Yougov Poll Shows Support for Teaching Unions

Henry Stewart's picture
 7
Just in case you missed it, here are the questions on education in today's Yougov poll (p9-10) for the Sunday Times. They indicate public support for the teaching unions, and back up Alistair Campbell's assertion that Gove may delight the media but is out of touch with the public.

The message is clear: The clear majority, 63% of those expressing an opinion, believe the "teaching unions are right" and the government should listen more to them. The figures are closer on the specific issue of performance pay but there is still a majority against Gove.

Thinking about the role of teachers' Trade Unions, which of the following best reflects your view?

Teaching unions are right in most of their concerns about education policy and schools, and the government should listen more to them: 45%
Teaching unions are an obstacle to necessary reforms in education and schools, and the government should take a hard line against them: 26%

(Neither, 11%; Don't know 17%)

Would you support or oppose a ban on teachers taking strike action?

Support a ban: 31%
Oppose a ban: 51%

(Don't know: 19%)

Currently teachers are paid according to national pay scales, based on their experience and duties. The government have proposed changing the rules so that headteachers will be able to pay teachers within bands based on their performance. Which of the following best reflects your view?

Teachers should be paid according to national pay scales, based on their experience and duties: 48%
Headteachers should be able to set their teachers' salaries within national scales based on their performance: 43%

(Don't know: 9%)

My thanks to @timjhorton for alerting me to the poll.
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Comments

Lawrence Lascelles's picture
Mon, 17/12/2012 - 05:23

This is a very convincing poll indeed:
Would you support or oppose a ban on teachers taking strike action?
Support a ban: 31%
Oppose a ban: 51%
(Don’t know: 19%)
Total 101%

Henry Stewart's picture
Mon, 17/12/2012 - 09:04

Lawrence, there are often rounding errors in polls. In this case the results could have been 30.7%, 50.7% & 18.6%. These total to 100% and round to the figures given above.

Lawrence Lascelles's picture
Mon, 17/12/2012 - 12:56

Splendid.

So the pollsters will be delighted with my roundings to achieve:

Teachers should not be paid according to national pay
scales, based on their experience and duties - 52%

Teachers should be paid according to national pay
scales, based on their experience and duties - 48%

Not against banning teachers from striking-50%
Against banning teachers from striking - 50%

Teaching unions are not right in most of their concerns
about education policy and schools, and the
government should not listen more to them -55%

Teaching unions are right in most of their concerns
about education policy and schools, and the
government should listen more to them - 45%

Henry Stewart's picture
Mon, 17/12/2012 - 14:28

Lawrence, now you are being silly. :) Pollsters frequently round up decimal pts because 32% is easier to follow than 31.7%. But its just a rounding up of decimal pts, nothing sinister or distorting.

Lawrence Lascelles's picture
Mon, 17/12/2012 - 15:43

One does what one can in one's own small way, indeed very much like yourself:

'63% of those expressing an opinion, believe the “teaching unions are right” and the government should listen more to them' could easily be turned by another into 'less than half those polled support teaching unions'.

Statistics, like beauty, are very much etc. etc. and so on and so forth.

Allan Beavis's picture
Tue, 18/12/2012 - 15:49

I would say that the gathering of information, fact and opinion that make up and polls and stats can often be manipulated to give an outcome that most corresponds to the information that the commissioner or author wants to convey. However, Yougov are about as impartial as it gets and have not party political axes to grind so their poll has to be taken with some seriousness, Lawrence.

It's worth bearing in mind here that it is Michael Gove himself who is obssessed with stats, league tables, results, charts and he has inflicted this mania into schools, Ofsted and the public consciousness. It's no wonder people are biting back by shining unflattering data straight back into his face. Stones and glass houses, etc. etc. and so on and so forth...

Lawrence Lascelles's picture
Tue, 18/12/2012 - 16:48

Regarding Yougov., I very much agree

The point I was making, clumsily, was that the answers to the poll questions on education were rather more ambiguous than I would have expected but then they represented only about 10% of the questions in a relatively complex poll.

Doesn't the mania for stats in education go back as far as 1988?

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