Publication - Research and analysis

Evaluation of the Impact of the Implementation of Teaching Scotland's Future

Published: 10 Mar 2016
ISBN:
9781786521057

The evaluation offers an overview of the current landscape of teacher education, highlighting what progress has been made in key areas since TSF was published and where further progress and improvements are still needed.

Evaluation of the Impact of the Implementation of Teaching Scotland's Future
Appendix D: Topic guides

Appendix D: Topic guides

Evaluation of the Implementation of Teaching Scotland's Future

Depute and Head teacher discussion guide

V2

This topic guide is designed to serve as an aide memoir to the interviewers, while also remaining flexible to allow for issues to be raised spontaneously.

Probing questions like 'why?', 'why not?', etc., are not always included - but there will be plenty of these and the researchers will automatically probe, ask for explanation/clarification, and sum up at appropriate points.

Although the guide is generally written in the form of questions or explanations that could be read out exactly as written, in reality, the researcher will amend the wording, rephrase and reorder as appropriate and to make it feel more like a natural discussion rather than a questionnaire.

Introduction (10 mins)

Thank participants for agreeing to take part.

Duration of focus group/interview: 1 hour

Explain purpose of research: to explore teachers' views of the changes to teacher education and CLPL as a result of TSF. All teachers in this group/ interview will be deputes or head teachers so we would like to explore their thoughts around their own professional learning opportunities, but also the impact of TSF on their staff, including probationer and student teachers they have worked with.

Explain confidentiality and anonymity

Obtain permission to record discussion - then record participants confirming consent to take part.

A: Overview of professional learning (15 mins)

1. What do you think about when you hear the phrase 'Career Long Professional Learning'?

Probe: What makes you think that?

2. What areas of professional learning are currently of most/least importance to you?

Probe: Why?

Probe: What about SCQF 11 learning- is this something of interest? Why/why not?

3. Does current provision meet your CLPL needs?

Probe: What are your CLPL expectations? What form does your CLPL take? (Prompt e.g. shadowing, mentoring, good practice visits, courses, reading, online resources)

4. Do you feel you are supported to engage in professional learning?

Probe: What would help? What has been your experience of PRD? Has it supported you with your professional learning?

5. It has been said that professional learning is like a journey. Is that how you see it?

Probe: if yes, at what point do you see yourself at the moment? If no, then how do you see it?

Probe: Have you used the GTCS Standard for CLPL to guide your professional learning? Why/ not? Effective/ineffective?

6. What barriers to participating in professional learning have you experienced?

Probe: What would help overcome them?

7. Thinking about all staff now, has the culture of professional learning in schools changed over the past 4 or 5 years (since TSF)?

Probe: What's better? What's worse? What hasn't changed?

Probe: How or why do you think this change has come about?

Probe: What are the main barriers? How could these be overcome?

B. Leadership (10 mins)

Intro: One of the recommendations in Teaching Scotland's Future was that opportunities for learning for leadership should be improved, and be available from the start of teacher education through to experienced senior managers.

Aspects of this likely to have been covered in discussions about their own priorities above.

1. What professional learning opportunities are available to you to continue to develop your knowledge and skills for your leadership role?

2. What do you think about the Into-Headship qualification as a form of developing leadership skills and knowledge?

Probe: Is this a qualification you would consider undertaking?

3. Have you used the GTCS Standards for Leadership and Management to guide your professional learning?

Probe: If yes, what has been useful/ less useful? If no, why not?

4. What are your thoughts about SCEL now that it has been operating for just over a year?

Probe: Have you found anything in particular to be helpful or useful? Anything that you would like to see improved or developed? How could teachers become more aware of SCEL?

5. Are there enough high quality leadership opportunities for teachers in non-promoted posts?

D. Supporting your professional learning (10 mins)

1. How have you found the support that your school has received from your local authority in relation to career-long professional learning?

By 'support' we mean not only financial support but other types of resources such as development officers, information and guidance, materials or specific tools.

Probe: Could this support be improved?

2. What are your local authority's priorities for CLPL? Do you find these useful in supporting your teachers to engage with professional learning opportunities at your school?

Probe: What is useful/ less useful? Why?

3. What further support would be useful for supporting professional learning opportunities at your school?

Probe: Support from: LA? National bodies? Commercial course and opportunities offered by professional bodies?

E. Student and probationer teachers (10 mins)

1. Based on your experience of working with students on placements and probationers over the past five years, has the quality changed in Initial Teacher Education? ?

Probe: What's changed? How or why has this come about? Probe: What are your experiences of student and probationer literacy and numeracy skills?

2. Thinking about school placements specifically, how effective are they?

Probe: What is works well? What could be improved? How?

3. What about the probationary year?

Probe: What is works well? What could be improved? How? Probe: How prepared are probationers to work with challenging pupils?

4. Do you think new teachers have a different attitude to career-long professional learning than they did a few years ago?

5. How well or not does the partnership between the LA and the university work in relation to ITE?

Probe: What's effective/ ineffective? What could be improved?

Review and wrap up (5 mins)

1. What are the main points about these topics that you'd like us to report back to the Scottish Government?

2. Finally, do you have any other comments you'd like to make about the changes that have come about since TSF?

Thank and close

Evaluation of the Implementation of Teaching Scotland's Future

Early career focus group discussion guide

V 1

This topic guide is designed to serve as an aide memoir to the interviewers, while also remaining flexible to allow for issues to be raised spontaneously.

Probing questions like 'why?', 'why not?', etc. are not always included - but there will be plenty of these and the researchers will automatically probe, ask for explanation/clarification, and sum up at appropriate points.

Although the guide is generally written in the form of questions or explanations that could be read out exactly as written, in reality, the researcher will amend the wording, rephrase and reorder as appropriate and to make it feel more like a natural discussion rather than a questionnaire.

Introduction (10 mins)

Thank participant for agreeing to take part.

Duration of focus group: 1 hour

Explain purpose of research: to explore teachers' views of the changes to teacher education and CLPL as a result of TSF. All teachers in this group will have less than five years' experience as a fully registered teacher post-probation, so we would like to explore their thoughts around professional learning opportunities but also their experiences of their probationary year/ITE

*Check to see if any participants followed Flexible Route*

*Check where did ITE and whether 4/1 year course *

Explain confidentiality and anonymity

Obtain permission to record discussion - then record participants confirming consent to take part.

A: Overview of professional learning (15 mins)

1. What do you think about when you hear the phrase 'Career Long Professional Learning'?

Probe: What makes you think that?

2. What areas of professional learning are currently of most/least importance to you?

Probe: Why? What about SCQF 11 learning- is this something of interest? Why/why not?

3. Does current provision meet your CLPL needs?

Probe: What are your CLPL expectations? What form does your CLPL take? (Prompt e.g. shadowing, mentoring, good practice visits, courses, reading, online resources).

4. Are you able to see an impact of your CLPL on yourself/ your pupils?

Probe: How do you know when CLPL has made an impact?

5. Do you feel you are supported to engage in professional learning?

Probe: What would help? What has been your experience of PRD? Has it supported you with your professional learning?

6. It has been said that professional learning is like a journey. Is that how you see it?

Probe: if yes, at what point do you see yourself at the moment? If no, then how do you see it? Probe: have you used the GTCS Standard for CLPL to guide your professional learning? Why/ not? Effective/ineffective?

7. Have you experienced barriers to participating in professional learning?

Probe: What would help overcome them?

B. ITE & Probationary year (15 mins)

1. Thinking back to your course and placements, how effective or ineffective was Initial Teacher Education in preparing you for your first post as a teacher?

Probe: By the end of your course, how did you feel confident about carrying out your role as a teacher? Which aspects of teaching did you feel more or less prepared for?

How could it have been improved?

2. How effective was your probationary year in helping you reach the Standard for Full Registration and preparing you for the next few years?

Probe: What aspects were most/ least effective? Why?

How could it have been improved?

3. How effective was the support given to you during your probationary year?

Probe: Who supported you- school staff, university staff, others? What form did this support take? If you didn't feel sufficiently supported, what could have been done to make it more effective?

4. By the end of your ITE/ probationary year how confident did you feel about carrying out your role as a teacher?

Probe: Which aspects of teaching did you feel more or less confident about? Ask about ASN and behaviour management and literacy and numeracy. Would more CLPL related to these areas have made a difference at that point?

Ask only if time- not SG priority:

5. Are you aware of aspects of ITE and the probation changing over the past few years (refer to differences within the group depending on mix of the group)?

Probe: What's changed? What's improved? What's not so good?

C. Leadership (10 mins)

Intro: One of the recommendations in Teaching Scotland's Future was that opportunities for learning for leadership should be improved, and be available from the start of teacher education.

1. What does 'leadership' mean to you?

Probe: Do you see yourself a leader? Have you taken the lead in leading in a particular area or on an initiative?

2. What opportunities do you feel you have to develop your leadership skills?

Probe: Do these opportunities meet your needs?

Probe: What barriers do you face and how could you be better supported?

3. Have you undertaken any professional learning to develop your leadership skills?

Probe: What was the impact of this been? What was useful about it?

**************If there is time and not already covered***********************

D: Mentoring & Coaching

1. What does 'mentoring' and 'coaching' mean to you?

Probe: What are your views on early-career teachers having a mentor/coach?

2. Do you receive mentoring or coaching?

Probe: In what kind of ways does this happen? Do you have a single mentor or does more than one person mentor you? (e.g.: different people for different purposes) If not mentored, what would you want from mentoring or coaching?

3. (If people have experience of being mentored/coached) Has the mentoring/ coaching you've received had an impact on your practice?

4. Do you see yourself as a mentor or coach? Do you mentor or coach colleagues?

If yes probe- how did that start and how does it work?

If no probe - why not?

Review and wrap up (10 mins)

1. Finally, do you have any other comments you'd like to make about professional learning during the probationary year?

… and about career-long professional learning post-probation?

2. What are the main points about these topics that you'd like us to report back to the Scottish Government?

Evaluation of the Implementation of Teaching Scotland's Future

Established teachers focus group discussion guide

V2

This topic guide is designed to serve as an aide memoir to the interviewers, while also remaining flexible to allow for issues to be raised spontaneously.

Probing questions like 'why?', 'why not?', etc. are not always included - but there will be plenty of these and the researchers will automatically probe, ask for explanation/clarification, and sum up at appropriate points.

Although the guide is generally written in the form of questions or explanations that could be read out exactly as written, in reality, the researcher will amend the wording, rephrase and reorder as appropriate and to make it feel more like a natural discussion rather than a questionnaire.

Where appropriate, probes specifically for supply or teachers in promoted posts have been included.

Introduction (10 mins)

Thank participants for agreeing to take part.

Duration of focus group: 1 hour

Explain purpose of research: to explore teachers' views of the changes to teacher education as a result of TSF. All teachers in this group will have five to ten years/ over ten years teaching experience.

Explain confidentiality and anonymity

Obtain permission to record discussion - then record participants confirming consent to take part.

A: Overview of professional learning (20 mins)

1. What do you think about when you hear the phrase 'Career Long Professional Learning'?

Probe: What makes you think that?

2. What areas of professional learning are currently of most/least importance to you?

Probe: Why? What about SCQF 11 learning- is this something of interest? Why/why not?

3. Does current provision meet your CLPL needs?

Probe: What are your CLPL expectations? What form does your CLPL take? (Prompt e.g. shadowing, mentoring, good practice visits, courses, reading, online resources). Is there sufficient CLPL on literacy and numeracy?

4. Are you able to see an impact of your CLPL on yourself/ your pupils?

Probe: How do you know when CLPL has made an impact?

5. Do you feel you are supported to engage in professional learning?

Probe for all: What would help? What could be improved?

Probe for all: What has been your experience of PRD? Has it supported you with your professional learning?

Probe for supply: Do you have opportunities to participate in CLPL activities within the school/s you work in?

Probe for supply: Does the Local Authority you work in have mechanisms to help supply teachers engage with CLPL?

6. It has been said that professional learning is like a journey. Is that how you see it?

Probe: if yes, at what point do you see yourself at the moment? If no, then how do you see it? Probe: have you used the GTCS Standard for CLPL to guide your professional learning? Why/ not? Effective/ineffective?

7. Have you experienced barriers to participating in professional learning? Probe: What would help overcome them?

8. Has the culture of professional learning in schools changed over the past 4 or 5 years (since TSF)?

Probe: What's better? What's worse? What hasn't changed?

Probe: How or why do you think this change has come about?

B. Leadership (10 mins)

Intro: One of the recommendations in Teaching Scotland's Future was that opportunities for learning for leadership should be improved, and be available from the start of teacher education and throughout a teacher's career.

1. What does 'leadership' mean to you?

Probe: Do you see yourself a leader? Have you taken the lead in leading in a particular area or on an initiative?

2. What opportunities do you feel you have to develop your leadership skills?

Probe: Do these opportunities meet your needs? If no, what further support do you need?

Probe: What barriers do you face?

3. Have you undertaken any professional learning to develop your leadership skills?

Probe: What was the impact of this been? What was useful about it?

4. Have you used the GTCS Standard for Leadership and Management to guide your professional learning?

Probe: Yes - Which ones? How useful did you find them? No - why not?

5. (For PTs) What do you think about the Into-Headship qualification as a form of developing leadership skills and knowledge for those aspiring to be head teachers?

Probe: Is this a qualification you would consider undertaking?

6. Has the culture of around leadership, and professional learning around leadership changed over the past 4 or 5 years (since TSF)?

Probe: How or why do you think this change has come about?

C. Working with students and probationers (10 mins)

1. Based on your experience of working with students on placements and probationers over the past five years, how well do you think Initial Teacher Education prepares them for life as a teacher?

Probe: what's changed? How or why has this come about? Probe: What are your experiences of student and probationer literacy and numeracy skills?

2. Thinking about the experience of school placements specifically, how effective are they?

Probe: What is works well? What could be improved? How?

3. What about the probationary year?

Probe: What is works well? What could be improved? How? Probe: How prepared are probationers to work with challenging pupils?

4. Do you think new teachers have a different attitude to career-long professional learning than they did a few years ago?

5. How well or not does the partnership between the LA and the university work in relation to ITE?

Probe: What's better than it was? What's worse? What could be improved?

**************If there is time and not already covered***********************

D: Mentoring & Coaching

1. What does 'mentoring' and 'coaching' mean to you?

Probe: What are your views on early-career teachers having a mentor/coach?

2. Do you receive mentoring or coaching?

Probe: In what kind of ways does this happen? Do you have a single mentor or does more than one person mentor you? (e.g.: different people for different purposes) If not mentored, what would you want from mentoring or coaching?

3. (If people have experience of being mentored/coached) Has the mentoring/ coaching you've received had an impact on your practice?

4. Do you see yourself as a mentor or coach? Do you mentor or coach colleagues?

If yes probe- how did that start and how does it work?

If no probe- why not?

Review and wrap up (10 mins)

1. What are the main points about these topics that you'd like us to report back to the Scottish Government?

2. Finally, do you have any other comments you'd like to make about career-long professional learning for experienced teachers?

Thank and close

Evaluation of the Implementation of Teaching Scotland's Future

Student focus group discussion guide

V2

This topic guide is designed to serve as an aide memoir to the interviewers, while also remaining flexible to allow for issues to be raised spontaneously.

Probing questions like 'why?', 'why not?', etc. are not always included - but there will be plenty of these and the researchers will automatically probe, ask for explanation/clarification, and sum up at appropriate points.

Although the guide is generally written in the form of questions or explanations that could be read out exactly as written, in reality, the researcher will amend the wording, rephrase and reorder as appropriate and to make it feel more like a natural discussion rather than a questionnaire.

Introduction (10 mins)

Thank participants for agreeing to take part.

Duration of focus group: 1 hour

Explain purpose of research: to explore teachers' views of the changes to teacher education as a result of TSF. All teachers in this group will be in the first term of their probationary year, so we would like to explore their thoughts around professional learning opportunities but also their experiences of Initial Teacher Education.

Explain confidentiality and anonymity

Obtain permission to record discussion - then record participants confirming consent to take part.

* Check where did ITE and whether 4 or 1 year course *

A: Overview of professional learning (20 mins)

1. What do you think about when you see or hear the phrase 'Career Long Professional Learning'?

Probe: What makes you think that?

2. What are your expectations about how CLPL will continue to be part of your career?

Probe: What form/s might it take?

3. What areas of professional learning are currently of most importance to you?

Probe: Why?

4. What opportunities do you have for professional learning in these areas?

Probe: What form does this take? (e.g.: shadowing, mentoring, good practice visits, meetings, courses, guided reading; online resources). Does this meet your needs?

5. What forms of professional learning are you undertaking?

Probe: Local Authority CLPL sessions? School-based activities? Other self- identified professional learning?

Probe: Could anything be done differently or improved?

6. Do you feel you are supported to engage in professional learning during your probation year?

Probe: Is this sufficient to meet your needs, or could this be done differently?

7. Have you experienced any barriers to participating in professional learning?

Probe: What are they? Is there anything that could help to overcome them?

B. Initial Teacher Education (20mins)

1. Thinking back to your degree course and placements, how effective was Initial Teacher Education in preparing you for your first post as a teacher?

Probe: By the end of your degree did you feel confident about carrying out your first post as a teacher? Which aspects of teaching did you feel more or less prepared for?

Probe: Did you feel ITE gave you the necessary skills to teach literacy and numeracy?

Do you feel prepared to integrate the topics of wellbeing/ health into your teaching?

2. In the online survey, when asked about Initial Teacher Education, we found that people said that the learning they undertook on pedagogy/approaches to teaching and learning and self-reflection was most useful, while ASN, behaviour management and digital technologies were least useful in preparing them for their first post. What do you think?

Probe: What elements of ITE were most/ least useful for you? Why was this?

What could have been improved in the aspects that were least useful?

3. What do you think about the quality of your placements?

Probe: How effectively were you supported during your placements by both the school and university? Could you have benefited from different or additional forms of support?

How did you access the support that was available to you?

Probe: Do you think the school and university worked well together? What could be improved?

4. How much did your ITE prepare you to work with pupils from diverse social, cultural and/or economic backgrounds?

Probe: What could have been improved/ done differently to prepare you for doing so?

5. Professional values are part of the GTCS Standards for Provisional and Full Registration. Do you find them useful for framing your professional practice?

Values are: Social Justice, Integrity, Trust and Respect, Professional Commitment.

Probe: How do you find these values fit with your everyday teaching practice? Are there any challenges in working with these values?

6. What are your thoughts about continuing with academic study to undertake SCQF level 11 learning?

Probe: Is this something you want to do soon? Why/ not? What topic/s are you interested in? Why?

*************************************If there is time *******************************

C. Leadership

Intro: One of the recommendations in Teaching Scotland's Future was that opportunities for learning for leadership should be improved, and be available from the start of teacher education. TSF also highlights that leadership can take on a number of forms.

1. What does 'leadership' mean to you?

Probe: Do you see yourselves as leaders in the classroom? Prompt if necessary: Have you taken the lead in developing teaching resources; or leading on new initiatives within school, for example?

2. How well did ITE prepare you for taking up leadership opportunities both within and outwith the classroom?

Probe: What worked well? What could be improved?

3. What opportunities do you have to develop your leadership experience?

Probe: Do these opportunities meet your needs? Why is this the case/ not the case? How well do senior colleagues support you with this?

D: Mentoring & Coaching

1. What does 'mentoring' and 'coaching' mean to you?

2. Have you received mentoring or coaching?

Probe: Do you have a single mentor or does more than one person mentor you? (e.g.: different people for different purposes).

3. (If people have experience of being mentored) Has the mentoring you've received had an impact on your practice?

Probe: Did you find this useful? Why/ why not? What could be improved?

4. Do you mentor or coach colleagues?

If yes probe- how did that start and how does it work?

If no probe - why not?

5. (If not mentored); would you want to be mentored at this point in your career?

Probe: What would you want from that kind of support?

6. Have you worked collaboratively with colleagues? What form does that take?

Probe: What did you work on?

Review and wrap up (10 mins)

1. Finally, do you have any other comments you'd like to make about teacher education?

… or about other forms of career-long professional learning?

2. What are the main points about these topics that you'd like us to report back to the Scottish Government?

Thank and close

Evaluation of the Implementation of Teaching Scotland's Future

Depth interviews with those who undertook their ITE outwith Scotland

V2

This topic guide is designed to serve as an aide memoir to the interviewers, while also remaining flexible to allow for issues to be raised spontaneously.

Probing questions like 'why?', 'why not?', etc. are not always included - but there will be plenty of these and the researchers will automatically probe, ask for explanation/clarification, and sum up at appropriate points.

Although the guide is generally written in the form of questions or explanations that could be read out exactly as written, in reality, the researcher will amend the wording, rephrase and reorder as appropriate and to make it feel more like a natural discussion rather than a questionnaire.

Introduction (5 mins)

Thank participant for agreeing to take part.

Duration of interview: 30-45 mins

Explain purpose of research: to explore experiences of those coming to teach in Scotland having trained elsewhere, including what support they received and what might have been helpful

Explain confidentiality and anonymity

Obtain permission to record discussion.

Background (5 mins)

1. Where did you train as a teacher?

Probe: How did you get into teaching? (If English/Welsh probe on Teach First)

2. What teaching experience did you have before coming to Scotland?

3. Why did you move to Scotland?

4. When did you first start teaching in Scotland?

Probe: Which LA was that in?

5. What's your current role?

Overall experience of starting to teach in Scotland (10 mins)

1. Tell me about your initial experience of coming to teach in Scotland - how did you find it?

2. What was the biggest difference from teaching in [previous country]?

3. What were the biggest challenges you faced?

Probe: Did anything help with that?

Probe: What might have helped?

4. Thinking back to just before you started teaching in Scotland, what were you most concerned about?

Probe: And how did you find that in practice?

Registration with the GTCS (5 mins)

1. Were you aware of the requirements needed to register as teacher in Scotland before you applied?

Probe: How did you find out about the requirements?

2. How did you find the process of registering with the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS)?

Probe: If came through Teach First, Schools Direct, and GTP and not mentioned, probe on implications for registration process.

Did you get any support to help you register?

Probe: from the GTCS? Education Scotland? Teaching Unions? Universities? (if already have a job - from the Local Authority? from the school?) Anyone else?

3. What, if anything, could be improved?

Support (10 mins)

1. When you began teaching in Scotland, did anyone formally discuss your professional learning/development needs with you?

2. Did you get any support to help you adapt to the following aspects of teaching in Scotland?

1. Curriculum and assessment (broad curriculum and emphasis on Health and Wellbeing)

2. Teaching pedagogy/style (child-centred/project based)

3. GTCS standards

4. Local and national priorities (e.g. GIRFEC/SHANARRI)

5. Anything else?

Probe for each aspect: from the LA? From the school? Colleagues? General Teaching Council for Scotland? Anyone else?

Probe: Were you offered that or did you have to seek it out?

Probe: How useful was it? What could be improved?

3. What (other) support might have helped?

4. What preparation, if any, were you able to do before you started?

Probe: reading, talking to staff, visits/observations

5. Looking back, what (other) preparation might have helped?

Refresher/introductory course (5 mins)

1. Did you go on a refresher/introductory course before you started teaching here?

If yes probe:

  • How useful was it?
  • Which aspects were most/least useful?
  • How could it have been improved?
  • Who ran the course?
  • How did you find out about it?
  • How well was it promoted?
  • Was it a Local Authority requirement that you attended the course?

If no probe:

  • Were you aware of any refresher/introductory courses being available?
  • Do you think you would have found that useful?
  • What would you like a course to have covered?

Culture of professional learning (5 mins)

1. One of the things we are exploring in this research more broadly is the culture of professional learning in Scottish schools. What would you say the differences are between [other country] and Scotland in relation to professional learning?

Probe: What's better? What's worse? What's just the same?

Wrap up

1. Is there anything else you'd like to say about how people moving to Scotland to teach could be better supported?

Thank and close

Evaluation of the Implementation of Teaching Scotland's Future

Depth interviews with those returning after a career break/working elsewhere

This topic guide is designed to serve as an aide memoir to the interviewers, while also remaining flexible to allow for issues to be raised spontaneously.

Probing questions like 'why?', 'why not?', etc. are not always included - but there will be plenty of these and the researchers will automatically probe, ask for explanation/clarification, and sum up at appropriate points.

Although the guide is generally written in the form of questions or explanations that could be read out exactly as written, in reality, the researcher will amend the wording, rephrase and reorder as appropriate and to make it feel more like a natural discussion rather than a questionnaire.

Introduction (4 mins)

Thank participant for agreeing to take part.

Duration of interview: 35-45 mins

Explain purpose of research: to explore experiences of returning to teaching after a break, including what support they received and what might have been helpful

Explain confidentiality and anonymity

Obtain permission to record discussion.

Background (5 mins)

Can I start by asking a few questions about your career history, just so I'm clear about how long you'd been away from teaching and when you came back and so on. So, working backwards…

1. When did you return to teaching and what's your current role?

Probe: Are you currently full time or part time?

Probe: Which LA are you working in currently?

2. How long had you been away from teaching?

3. What were you doing in that period?

4. How much teaching experience had you had before?

5. What role did you have immediately before you left?

Probe: How similar was that to your current role?

Probe if necessary to ensure you are clear on:

  • How much teaching experience before break
  • Length of break
  • What doing during break
  • When returned
  • What LA returned to
  • Whether returned to similar role

During break (8 mins)

1. During your break from teaching, did you think you would return at some point?

IF NO probe: At what point did you start thinking about returning?

Probe: What prompted that?

2. Did you keep in touch with the profession at all during your break?

Probe: through friends/former colleagues? Reading? News items? Professional bodies?

3. What aspects of teaching, if any, did you try to keep up with?

Probe: policy changes? curriculum changes? developments in your subject? developments in pedagogy? contractual changes?

4. Were you aware of the new GTCS standards and the introduction of professional update?

5. Did you have access to any professional learning/development?

6. Did you have any access to any job/career information?

Overall experience of returning (10 mins)

1. Tell me about your experience of returning - how did you find it?

2. How did you find the process of looking for a job?

Probe: What support, if any, did you get?

Probe: Did you get any support from your local authority? the GTCS? Education Scotland? Anyone else?

3. What was the biggest change you noticed when you came back?

4. What was the best thing about returning?

Probe: Did anything help with that?

5. What were the most difficult things?

Probe: Did anything help with that?

Probe: What might have helped?

6. Thinking back to just before you returned, what were you most concerned about?

Probe: And how did you find that in practice?

Support (8 mins)

1. Did you get any support to help ease your return?

Probe: from the LA? From the school? Colleagues? GTCS? Professional bodies? A university? Anyone else?

Probe: Were you offered that or did you have to seek it out?

Probe: How useful was it?

2. What (other) support might have helped?

3. Did you get any support in relation to changes in:

  • Pedagogy?
  • the curriculum?
  • GTCS standards?

4. What preparation, if any, were you able to do before you returned?

Probe: reading about new developments, talking to colleagues, visits/observations

5. Looking back, what (other) preparation might have helped?

Refresher Course (4 mins)

1. Did you go on a refresher course before you returned?

If yes probe:

  • How useful was it?
  • Which aspects were most/least useful?
  • How could it have been improved?
  • Who ran the course?
  • How did you find out about it?
  • Was it a Local Authority requirement that you attended the course?

If no: Were you aware of any refresher courses being available?

Probe: Do you think you would have found that useful?

Probe: What would you like a course to have covered?

Culture change (4 mins)

1. One of the things we are exploring in this research more broadly is whether there has been any change in the culture of professional learning in schools over the past few years. Based on your experience of what things were like before you left compared to when you returned, do you think there has been a culture change?

Probe: What's better? What's worse? What hasn't changed?

Probe: How or why do you think this change has come about?

Probe: Has the way you approach your professional learning now changed in comparison with before?

Wrap up

1. Is there anything else you'd like to say about how people returning to teaching could be better supported?

Thank and close


Contact

Email: James Niven