London Metropolitan University Research Institutes


General Teaching Council for England Survey of Teachers 2006

Funded by

General Teaching Council for England (GTC)


October 2005 - July 2006

In November 2005, the General Teaching Council (GTC) commissioned the Institute for Policy Studies in Education (IPSE) at London Metropolitan University to undertake a large-scale independent survey of a nationally representative sample of teachers selected from the GTC Registration database. This is the third annual survey the GTC have commissioned; the surveys in 2004 and 2005 were conducted by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NfER), and reports of these are available on the GTC website.

The surveys are designed to track teachers’ views. The findings are used to inform the GTC’s policy and the advice which they give to the Secretary of State for Education and Skills.

Aims of the research

The aims of the 2006 survey were firstly to revisit some of the areas investigated through previous surveys, in order to see whether and how teachers’ views have changed; and secondly to explore teachers’ views about topics not included in previous surveys.

Design and Scope

The survey covered all registered teachers in England, and focussed on five themes: teachers' careers, CPD, teaching and learning, equality and national initiatives. In addition, the questionnaire was sent to a booster sample of teachers known to come from minority ethnic backgrounds.


A random sample of 10,000 teachers was drawn from a sample pool of 430,722 eligible teachers registered with the GTC; that is, those who were in service in state schools in England in September 2005. This sample was compared with the population on the following key variables to ensure it was representative: gender, phase, school type, age, government office regions and hours worked.


The questionnaire was developed from the GTC's research themes, and was piloted with ten teachers on an individual basis. The survey was distributed by post (to home addresses where these were available) in the last week of February 2006. It was also made available on-line for those who preferred to respond in this way. Teachers were asked to respond within six weeks, with the closing date in the week after Easter. Two postal reminders were sent out, and one email reminder to the small number for whom the GTC database included up-to-date email addresses.
The data were linked to background details taken from the GTC register of teachers, including: gender, age, length of service, government office region, hours description (full time, part-time, supply and unknown), and the phase in which teachers worked. In addition, for those teachers working in schools, a range of data held by the DfES was imported: school type, percentage of pupils with special educational needs, percentage of pupils eligible for free school meals, percentage of pupils with English as an additional language, and Key Stage results. This imported data was used to create two measures which described the school context.

Basic frequency tables, tests of significance, one-, two- and three-way ANOVA and some regression modelling was used to analyse the data.

Findings and Conclusions

The very wide variety of responses highlighted the diversity within the profession. This is not simply in relation to professional role, school phase and personal characteristics of teachers, though the diversity in relation to all of these variables is considerable. There is also diversity relating to the school contexts in which teachers are working, and to the motivations and priorities of the teachers themselves.

The survey showed a shortfall between heads planning to leave the profession and those intending to take up headships. The main factor identified as enhancing careers was experience, while poor or limited experience was identified as the main factor limiting careers.

Compared to previous years there was an increase in the percentage of teachers who felt their professional development needs were being met. There were clear differences in the experiences of professional development between teachers of different professional roles.

The survey also provided information about teachers' views on teaching and learning, national initiatives (such as working with other professionals and PPA time) and equalities issues in school.


Project team

Merryn Hutchings

Sarah Smart

Katya Williams

Kathy James


Merryn Hutchings -


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