TALIS focuses on the learning environment and the working conditions of teachers of 11- to 14-year-olds. It has been designed by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) to enable the governments of advanced industrialised countries to learn from each other. It is a collaborative endeavour between the governments of 30+ countries, an international consortium, the OECD, schools and teachers' unions. England is participating for the first time in 2013.

Issues explored by TALIS include: teachers’ approaches to teaching, the use of performance management to assess their development needs, the support and professional development opportunities they receive and the ethos/attitudes of school leaders. A total of 200 randomly selected state-funded and independent schools and 20 randomly selected teachers within each school will be invited to participate in the survey in spring 2013. It is compulsory under the Education Act 2011 for all maintained schools and academies established since October 2011 who are selected, to take part.

For further information, please visit the TALIS England website.

 A sample of 20 teachers per school isn’t very many. Won’t it be possible for the headteacher, or the DfE to identify which individuals have said what?

Sampled teachers can be very confident about the confidentiality arrangements for TALIS. No information about individual schools will be published by the national or international study centres, and responses will not be shared with headteachers. All staff with access to individual teacher and school names have signed confidentiality agreements.

 How will completing the survey benefit me as a teacher?

You are one of only 4000 teachers randomly selected to represent England in this important study – it is a unique chance to have your voice heard and to influence policy. We hope that you will find the questions interesting and relevant to your experience of teaching in your school.

Ministers are very keen that we should learn from best practice from around the world in terms of how teachers are supported and developed in their roles and in relation to future career progression opportunities.

This is a chance for members of the profession to influence policy decisions which will affect teachers in state-funded schools.

For all teachers across the maintained and independent sectors, the research findings will provide important learning for headteachers and their SMTs about how the world’s leading education systems performance manage, support and develop their staff.

This could lead to better management and staff assessment practices, and more (and innovative) development opportunities for you.

 There are lots of other teachers in this school. Why was I chosen to take part?

You weren’t ‘chosen’ as such; you were randomly selected out of all those teachers within your school who met the sampling criterion (teaching pupils aged 11-14, at Key Stage 3 – or, in international equivalent terms, ISCED 2) set by the OECD which runs TALIS. Your views as an individual are very important to us.

 Where will I complete the questionnaire and will it need to be done in my own time?

We expect that teachers will want to do it at school, although it will be possible for them to access the questionnaire using their home computer. Alternatively, you could complete a paper version if you prefer, and post it directly back to the National Study Centre in the reply-paid envelope provided.

 How long is it likely to take?

It depends on how much thought you give to certain questions, but completing the questionnaire will normally take around 45-50 minutes.

 Will I need to set aside that amount of time to do it all in one go?

No. You can do it in small chunks; your responses will be saved automatically and you can return to it another time.