified teacher paid to do a job and should therefore be left to get on with it." Another new teacher was having to teach a group of less able pupils in a subject for which he had not been trained. Support for him consisted largely of "keeping a watchful eye", with the head slipping occasionally into the classroom on some pretext. The newly trained teacher appeared to resent this somewhat "cloak and dagger" operation in which he felt he was being spied on. Arguably an open and structured programme might have helped him more.

5.36 The onus, however, is not only upon the school to offer support but also upon the newly trained teacher to accept it. There were a very few cases where probationers apparently had available every opportunity for professional development and personal guidance and yet were reluctant to seek as much help as they needed, perhaps for fear of appearing inadequate. The school cannot do everything.

Constraints on the probationers' teaching programmes

5.37 This section has so far been concerned with the positive steps schools take to provide support for new teachers. But the extent to which that support is needed depends in part on the nature and organisation of the school. It is likely to be more difficult for the probationers in their first year to cope with teaching in schools with unsatisfactory buildings, possibly on more than one site, or in a difficult inner-city environment, than in well designed and well equipped buildings in a prosperous suburb. Such circumstances are out of the control of the head and his staff, though they should be aware of their possible effect on the new teachers' performance and adjust their level of support accordingly.

5.38 Other matters are at least partly within the control of the school - the choice of classes given to the new teachers, the heaviness of their timetable and the nature of the accommodation assigned to them. We have seen that there is wide variation in practice in this respect, but some schools at any rate consider it right to control the level of difficulty of the teachers' task in their first year in one or more of these ways.

5.39 In secondary schools some new teachers faced particular difficulties because of the number of different classes they taught in the course of the week or the number of different rooms in which the teaching took place. Obviously the former depends in part on the subject specialism of the teacher - the mathematics or English specialist with relatively large allocations of time on the timetable for each group is likely to teach fewer different groups than the religious education specialist who may have only one or two periods a week with each group. The largest number of different groups that any of the probationers reported themselves as teaching was 34, and this clearly presented an insoluble problem even of getting to know the children met each week (perhaps as many as 900 or so) let alone of developing any sort of relationship with them. More than half of the teachers taught between 6 and 9 different classes each week and a further quarter between 10 and 13, but there were several who taught far more. Schools should recognise the additional strain that constant adjustment to different groups of children can create and attempt to


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keep the number of groups assigned to new teachers as low as is consistent with the efficient deployment of their staff as a whole.

5.40 Frequent change of rooms can also present difficulties, especially if the teacher is making use of teaching aids which need to be carried round from one place to another - it is very much easier to leach in a room equipped for specialist work with easy access to materials and equipment. Nearly two-thirds of the teachers did more than half their teaching in one room or specialist area. About one in five did all their teaching in a' single room. At the other extreme was one teacher who reported using 17 different rooms in the course of the week. Much depends on the organisation of the school, but those responsible for allocation of rooms should recognise that a nomadic existence of this sort places unfair constraints on teaching, especially for new teachers.

5.41 I n addition to these circumstances, which made the work of the new teachers as a whole more difficult. HM I recorded the frequency and level of incidence of a number of constraints affecting the actual lessons observed in both primary and secondary schools. The four commonest were:

a. Difficulty of the class

Almost four out of ten of all lessons were judged by HMI to be affected by the difficulty of the class. They range from two-thirds of poor and very poor lessons to just over one in ten of the very good and excellent lessons. (Sec paragraph 2.1 and Figure I). Many of these were "notoriously" difficult classes which other members of staff found hard to handle. Such classes often contained children of low ability or poor motivation and, in primary schools, of mixed ages.

b. Limited expectations of the school

Just over a third of all lessons were affected by constraints on contents or teaching method imposed by the limited expectations of the school or department. They range from just under a half of all poor and very poor lessons to one in seven of all very good and excellent lessons. The most common limitation in secondary schools was the effect of examination syllabuses, associated with a narrow or "closed" approach, to which newly trained teachers were obliged to adhere. This featured in at least a half of all secondary lessons suffering from this constraint. The dependence of some primary schools on 'a work-card production line' or on a single set of undemanding text-books was sometimes a limiting factor.

c. Non-availability of teaching materials

Rather more than two-fifths of all lessons were affected by the non-availability of teaching materials. They range from half of the poor and very poor lessons to fewer than one in five of the very good and excellent lessons. Most commonly the problem was a shortage of suitable books and audio-visual materials, and


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this was also sometimes associated with inadequate library resources.

d. Absence of guidelines

Almost a half of all lessons were judged by HMI to have been affected by the absence of clear and helpful guidelines or schemes of work from heads of departments or senior staff - the most frequently identified constraint. They range from seven out often of all poor and very poor lessons to one in seven of all very good and excellent lessons. There is some overlap between this constraint and that described in b, above in that the absence of clear guidelines is associated on the one hand in secondary schools with narrow examination-board syllabuses and, on the other hand, in both types of school, with vagueness and lack of detail. It is in this area that the newly trained teacher feels lack of specialist support most keenly. Conversely, it is also here that the quality of support and leadership from the head in primary schools and the head of department in secondary schools is most evident.

5.42 Approximately one lesson in six in secondary schools was considered to suffer from constraints other than those discussed in the above paragraphs. They related mainly to unsuitable accommodation, lack of equipment and poor timetabling. Some lessons which suffered in this way, for example, took place in rooms which, sometimes because of a split site, were far removed from the departmental base. Some rooms were of an inappropriate size, poorly decorated, inadequately ventilated, dirty and exposed either to the weather or to unacceptable levels of noise from outside. Other lessons suffered from poor furniture or lack of equipment - audio-visual equipment, blackboard or blackout: one or two teachers were obliged to carry pieces of equipment from one room to another. Poor timetabling arrangements also caused difficulties, too little time being allowed between lessons for travelling between buildings, for example, or changing after PE. The resultant late arrival of many pupils was clearly unhelpful.

5.43 Teachers were able to cope with these difficulties to a greater or lesser extent. The constraints themselves were more or less severe. But for both primary and secondary teachers there was a highly significant relationship* between the quality of the lessons seen and the degree of constraint which in HMl's judgement affected them. The two most significant constraints in this respect were the difficulty of the class and the absence of guidelines for the teacher.

Table 36 LEA induction arrangements - the schools' view

*See Appendix 2, paragraph 19.


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LEA's role in induction

5.44 Local education authorities have an essential role in the continuing professional development of teachers, particularly during the critical first year of teaching. They can help to provide a good foundation to the careers of teachers through activities such as courses, seminars and meetings as well as by providing support through their advisory services and by encouraging a policy for induction in the schools. Another important element in the involvement of LEA's with newly trained teachers is the authorities' responsibility for the assessment of teachers' professional competence for the completion of their probationary period. The ways in which authorities make this assessment vary, but it is likely to create less concern on the part of teachers if they have already welcomed the teachers to their employment, and demonstrated their concern to help them in their professional development.

5.45 Information on the nature and extent of LEA support for probationary teachers was obtained from the schools and from comments made by the teachers themselves. When heads were asked about arrangements, rather more than half of them said that probationers attended planned induction programmes which were provided by the LEA, and over 85 per cent of them said that the probationary teachers attended meetings organised by the authority. A number of heads commented on the abandonment, no doubt in par! for financial reasons, of programmes formerly organised by LEAs, while others suggested that the current provision was less extensive than it had been. Some authorities had appointed so few probationers in the current year that previous patterns of induction were no longer suitable.

5.46 The range of support provided by authorities was reportedly very wide, but at its best it included most or all of the following elements:

1. Meetings

One or more introductory meetings are held primarily to welcome newly trained teachers into the LEA's service and to give them opportunities to meet officers, advisers and sometimes members of education committees as well as each other. These meetings, which most authorities arranged even when little else was provided for probationers, had quite limited objectives, but were generally welcomed by the teachers.

2. Visits

Visits are made by LEA advisers or inspectors to observe the new teacher at work and to offer advice and help. One authority, for example, arranged for specialist advisers to see the probationer about twice each term or more frequently if required. These visits provided the new teacher with an opportunity to discuss more general issues as well as the specific ones arising from particular lessons which had been observed. In some authorities the visits by advisers were complemented by the work of "divisional tutors". Teachers often found this kind of support


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helpful, and appreciated the emphasis on advice as well as assessment.

3. Conferences and courses

Conferences and courses are arranged, generally lasting for a single day, and varying in frequency from once a month to once a term. They often take place in Teachers' Centres and assume the form of 'workshops' in which there are opportunities for discussion among probationers about practical problems they are meeting in the course of their teaching. Specialist advisers frequently play an important part, using such resources as videotapes of good examples of teaching as a basis for discussion.

4. Guidelines

One authority provides a handbook on the induction year for the guidance of its officers and advisers and schools management teams. This covers the information which all newly appointed teachers should receive initially, including details about school policies, resources available, timetables, roles of senior staff, methods of communication within the school, pastoral care, marking policy, record-keeping and safety. It also gives guidance about the supervision of the new teacher, his observation of other colleagues, the assessment of pupils, and information about the support provided by professional agencies outside the school. The booklet also provides the main headings for the assessment of the newly trained teacher as well as setting out the role and responsibilities of the county advisory service. The same authority gives to all teachers new to the authority a booklet containing maps and lists of schools in the region, information about the services provided by the authority and various other agencies in the area, and information on the calculation of payment of salaries.

5.47 Two examples will serve to illustrate the ways in which these elements are combined. The first, for primary school probationers, has the following pattern: a meeting of the probationers early in the Autumn term with the CEO and advisers; a pastoral visit of an adviser to the school; working groups led by more senior teachers where common themes are discussed (for example, the management and organisation of the classroom, display and visual presentation) and information and advice are given about the availability and use of educational support services; school visits - each probationer makes two visits to each of two other schools before the end of the year and these are followed by discussion.

5.48 Another authority sets out clearly in a circular to all schools its policy for the induction of newly trained teachers. I n this authority all probationers are released from teaching duties for the equivalent of half a day per week throughout the school year to take part in a systematic programme. There is also an option of two weeks' preservice experience. Schools are compensated for the loss of teaching time when the probationer is released by an increase in their authorised staffing. Each school is required to designate a member of staff to have a specific responsibility for probationers, and extra staff


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are provided for this purpose. The induction scheme consists of a school-based component in which a reduced teaching load enables the newly trained teacher to observe and work with more experienced colleagues as well as providing extra time for preparation, marking and evaluation; a central programme of courses organised in the local Teachers' Centre; and, for secondary teachers, a programme for subject specialists in the district. To allow these elements to be coordinated, schools are given some six months' notice of the dates of the sessions arranged by the authority. The authority also issues a paper to schools in which the differences between induction and assessment for probation are emphasised.

5.49 Where structured LEA induction programmes exist there is occasionally a resistance on the part of the teacher. who sometimes resents being taken away from his own class. Sometimes too there is evidence of lack of support from schools. One head pointed out that visits to other schools are not all satisfactory - "you need to balance the visits against the disturbance of routine". Where schools had several probationers, there were real problems of releasing them to attend training organised by the authority, if no supply cover was allowed. In one primary school only two out of three probationer teachers were able to attend the one meeting so far arranged - and the teacher in this survey was unable to do so. The head of another (secondary) school requested the probationer not to attend the twice-termly meetings provided by the LEA because the absence of all five probationers at the same time could not be covered. There were other examples of probationers similarly attending on a rota system - which sometimes made nonsense or a carefully planned and structured course of meetings.

5.50 There were criticisms about the level and nature of the advisory support. In some authorities advisers only visited schools when invited by the head, and this invitation was often only extended if a probationer was in difficulties. In other cases, the crucial role of the advisers had been weakened by the reduction of their number, as some had left or retired but not been replaced. Even when LEA induction arrangements appeared minimal, both the new teachers and schools often seemed satisfied with the arrangements, seeing LEA help as something to fall back on if all else failed.

Table 37 Level of school and LEA support - HMI's assessment


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Summary
HMI's assessment of induction arrangements

5.51 HMI assessed the level of support received by probationers from both schools and LEA's on the basis both of their interviews with the head and members of the school staff (including the probationer) and of their observation during their visits and the inferences that could be drawn from these. It was judged that over four-fifths of the primary teachers and nearly four-fifths of the secondary teachers received at least satisfactory support from the head. An even larger proportion, particularly of secondary teachers. were being well supported by their fellow members of staff. I n most cases the head of the department was the key figure in providing this support. Advice was forthcoming from the schools particularly on class organisation and on the preparation of lessons and schemes of work, but was less often given on the assessment of work in the classroom. Nearly a half of the secondary teachers and just over three-fifths of the primary teachers appeared to be receiving satisfactory LEA support. There is some evidence from the schools that the number of LEA's providing such support has tended to drop in the last year or so.

Table 38 Quality of personal relationships - HMI's assessment

5.52 I t has been noted above (paragraph 5.25) that good relationships within the school are a key element in the effectiveness and acceptability of the support provided for the new teacher. In the great majority of cases, relationships between the new teacher and the head, other members of staff and pupils were good or at least satisfactory. Only in fewer than one in ten of secondary schools and in a mere handful of primary schools did they fall short of satisfactory.

5.53 In the case of over half the secondary teachers and over three-fifths of the primary teachers the school was making appropriate demands upon them in the nature of the job that they were called on to do and the circumstances in which they were expected to do it. There were few instances where the job was less demanding than it should have been, but in quite a high proportion it was more demanding substantially so for about one in eight of the teachers.

5.54 The school was making good use of the abilities that the new teacher brought in nearly nine cases out of ten in secondary schools but in many fewer primary schools, sometimes because the main specialisms the teachers brought were ones that could not be directly used in the school curriculum and sometimes because the school did


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not expect a specialist contribution from new teachers in their first year (see paragraphs 4.11ff.).

Table 39 New teachers' opportunities for professional development - HMI's assessment

5.55 Over two-thirds of both primary and secondary schools were providing an environment which encouraged the professional development of new teachers. In these cases there is good reason to expect that the teachers will be able to build on their initial training and to continue to improve their teaching skills, their range of knowledge and their professional attitudes. Though there were few schools which wholly failed to provide for the new teachers' professional development, the inadequacies of as many as a third of those in the sample may lead to the new teachers' failing to achieve their potential - or at least in their doing so more painfully and more slowly.

5.56 There was a very clear association between the standard of work observed in the classroom and each of the features mentioned in the preceding paragraphs: the level of school support, the quality of personal relationships and the opportunities of the school provided for the teacher's professional development.

Table 40 New teachers' satisfaction with their jobs

The new teachers' satisfaction with their jobs

5.57 The level of satisfaction shown by the new teachers with their jobs is the product of a number of circumstances, not least their own temperament. No doubt the circumstances which surround the first


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post, including in some cases relief at finding a job at all, influence their level of satisfaction. The support they have received from the head and members of staff, the availability of advice from the school, the quality of relationships with head and colleagues, all tend to enhance the new teachers' satisfaction with their jobs. There is also an association between the probationers' satisfaction and both the schools' judgement of their effectiveness (paragraph 5.6) and HMl's assessment of the mastery of teaching skills (paragraphs 3.1ff.): the better equipped teacher is the happier teacher. Both primary and secondary teachers were more satisfied when the school provided conditions which encouraged their full professional development. Secondary teachers were also more likely to be content when the school had not given them a job which made excessive demands upon them and did not have unreasonably high expectations (paragraph 5.4), when the overall match between qualification and task was good (paragraph 4.17 and 4.36) and when the school was making good use of their skills (paragraph 4.33)*. All this underlines the crucial responsibility of the schools to which probationers are appointed to provide the right conditions to complement their initial training.

*See Appendix 2 paragraphs 21ff.





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6 Conclusions

Overall conclusions

6.1 The first objective of the present study was to "assess how well newly trained teachers in general are equipped for the work they are assigned in their first posts". It is clear from the preceding sections that this is very different from the question: "How well trained were they in their colleges?" Apart from the quality, style and nature of their initial training, the equipment for the first posts of newly trained teachers is also the result of the appropriateness of their appointment, the nature of the tasks the school has allocated them, the conditions under which they are carrying out those tasks, and the level and quality of support they are receiving from school and local education authority. Underlying all these are the personal qualities that the teachers bring to their job. Taking all these into account, HMI rated over half of all newly trained teachers as well or very well equipped for their task and over three-quarters as adequately equipped or better. The heads of the schools considered an even higher proportion to be well prepared for teaching. This is very encouraging, especially since these assessments were made at a very early stage in the probationers' professional development: some of those considered poorly equipped will undoubtedly improve substantially in their first few years of teaching. Nevertheless, at a time when there are considerably more trained teachers available than there are posts for them to occupy in schools, it is disturbing to find nearly a quarter of the teachers in the present sample considered poorly or very poorly equipped for the task they are given to do. This concluding section seeks to ask why this should be and what steps might be taken to improve the situation.

Significant elements in success and failure
Personal qualities

6.2 In making their assessment. HMI found that the personal qualities of the teachers were in many cases the decisive factor in their effectiveness. A similar view was put forward by schools. (see paragraph 5.5). Amongst the small minority deemed very well equipped, in almost every case HMI described a range of outstanding personal qualities which, developed by training and the probationers' current experiences in their first posts, marked them out as teachers of the highest order. Even where the training seemed not to have been as effective as it should have been, or, more commonly. where it was ill matched with the tasks the teachers had been called upon to do, there were many cases where the personal qualities of the teachers had enabled them to overcome this disadvantage, particularly when they also received sympathetic and sound support from school or LEA. Amongst those considered poorly or very poorly equipped were some who were clearly ill fitted for teaching and others whose personal qualities were such as to make it difficult for them to be fully effective, however good their training and however well supported they were by other teachers in the school. One might well ask why, after initial selection for training followed by a period of between one and four years of further assessment for suitability as a school teacher, a number of teachers who are temperamentally ill fitted for the task still


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find their way into the classroom. The main responsibility must rest with the training institutions. which have unrivalled opportunities for judging the fitness of their students over a period of time. There is little doubt that. while the great majority of the students who are passed at the end of their course are fitted for teaching, some are not. It may be that in some institutions too much emphasis is placed on performance in examinations in the award of the degree or diploma. It may also be that the assessment of teaching practice. which should expose the strengths and weaknesses of the students in the classroom, is less rigorous than it should be or is carried out in conditions of such artificiality as not to make it an adequate test.

The training institutions should carry out a more effective process of "quality control" to ensure that only those who have the qualities of personality and temperament as well as the academic and professional skills needed for teaching are awarded teaching qualifications.

6.3 A similar point could be made in relation to the new teacher's appointment to his or her first post. Where there is a reasonable harmony between the strengths and personal qualities of the teachers and the style of the school to which they a re appointed, both the quality of work in the schools and the professional development of the teachers are helped. There are teachers who would be able to work happily in a relaxed, supportive environment and thus develop into good teachers, but who have been appointed to schools where a rigid or authoritarian style of organisation exists. I n consequence they are both unhappy and unsuccessful. The reverse can also be true. This is an element of "match" which tends to be neglected.

Those responsible for first appointments should take personal and temperamental factors into consideration as well as the academic and professional preparation of the candidates, in determining their fitness to teach in a particular school.

Appropriateness of training

6.4 The great majority of appointments were regarded by schools themselves and by HMI as appropriate (paragraph 5.1): the teachers' education and training matched the requirements of the work that they were called upon to do. But there were many appointments to posts which in the event involved the teachers in work for which they were ill prepared and ill equipped, either in part or in whole. The inappropriateness of such appointments was often well known ill the time both to the schools and the probationers, and it was only the fact that the probationer despaired of gelling a post and the school of finding a teacher with the qualifications required which led to this outcome.

6.5 The machinery of appointment seems in part to have been responsible for this desperation. Often, particularly for primary schools, the post had been advertised only locally Of at a very late stage, and sometimes not at all. Under these circumstances. which on occasion involved the appointment of a teacher from an LEA "pool", the chances of finding an appropriately qualified teacher are much reduced. Some such appointments were on a limited contract. which from the point of view of the school put a term to an unsatisfactory


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situation, but which provided the newly trained teacher with a further hurdle - the hurdle of insecurity - to overcome in the first months of teaching. Circumstances out of the control of the appointers were sometimes responsible for these late appointments - a last minute resignation, illness, etc. - but sometimes there appears to have been an element of inefficiency in the arrangements for determining staff levels and appointments policy. Many of these ill matched appointments were for areas of shortage, particularly mathematics, but there were others where there were no such obvious reasons.

6.6 In a high proportion of cases where inappropriate appointments had been made, the quality of work in the classroom was poor. Where this was not so, it was generally because a combination of a determination by the probationer to succeed and a sympathetic and intelligent level of support by the school and, particularly in secondary schools, by the department within which the teacher was working.

The appointment of teachers to schools should he the result of a thorough process of selection which seeks to ensure that the best possible match of qualifications and teaching tasks is achieved. This match is particularly important in the case of first posts, both in the interests of the pupils and of the teachers themselves.

Nature of the teaching job and conditions of work

6.7 There was a very wide range of views existing in the schools visited about their role in relation to the newly trained teachers. Some few treated the new teacher as a novice to be cosseted: others assumed that the probationer would behave in every way like a teacher of long experience. While there were some probationers who belonged to one or other of these categories, most fell in between. The majority of schools provided at least adequate and generally appropriate support, though there were many cases where they gave too little, or (less commonly) too much help. But the circumstances of the new teachers' first year were largely a matter of chance. If it is the case that the induction year is an integral part of the teacher's training and a key element in their professional development it is clearly unsatisfactory that its effectiveness should be so haphazard.

There is a strong case to be made for the setting up of national guidelines which should indicate both the acceptable minimum and the desirable levels of support that should be available for all new teachers both from the schools and local authorities. Such guidelines might well take account of the examples of good practice described in Section 5.

6.8 The partnership of LEA and individual school in induction is important: each has a contribution to make which the other generally cannot provide. In most primary schools there is no more than one new teacher in anyone year, and increasingly. with the fall in pupil numbers, this is likely to be the case in secondary schools. While in some ways this makes the task of the school easier, the school cannot provide under these circumstances those aspects of induction which require probationers to be able to exchange views and experience with each other, to learn something of the wider educational process outside their own schools and to be brought into contact with outside agencies. It is unfortunate that. while schools for the most part are


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doing their best to provide support, a number of LEA's are lending. whether through economic pressures or because of smaller numbers of probationers, to reduce their involvement in induction. In Chapters 2 and 3, some of the areas have been identified in which probationers fell ill-prepared or where HMI noted weaknesses. These include mixed-ability teaching, assessment and matching of work to pupils' capacities, and the teaching of groups which make specific demands upon the teacher, such as ethnic minorities or socially deprived children.

In drawing up a detailed induction programme, schools and LEAs should consider ways of providing help for probationers according to individual needs.

6.9 More generally HMI found probationers in a high proportion of their lessons working under constraints which might have been avoided, and these constraints appear to have had a significant effect upon the quality of the work. It is not easy to strike the right balance here. There is a conflict between the concept of induction and of probation which is not easy to resolve. Induction should aim to present the probationers with a gradient of difficulty designed to enhance their chances of success. Probation involves assessment and requires that the new teachers should demonstrate themselves as capable of undertaking all those tasks expected of a teacher. The two are not incompatible, though to meet the requirements of both would imply ideally a more flexible form of time lab Ie than is normally provided and a programme of teaching for the probationer which is to some extent differentiated in the course of the academic year. This is very far from the "sink or swim" approach advocated by some of the heads in the survey. which can too easily result in the premature loss of some potentially strong swimmers.

Both induction and probation requirements should influence the planning of the new teacher's teaching programme. Perhaps in the longer term, the possibility should be considered of separating the two processes and requiring a year's probation after the completion of an induction year.

Types of training and their contents

6.10 The strengths and weaknesses of new teachers who have emerged from the BEd and from the PGCE routes are different and their induction and in-service needs are correspondingly different. In terms both of their mastery of a range of teaching skills (as evidenced by the work observed) and of their confidence in the effectiveness of their training, those primary school teachers who had followed a BEd course were generally superior in their first year, and secondary school teachers with a similar training also displayed greater confidence than those who had followed a PGCE course. Secondary teachers who had followed the PGCE route, and especially those who had trained at universities, tended to display greater mastery of the subject-matter of the lessons observed.

This leads to the conclusion that a programme of induction, desirable as it is for all new teachers, is particularly necessary for the PGCE-trained teachers, with their much shorter base of training, if they are to acquire an early mastery of a range of teaching skills. For many BEd teachers in


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secondary schools, induction (and subsequent in-service training) will need to be focussed on the enhancement of their mastery of their subjects rather than primarily on developing their teaching skills.

6.11 The range of subjects that primary teachers are engaged in is very wide, and the demands on their training correspondingly heavy. Education departments in colleges, polytechnics and universities no doubt do their best to balance the need for depth in the student's understanding of some areas of the curriculum with breadth so that they have at least some familiarity with all those areas which they will have to teach. Some teachers clearly believed that the right balance was not always achieved in their own case, and those who had taken a PGCE in particular questioned the possibility of covering the range of curriculum studies they needed in the time available. The time allocation for some curricular areas as reported by a few of the teachers was clearly inadequate.

The problem of balance is one which will no doubt continue to exercise training institutions and their validating bodies - in particular in the case of primary teachers it may well be necessary to devote a greater proportion of time within PGCE to curriculum studies. In addition it is important that the students' earlier education and their personal interests are considered as well as their degree subjects at the point of selection for training, to ensure that, by the end of their PGCE, they will have a good knowledge of a wide range of curriculum areas in addition to a greater mastery of at least one part of the primary school curriculum.

6.12 The great majority of degrees taken by PGCE students are in single subjects, and it is not possible within the compass of a one-year PGCE to provide academic mastery of a second or third subject at a level adequate for secondary teaching if very secure foundations do not already exist. One of the problems of the immediate future in secondary schools may well be the increasing likelihood, already evidenced in the survey, that schools will call upon probationers to teach more widely across the curriculum than their knowledge base can adequately sustain.

It is not a satisfactory condition either for induction or probation that new teachers be required to teach a subject in which they are not personally competent - nor is it likely to be a rewarding experience for the pupils in their classes.



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Appendix 1 Questionnaires issued to schools and probationers


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Appendix 2 Statistical note

Contributed by one of the Department's statisticians

The sample of teachers

1. A stratified random sample of slightly over 300 teachers was drawn from the DES main mechanised record of teachers, a computer file containing data supplied by local education authorities for statistical and superannuation purposes. The population available for sampling was defined as all trained graduate teachers* in maintained primary, middle and secondary schools in England and Wales who started teaching in September 1980. There were three dimensions to the stratification: the type of school in which the teacher was employed (primary, middle or secondary), an eightfold geographical classification of the teacher's LEA based on the seven English Divisions of HM Inspectorate with the addition of Wales and, for secondary teachers only, the first-named subject of the teacher's degree.

2. At the time when the structure of the sample was determined it seemed likely that the population of newly trained graduate teachers would be split between primary and secondary schools in the ratio 1:2. This ratio was used for sampling and is confirmed by the latest available estimates of the intake. After losing 6 of the teachers originally drawn from the sample due to illness or resignation and having distributed 20 teachers teaching in middle schools between primary and secondary depending on the curricular organisation of the schools**, the resulting sample of 93 primary school teachers and 20 I secondary school teachers represented a little over 3 per cent of the graduate intake population.

3. There is no discernible geographical bias in the sample, though the marked differences in the rates of recruitment between various LEAs are reflected in it. The qualifications of secondary school teachers are in proportion to those of the population, but there may be small biases in that certain graduate qualifications were not separately identified in the Department's records. Any bias would be too small to invalidate any of the conclusions drawn in this report.

4. Given the composition of the sample there are also some small biases in the lessons observed for teachers in secondary schools. Inspectors visited each school for one day during which they were to observe two lessons and have a number of discussions. With such a tight schedule it was not possible to exercise more than minimal control over what lessons were observed. Inspectors were asked to ensure that at least one of the two lessons was typical of each teacher's timetable but were otherwise free to choose whatever it was convenient to observe. The teachers had been asked to provide certain details of their weekly timetables, and the distribution of their lessons over the six year-groups is set alongside the distribution of the 402 lessons observed in the table opposite:

*ie including both BEd and PGCE-trained teachers.

**Which normally reflected their status and age-range, "deemed primary" or "deemed secondary".


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5. Lessons with the sixth year arc under-represented, but the balance within the other years is preserved reasonably well. It was not possible to test for other forms of bias, but it is unlikely that they would be severe enough to invalidate any of the conclusions in the report. It is possible that lessons which were atypical of the teachers' timetables were under-represented in the collection of observations, since each Inspector visiting a school had a specialism matched with the school's preliminary indication of the teacher's main teaching subject. The Inspector may have tended to observe his own specialism for both of the lessons if the constraints of the one-day visit allowed of that.

Statistical analyses

6. The material in Chapters 1 to 6 of the report rests to a greater or lesser extent on analyses of the statistical material collected. While most of the analyses simply reported the distribution of each variable separately for teachers in primary and secondary schools, some examined the relationships between these variables. Here it is only possible to show the basis for a few of the more explicit references in the text to probable associations, giving examples from the data and indicating the techniques and tests employed.

7. With much of the data being of an ordinal* rather than continuous nature, it would have been useful to experiment with the newly emerging techniques for handling multivariate ordinal situations. However, the need to produce a timely report precluded this approach. Instead, a variety of bivariate non-parametric methods were used, supplemented by conventional multivariate techniques. Proper caution was exercised in the interpretation of the results of analyses which were not entirely appropriate to the kind of data being studied.

8. Two major classificatory variables used in the questionnaire completed by the teacher show the type of training course undertaken. whether four-year BEd, three-year BEd, PGCE or other, and the type of institution attended. The categorisation of institution types offered in the questionnaire was found to be imperfectly understood by the probationer and not the most fruitful for subsequent analyses, so HMI undertook a recoding of type of institution into a fourfold division of university departments of education (UDEs), polytechnic departments of education (POEs). LEA-maintained colleges and voluntary colleges or institutes of higher education, based on the name of the institution which every probationer had been asked to supply.

9. These two variables, referred to as TC (Type of Course) and TI (Type of Institution), were set against five assessment variables MSJ, MSK, SAS, SATI, SAT2. All of these assessments except SAT I are clearly of an ordinal nature. The findings are summarised in paragraphs 3.50ff of the report.

*Ordinal data is measured on scales whose points have a clear ordering though little or nothing is known about the relative magnitudes of the intervals between the points. Continuous data on the other hand is measured on scales such as age or height whose intervals arc in some sense equal. Classificatory data (mentioned in paragraph 8) is not measured on any scale at all, serving only to distinguish various subsets of the sample.


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10. MSJ is an Inspector's assessment of the teacher's mastery of the subject-matter of the lessons observed, one of a number of assessments made on the evidence of the work HMI saw in the classroom*. The two ratings for each teacher, which ranged between I and 5, are here added together to give an MSJ score ranging between 2 and 10. For ease of display the resulting scores have been placed in three broad bands. Table A 1 shows the percentage distribution across MSJ for each category of TC and TI for secondary teachers. Under TC, the "other" type of course has been suppressed since no secondary teachers placed themselves in this category. This analysis is confined to those teachers who were observed teaching a subject for which they had an appropriate qualification; less than 10 per cent of the total sample of 20 I secondary teachers had to be excluded to meet this condition.

Table A1 Mastery of subject-matter of lessons observed by type of course and type of training institution

11. The apparent superiority of PGCE-trained secondary teachers seen in the TC block Table A I is not confirmed by any statistical test, but those who attended university departments of education were rated significantly better in their mastery of the subject-matter of the lessons observed than those who attended other types of institution. The statistical significance of a Mann-Whitney U-test was confirmed by a median test. For all the associations reported in this appendix the threshold for statistical significance was taken as 95 per cent, allowing only a one in twenty chance that an association reported between two variables would be due to spurious sampling errors.

12. MSK is HMI's rating on a 5 point scale of the teacher's mastery of a wide range of teaching skills**. For primary teachers MSK was found to be associated with the type of course but not with the type of institution attended, whereas for secondary teachers it was weakly associated with the type of institution but not at all with the type of course. The significant associations are displayed in Table A2.

13. Primary teachers who undertook a four-year BEd have a significantly better mastery of skills than either of the other two groups. Secondary teachers who were trained in maintained colleges appear to have a lesser mastery of skills than those trained elsewhere

*See paragraphs 2.25 and 2.29 and Table 8.

**See paragraphs 3.1ff and Figure 2.


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but the significance of the difference for secondary teachers is only apparent using the Mann-Whitney U-test which, while more powerful than other tests, might not be considered appropriate to such data. The finding is not confirmed by other tests.

Table A2 Mastery of teaching skills by type of course and type of training institution

14. SAS reflects the school's own assessment of how well equipped each teacher was. The 5-point scale, ranging from I (very well equipped with no stated reservations) to 5 (very ill equipped) was used by a small group ofHMI to code the written responses of visiting HMI which resulted from their interviews with senior school staff". This assessment is consistent with that of HMI (MSK) as is illustrated in Table A3. It is immediately obvious from the marginal totals that SAS, the school's assessment as interpreted by HMI, is more favourable to the teachers than the more direct MSK assessment. Within these marginal constraints it can be seen that the balance of the SAS assessments move to the right as one moves downwards through the rows of MSK. The rank correlation coefficients between the ordered categories of the pairs of variables attain values of 0.44 for primary teachers and 0.38 for secondary teachers. Bearing in mind the subjectivity which underlies the assessments, these values are quite high.

Table A2 Schools' assessment of how well equipped each teacher was by HMIs' assessment of their mastery of skills

*See paragraphs 5.5ff.


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15. SATI is a measure of the teachers' satisfaction with certain aspects of their training. The ratings shown in Tables II, 12 and 13 were averaged for each teacher.* The resulting scale can be treated as if it were continuous. There were no significant differences in the mean SAT I scores between teachers in primary and teachers in secondary schools but there were significant differences in the mean scores of teachers trained through different types of course, putting primary and secondary teachers together. The mean scores are listed in Table A4 together with their standard errors.

Table A4 Teachers' satisfaction with different types of training course

Since a higher mean score represents a greater dissatisfaction, it is apparent that teachers with PGCE training are significantly more dissatisfied with certain parts of their training than are other teachers, the differences in the mean scores being considerably greater than the standard errors in the differences, which are about 0.083.

16. There is a smaller but still significant association between SAT I and the type of institution attended. An analysis of variance to test for the equality of the four mean scores for the four types of institution was almost significant at the 95 per cent level. An inspection of the means revealed that there was little difference between the levels of satisfaction with courses in UDEs. LEA-maintained colleges and voluntary colleges but that there was a somewhat greater level of satisfaction with courses in polytechnic departments of education, the mean being significantly different from the combined mean of the other three types of institution.

17. SAT2 is a measure of the teachers' satisfaction with the balance of time spent on various components of the training course. The first four items shown in Table 14** were averaged after recoding the midpoint of each scale to 1 to indicate satisfaction, points 2 and 4 to 2 and points I and 5 to 3 to indicate dissatisfaction. The mean scores are listed in Table A5 together with their standard errors.

Table A5 Teachers' satisfaction with balance of time within training course, by type of course

*See paragraphs 3.21 to 3.40 for further details

**See paragraphs 3.41 to 3.49 for further details


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As for SAT1, the PGCE-trained teachers are different from the other two groups but this time in the opposite direction. They are more satisfied with the balance of their courses.

18. There is also an association between SA T2 and the type of institution attended. The mean scores are shown in Table A6 where the types of institution are reordered in descending order of satisfaction. An F-test for the equality of the four means was highly significant (p = 0.99). The difference between adjacent pairs of institution types in the tables are not significant but all other pairwise comparisons show significant differences.

Table A6 Teachers' satisfaction with balance of time within training course, by type of training institution

SAT2 has a somewhat skewed distribution on only nine points. The use of F and T statistics on such data is questionable but the differences for PGCE-trained students displayed in Table A5 were confirmed by suitable chi-square tests on the raw frequency distributions for each of the four variables which were averaged to create SA T2.

19. Where an association between two ordinal scales was needed. Kendall's rank correlation coefficient was computed, together with its associated level of significance. An example of this is seen in the correlation of the HMIs' overall 6-point scale assessment of each lesson observed with their rating of the constraints within the class or within the school which might have affected the lesson*. The severity of each of the four constraints had been rated on a 5-point scale for each lesson. The four ratings were average for each lesson and the result correlated with the 6-point scale assessment whose overall distribution is shown, in Figure I.

20. The rank correlation coefficient for lessons in primary schools was 0.43 and for those in secondary schools 0.38, both coefficients being very significantly non-zero. II is not easy to interpret the absolute value of rank correlation coefficients but the impression that constraints on lessons played a major part in the outcome was confirmed by an analysis of variance (more correctly an analysis of deviance within the framework of a Generalised linear Model which treated the 6-point scale as if it were a continuous variable) under which 36 per cent of the total variance in the 6-point scale ratings for primary lessons and 25 per cent for secondary lessons was explained by a linear combination of the four constraint ratings. There was a

*See paragraphs 5.41ff.


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large degree of overlap in the effects of the four constraints with about three-quarters of the explainable variation being accounted for by the difficulty of the class and over half being separately attributable to the absence of clear guidelines or schemes of work.

Table A7 Schools' provision of opportunities for the professional development of teachers by teachers' job satisfaction

21. The Inspectors who visited the schools were asked to record, in descriptive form, their impression of how well satisfied the teachers were with their jobs. As for SAS, a small group of HMI coded these written responses onto a five-point scale, JSAT. whose points were defined as:

1 well satisfied
2 well satisfied except for minor reservations
3 generally satisfied
4 fairly dissatisfied
5 very dissatisfied*
Table A8 Support from heads and other staff by teachers' job satisfaction

*See paragraph 5.57 and Table 40.


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Table A9 Teachers', relationships with heads and other staff by teachers' job satisfaction

22. JSAT was found to correlate quite highly with a number of assessments made about the school and relationships between its staff and the probationary teacher*. These correlations are shown in Tables A 7, A8 and A9. On both dimensions of each table the lowest two categories of each scale have been combined for ease of display. The rank correlation coefficients (Kendall's Tau) are all very significantly non-zero (with a significance level greater than 99.9 per cent) except for those shown for primary teachers in Table A8 which are nevertheless significant at the 95 per cent level.

23. All the examples quoted above involve some measure of subjective assessment made by HMI, by the schools or by the teachers. Several other analyses looked at the associations between purely factual pieces of data. An example is shown in Figure A I where the distribution of the total number of weeks of teaching practice is displayed for each of the three types of course. It can be seen that the teaching practice in PGCE courses. with an average of 12.2 weeks is less than in BEd courses. with an average of 14.5, or in four-year BEd courses. with an average of 14.8. It is also evident that the most common pattern for BEd courses is 15 weeks with 13 weeks as the next most common pattern. For PGCE courses the two most common patterns are 12 and 10 weeks**.

*See paragraphs 5.51-5.86 and Tables 37-39.

**See also paragraph 3.56.


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Figure A1 Distribution of length of teaching practice by type of course