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How teachers' views were gauged

The study into teachers' attitudes to the political parties was commissioned by The TES and carried out by Research Services Ltd.

A total of six discussion groups were conducted in Bristol (primary), Sheffield (secondary), High Peak, Derbyshire (primary), St Albans and Radlett, Hertfordshire (secondary) and Glasgow (primary and secondary) in late November and early December. The aim was to explore the political views of teachers, provide a snapshot of teachers' views and provide information about their voting intentions.

The use of discussion, or "focus" groups, is a well-tried alternative to conventional opinion polling, widely used in industry, and is intended toprobe people's view in depth.

Those who took part represent a cross-section of classroom teachers (excluding heads and deputies). A follow-up telephone survey will be carried out in the immediate run-up to the election.

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