Registration with the GTCS is mandatory for all qualified teachers who wish to practice in Scotland. Teachers are offered support throughout their studies and practice, as well as a guaranteed one year post after they qualify. After completing this position, a number of registrants choose to work in other parts of the UK or leave teaching. This has left Scotland with around 600 teaching jobs they are unable to fill.
The GTCS registration renewal date is the 1st April after which, unpaid registrants are granted a grace period up until the end of August. During this time, emails are sent to encourage teachers to renew if payment has not been made. This had been partially successful, with around 50% of lapsers responding to the email and around 700 to 800 teachers lapsing each year. GTCS understood that a number of lapsers would be due to retirement and other unavoidable circumstances; however it was unclear why most teachers lapsed, especially across younger age groups.
GTCS commissioned Chord to deliver research to find out:
In order to monitor the project effectively, GTCS selected data according to age range. Chord were issued with a sample of 752 lapsed teachers’ data, ranging from the ages of 21 to 45. In advance of the campaign, GTCS communicated with lapsed teachers to advise them to expect a follow up call from a third party to gain insight into the reasons why they had not renewed their registration.
Chord combined telephone and online surveying to maximise reach and response rates. This was achieved by combining SNAP professional survey software and Chord’s online telephone campaign management software to:
Chord made 1,989 call attempts in total and spoke directly to 215 teachers, who were called up to three times if required.
720 personalised emails were sent and 305 tailored voicemails left for teachers.
317 surveys were completed overall:
This represents a high completion rate of 66%, excluding respondents who were not possible to reach e.g. unobtainable telephone numbers etc. There were also 283 data updates made, which provided added value to the campaign.
Chord delivered a 14-page enhanced report accompanying the survey data, to provide GTCS with the best insight possible regarding the reasons registrations had not been renewed, including verbatim responses and statistics set out question by question.
The report from this survey was sent to the Scottish Parliament for discussion. That’s a first for Chord!
The research has been a great success, both in terms of the intelligence that we’ve gained and the number of surveys completed. We now know in much more detail the reasons why teachers’ registrations lapse across the younger age group and can take necessary action and intervene when appropriate. We’re grateful to Chord for their survey expertise. A job well done, thank you.Ken MuirChief Executive, General Teaching Council for Scotland