The second edition of the Green Shoots Education Landscape report has been published, providing a snapshot of the macro and micro issues affecting the UK education sector.

We surveyed primary and secondary school teachers between 18th and 26th January to gather their views. The bulk of the questions in the survey were consistent with the 2022 study, making it possible to see how the situation has changed over the past 12 months. For the 2023 survey we also added new questions to find out how schools are using Oak National Academy and capture initial reaction to Chat GPT. Below are some of the key findings, but a full report can be downloaded by clicking here.

Teachers remain very concerned about the macro-education landscape
Not only do they consider the sector to be severely underfunded following more than a decade of real-terms cuts, but they believe government policy is not helping to improve the situation. It is notable that teachers working across both primary and secondary school phases are united in this assessment.

At the individual school level teachers are more positive, tending to report that their schools have effective leadership, a supportive culture, and an effective CPD programme
However they are much more split regarding the effectiveness of their school’s ICT infrastructure. Where teachers all agree is on funding, which remains a big issue, with many reporting that lack of budget is affecting the quality of teaching and learning. Open feedback shows that schools are struggling to cope with the rising inflation, and that they are cutting back on spending that is not already committed, notably CPD and teaching and learning resources.

Despite all of the challenges facing the sector, the teachers taking part in this survey reported that they still derive satisfaction from teaching
However, this came with a multitude of caveats such as workload, pay, mental health, etc. It is notable that while many teachers enjoy teaching, they are seeking an exit from the profession because of everything that goes alongside it.

Few teachers who completed the survey are making regular usage of Oak National Academy
Almost half (49%) have reportedly never used Oak, while only 7% reportedly use it on a weekly basis. Teachers who have used Oak tend to report that the resources are high quality and that they have saved the teacher time. However, fewer than one-in-three Oak users report that it saves their school money from having to invest in other resources, and only around one-in-ten users say that it was helpful for curriculum design. Teachers who have used Oak report that they are most likely to have used it for the ready-made resources (46% of users) and for lesson cover (35%), which highlights Oak’s important role in helping to make schools resilient during periods of disrupted learning.

Although Chat GPT has been making a significant amount of noise, by the time of this survey (18th to 26th January) less than half (47%) of our respondents reported being aware of the platform, and only one-in-ten have tried it
Of those who are aware of Chat GPT, the initial reaction is mixed. Roughly one-in-five (22%) report being excited about the potential of Chat GPT to enhance learning, while 36% reported being concerned that it will have a negative impact. A further 30% report that they do not think Chat GPT, and other such AI platforms, will have an impact on teaching and learning, which may represent a missed opportunity.

If you have any questions or comments about the latest edition of this research then please get in touch with us.

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