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Consistency of teaching - one teacher per class rather than multiples

(30 Posts)
Cookie17 Fri 23-Jun-17 14:52:38

Is there evidence (preferably scientific) to support that primary school children's cognitive learning and behaviour improves with one consistent class teacher rather that multiple teachers per week (ie 3 different ones on different days)?

Our small village primary school has unfortunately been hit with a spate of sickness and maternity leave, which we understand is unavoidable. However, their solution for year 6 next term is to put in three different teachers per week for at least the next six months while their current teacher is off sick. She may not return for even longer.

Are we rightly concerned that having three different teachers per week, will negatively impact their learning experience?

sirfredfredgeorge Fri 23-Jun-17 15:11:35

Year 6? Given most places year 7 has ten teachers a week or whatever, I think it's unlikely.

ILookedintheWater Fri 23-Jun-17 15:15:56

Lots of primary teachers are P/T or jobshare.
Negative impact on my children's learning has come from poor teaching or unhappiness in the school environment, never from having more than one teacher for the class.

mrz Fri 23-Jun-17 16:35:07

There is research to support consistency in the early years but not across the whole primary phase. We have subject teachers in upper Key Stage 2 which works very well.

cantkeepawayforever Fri 23-Jun-17 17:32:28

My current class has 3 teachers per week (jobshare plus 1 afternoon of PPA cover with a specialist teacher). Oh, and the year group teachers in rotation for Games on another afternoon.

Progress data is exactly the same as the two parallel classes which have a FT teacher + PPA cover.

If they have put in a stable rota of 3 teachers, who communicate well (I spend hours each week on the phone to my jobshare, and the PPA teacher 7 I hand over before and after their session) and have a consistent weekly plan that is shared, then the 'threeness' is not that important. However, if there is lots of random chopping and changing, with 'Oh, has MNrs X covered that', then it will work less well.

irvineoneohone Fri 23-Jun-17 17:35:43

In my country, in grade 5 and 6, they have specialist teacher for literacy and maths. They have different teachers for art and music from the start of school.
Having different teachers in different subject can only have positive effect, imo.

MaisyPops Fri 23-Jun-17 17:36:17

It doesn't sound ideal for y6.
But, a consistent plan of set teachers on set days is actually better than a mix of teachers, supply, TA cover etc that works on an ad hoc basis.

Given y7 have loads of teachers (and split classes at times) I'm not convinced you can argue that different people is somehow the end of the world.

thatdearoctopus Fri 23-Jun-17 18:52:57

Cookie, I'm going to point out that, in the current climate, you're bloody lucky to have any qualified teachers at all.

thatdearoctopus Fri 23-Jun-17 18:54:01

It doesn't sound ideal for y6.

Why not? If it's par for the course in Year 7? Sats coverage can be maintained through careful planning and blocking of themes.

piefacedClique Fri 23-Jun-17 18:56:29

Is be interested to hear if there is any research on this too. My ds is Year 1 and his teacher has been off sick for 6 months. He's had 6 different supply teachers and we've just found his current teacher is returning when they do to a new 2/3 split. Trying to gather evidence to support the need for a class which straddles a key stake to have the best possible teacher available

MaisyPops Fri 23-Jun-17 18:58:29

If they're anything like our feeder primaries almost everything is geared up for death by sats. Even their topic work is getting sats stuff in for moderation etc

One main teacher would be ideal. But a job share that is consistent is also entirely reasonable.

As someone's said, there's a shortage of teachers. A stable and consistent job share is better than a revolving door of unqualified cover supervisors.

soapboxqueen Fri 23-Jun-17 19:05:29

I'm not sure having evidence to support your view is really going to help unless the school have deliberately chosen this set up. It is most likely that this is what they had to do to get enough cover. You can complain or show evidence that it isn't ideal but if they cannot find the staff, it is irrelevant.

DancingLedge Fri 23-Jun-17 19:06:14

There could be downsides, probably avoidable if it's well organised, and each teacher can work to their strengths.
Definitely an upside- because a consistent issue in a small village school is that children get more of a culture shock when they move to a much larger secondary, with a different teacher for different lessons. This will be a useful stepping stone for that.

Question I would be asking,of the Head, and any on the ball Governors, how are they planning to monitor the success / deficits ? So that any corrections/ changes can be made at intervals throughout the year?

MaisyPops Fri 23-Jun-17 19:10:48

It's not for the parents to demand to know how the head is monitoring a member/members of staff. It's like when people report a complaint and then want to know exactly what happened. No. You can raise an issue but personel issues are for the staff and school.

I would be absolutely pissed right off if any discussions to that effect were had.

Let the head get on with running a school instead of having to perform for some court of parents.

BeingATwatItsABingThing Fri 23-Jun-17 19:17:52

We have a year six class with a job share and PPA cover. The results are the same as the other year six class that has had one full time teacher plus PPA cover.

user1497480444 Fri 23-Jun-17 19:18:34

what you want and what you think works is irrelevant.

This is probably all that is available.

The whole country is suffering a shortage of teachers.

just be grateful its only three, and a regular three. We had classes in school today with no teacher at all, and various admin staff sitting in for short periods of time whilst other classes took a turn at having a teacher, then the teaching and admin staff swapped around.

if you don't like it, contact your MP. The government caused this mess, it wasn't the choice of schools or heads.

drinkingtea Fri 23-Jun-17 19:22:48

Year 6 is secondary where I live - different teacher for each subject. Germany scores better than any of the UK in international comparisons of literacy, numeracy and science skills, so I would assume it is not better to have a generalist teach all subjects by year 6.

mrz Fri 23-Jun-17 19:54:27

In Germany children in Klasse 6 are two years older than those in Y6 in England.

Eolian Fri 23-Jun-17 19:57:29

1) It's not about what's ideal. It's about what staff the school can a) find and b) afford.

2) If they can cope with umpteen teachers in yr 7, I don't suppose 3 in yr6 will be too traumatic.

drinkingtea Fri 23-Jun-17 20:06:08

That is untrue Mrz - my September 2005 born child is in year 6 is in Germany. She was not a "kann Kind", she is in her automatic year group. There are children 2 years older in her class but they have been held back a year at the start or repeated a year (or both).

She is the youngest in her class, but not her year - but that's irrelevant as year 5 is the first year of secondary anyway. The youngest children in their automatic year group are 9, nearly 10 at the start of secondary.

TeenAndTween Fri 23-Jun-17 21:29:51

I'm not a teacher.
I don't think it is fair to compare y6 with y7.

In y7 they have subject specialist teachers, so although they will see 5 teachers in one day, they will generally only have one teacher for any subject.

In the y6 situation described it sounds like Mon&Tue teacher A, Wed & Thur teacher B, and Fri teacher C. Which means that all 3 teachers will be delivering Maths and English. This could cause issues with inconsistency, handover or structure of teaching.

However, if the school is organised they can probably get away with it. e.g. Mon&Tue teacher does the reading comprehensions, Wed&Thur Grammar, Fri writing. And similarly for Maths, Mon&Tue Numbers, Wed&Thur Graphs and Shapes, Fri time tables & practice papers (or whatever)

The other subjects aren't so bad as they can just be done one afternoon per week.
It could be quite refreshing for the children to have the variety, and the teachers can play to their strengths too which could also be beneficial.

mrz Fri 23-Jun-17 21:33:36

So children in klasse 1 are six years old but children in klasse 6 are only three years older how does that work?

Eolian Fri 23-Jun-17 22:05:19

The thing is, it's unlikely the school would be doing this unless they have little choice. I sympathise with parents of children with absentee teachers and lack of continuity (my yr 7 dd has had about 5 'history teachers' this year), but schools really do the best they can in the situation - why wouldn't they?

wrinkleseverywhere Fri 23-Jun-17 22:25:10

My DC are in Yr2 and R and both have had a 3/2 + PPA split this year and it has worked really well. So much planning goes into teaching these days that they each know what the other is doing/has done. I think it has been really good for the children as they get to experience a variety of teaching styles and approaches.

drinkingtea Fri 23-Jun-17 22:46:54

Mrsz in our state children start school by default if they will be 6 by the 30th September of that year, so the youngest are 5 years 11 months. The oldest are 6 years 10 months, with the exception of children held back either by parents or on the recommendation of parents or professionals. Some children start early - usually only children born between October and December, but sometimes younger 5 year olds. If their parents or kindergarten feel they are able to cope both intellectually and in terms of social and emotional maturity they can take tests and start at 5.

In other states the cut off is different- I think our children start latest - 5 is fairly common.

Achild starting school at 5, nearly 6 starts secondary at 9, nearly 10 because primary is 4 years.

That is how that works.

Do you teach maths?

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