TES Education Resources: An Open Expression of Concern

This post has been agreed by several teachers and is shared across several blog sites. 
In the last couple of years, we have openly expressed concern at the approaches taken by Tes Education Resources to plagiarism and copyright violation, theft of resources, and the selling of resources that violate copyright. This is not a blogpost intended to cast disapproval on those who sell resources. It is a simply an open expression of concern at the approach taken by Tes Education Resources, when these incidents are uncovered. We also wish to make clear that this is not about an individual or anybody working for Tes Education Resources. We believe that this is a systemic problem that should not fall on one person to solve.
We feel that the following issues need to be properly addressed by Tes Education Resources:

  • The fact that people upload and sell plagiarised resources, which have been clearly copied from free shares on Twitter, Facebook, and sometimes from colleagues.
  • The fact that although Tes Education Resources offer ‘goodwill’ gestures to those who give public challenge, and offer compensation when they recognise plagiarism, the onus is on the victim of theft to report and prove the theft.
  • The fact that customers are being advised to buy resources to check the content if they suspect a theft has occurred, and then claim the money back.

These issues need addressing because:
Plagiarism can constitute copyright violation, which is covered by legislation in both UK and EU law, as well as being a feature of international treaties and agreements. We believe that this is not being taken seriously by Tes Education Resources, who provide a platform for the sale of resources which have been taken, copied, and presented as original resources by the thief. Tes Education Resources describe themselves as ‘one of the world’s largest peer-to-peer platforms for teachers to trade and share digital teaching resources’ (Tes Education Resources Ltd: Annual Report and Financial Statements – Directors’ Report 2017). We feel that a company of this scale, regardless of financial status, should not be placing the onus on individuals to identify instances of copyright violation.
A goodwill gesture is something given on a case-by-case basis. It means that those with the time and tenacity to challenge instances of copyright infringement are being offered compensation, but there are victims who are unaware of the issue, or perhaps who do not have the time and resources to prove the provenance of the resource. We believe that the Tes Education Resources could and should ensure there is parity here.
Tes Education Resources have conceded that only 5% of their resource downloads are purchased. The rest are free downloads. We appreciate this valuable resource, but feel that the 5% are being prioritised over the 95%. It is understood that the 5% is the download, rather than the upload, figure – but the point still stands – 95% of people downloading from Tes Education Resources are downloading free resources.
We also believe that asking people to buy resources to check for copyright issues, in order to then claim a refund, is an unfair and illogical request. Perhaps most pertinent is the fact that all of these issues are contributing to our workload. The Tes recognise this too. In fact, they have an entire section of their website dedicated to this issue – you can read this here:https://www.tes.com/news/hub/workload. In refusing to adapt their practice, either by demonetising the site or by taking further steps to prevent these incidents, teachers are being forced to spend time searching the site for their own resources. When teachers locate stolen resources, the expectation that they buy their own work and prove its provenance is onerous and frustrating.
What Tes Education Resources Can Do:
  Have a long-term aim to demonetise the site and subsidise it, to enable an entirely free sharing platform for those working in education.
In the meantime:
  Improve checks on resources to identify plagiarism and/or copyright infringement.
  Allow for full download with retrospective payment, rather than asking people to buy resources simply to check for copyright infringement.
  Enable reviews of paid content without purchasing – so that copyright infringement which is clearly evident in the preview pane can be challenged in a review.
What you can do:
  Avoid downloading from Tes Education Resources until the long-term aim (above) is fulfilled.
  Use your Social Media account to inform your followers that you are doing this.
  Share your resources through Dropbox and any other suitable medium.


Weekly Resource Round-Up 28.10.18

Hi Team English! I hope you are all enjoying (or have enjoyed) your half term. After the craziness of September, we’re back with the Weekly Resource Round-Up of the most handy resources shared on Team English in the last two weeks.

We are thrilled that so many of you have now signed up to Litdrive. Every week I will now add some of the highlights from the weekly uploads on Litdrive; they will be listed at the end of the blog.  If you or any colleagues are yet to do so then please get yourselves over there ASAP; it’s an absolute goldmine of the best of Team English resources. Excitingly, there is also now a section for Media and Film Studies teachers so there are even more reasons to sign up!

Have a great week,

Nikki and Becky

1) KS3 Homework Reading Olympiad – @MissMFrost

2) Power and Conflict knowledge organiser – @spryke2

3) Marking Feedback Sheet (AQA P1 Q5) – @jade_hickin

4) Power and Conflict Explode a Quotation – @mathew_lynch44

Now for highlights from Litdrive this week. I cannot add links as they won’t work unless you have a login… so make sure you set up an account (if you haven’t already done so!) and search for the resources below.  These resources have all been given four or five star ratings from our users so thank you to the contributors for sharing!

  1. WW1 Poetry SOW – by Mrstinac
  2. Paper 1 Lessons: The Secret Garden – by Horners
  3. Macbeth Meme Revision – by Aro
  4. Picture Frame Quote Analysis – by t.e.j
  5. War Poetry SOW for Year 9 – by Miss Hassell


Weekly Resource Round-Up #3

Evening, Team English! Here is our third resource round-up (I’ll stop counting them soon) and this week’s has been especially hard to narrow down as there are so many excellent resources being shared. As always, thank you to everyone who continues to share their work with us.





  • Donald Trump Creative Writing Prompt by @its_natalie


  • 5 A Week Quizzes by @mrrdenham




  • AQA Writing Tasks – 200 Words by @reeba_wood


  • Pauses in Macbeth by @gcse_macbeth (have a look at the AIC resource too!)




Weekly Resource Round-Up #2

Morning all! I hope everyone is having a restful weekend now that the Y11 exams are finally over. To help you through your planning this lovely sunny Sunday, here is our round-up of the most popular/best resources shared on our Twitter page during the last week.


Nikki and Becky




Weekly Resource Round-Up

The Team English blog has arisen from its long slumber with what will hopefully be a regular round-up of the best resources that have been shared with us this week. As always,  a huge thank you to everyone who shares resources with us. What you may think of as just a simple resource is to someone else a huge timesaver so please keep them coming.


    1. AQA Paper 1 Language Booklet from Miss W (@AceYourExams)



  • A Christmas Carol Character Thinking Mats from S.Pryke (@spryke2)


  • Paper 1 Reading Lessons for Y9 from Marmitage (@MazLovesGandC)






Team English Meet-ups


English teachers are a sociable old bunch, and we love a good chat…as well as over-analysing anything ever written. @Team_English1 has become a huge community, and new friendships have been forged across the country. With that in mind, we thought that it would be really nice to arrange a few get-togethers across the country, where people can meet and chat with some of the faces behind the Twitter names. These will be very informal get-togethers so please don’t be shy – come along, have a few drinks and meet some new friends.

If you would like to attend any of the following events, all you need to do is add your name to the spreadsheet below, just so that each event organiser knows how many to expect. Events will be added as and when they are organised. We hope to see many of you there!



Contact: @MrsSpalding

Sign up here




Contact: @NooPuddles

Sign up here




Contact: @FKRitson or @shadylady222

Sign up here



Contact: @TLPMsF

Sign up here




Contact: @ladybarkbark

Sign up here




Contact: @StMartins_Eng

Sign up here


Contact: @Tom_Briars

Sign up here


Contact: @lisahackney1 or @BorisMcDonald

Sign up here

What (exactly) are you trying to say?


Help, tips and assistance for students. This blog is part of a range specifically for students and can be found, along with others, under Student GCSE Blogs.

When writing how do you make the best choices? Hopefully, this blog may help you! I’m going to use this image:


AQA Section B: Writing You are advised to spend about 45 minutes on this section.

I will do other posts on how to plan/a whole narrative piece. This blog will show you how to pick the best words/sentences etc. I apologise again for the differences in colour but hopefully they will help you:

  • Blue – a possible choice
  • Red – synonyms and alternatives
  • Grey/black – my thoughts/explanation for choices

If I begin with a verb (-ing) I start my piece in the middle of some type of action

  • Looking (gazing, staring, leering, glancing) at me (this is a ‘clause’ it doesn’t make…

View original post 1,334 more words

Evaluating (you know the tough one)!


Help, tips and assistance for students. This blog is part of a range specifically for students and can be found, along with others, under Student GCSE Blogs.

Paper 1 Q4 is an evaluation question, you have to meet this objective: AO4 Evaluate texts critically and support this with appropriate textual references.

This is a SAMPLE question…


The first thing you need to remember is this is an evaluative question and requires a personal response from you the ‘reader’.

Evaluation is defined as “the making of a judgement about the value of something”.

  • You are being tested on your ability to evaluate how effective a text is.
  • This means you must write about the methods (techniques) a writer uses to create an effective text and are those effects successful?
  • Try to analyse patterns of words e.g. the writer uses [strong verbs] to show….

Let’s look at an extract:


Here’s a ‘sample’…

View original post 331 more words

Using research to rise to the challenge of the new English Literature GCSEs


In a guest post following her presentation at the ResearchEd English + MFL Conference in Oxford, earlier this month, Amy Forrester, Research Officer at NATE (National Association for the Teaching of English), explains how she used used research to create greater retention of knowledge amongst students.


ResearchEd English+MFL, Oxford, April 1st.

One of the main reasons I engage with research is to ensure that there’s evidence behind choices that I make in the classroom, and in my wider practice. For English teachers up and down the land, the new GCSEs have meant we are making more new decisions than even before, often where we don’t have any concrete evidence. Arguably, one of the biggest challenges many teachers have had to rise to is the closed book element of the English Literature GCSEs. Students have to study 3 texts, alongside a hefty anthology of poetry. And, if they want to do well, they need to learn many, many quotations to use in the exam this coming Summer.

As my year 11s progressed through the course, and sat their first formal mock exam in November, it became increasingly clear that a major factor in under performance was the lack of quotations some students had used in their exam answers. I knew I had to do something to fix it. I read around the research on memory and on retention. On David Didau’s blog, I saw he’d referenced a paper by Cepeda et al (2008) which proposed optimal intervals for retaining information. To retain it for 6 months, which is what I needed for my GCSE groups, their work supports that study sessions for the information should take place every 3 weeks. From this, I devised a programme of study for my year 11s, all of which would be undertaken as homework. They would have 5 tasks a week for learning quotations for each of their literature texts, and, after 3 weeks, these would be gradually replaced with recap tasks each week.


In preparation for this, I spent some time explaining this to my groups, and talking through the methods to recap their work. All of this work would be done in “homework books”, which I would check weekly, to ensure students were learning high quality quotes. And so, in January, off they went.


I knew I needed to measure how well this was working. After all, the need for retaining quotations was high, and the impact of it not working was really quite risky. Still, I have faith that evidence based findings should, in theory, be replicable. By March, I had done a range of activities in lessons which showed some indication that it was working. Random recall starters and 5 a day starter activities (a frankly brilliant idea put forward by @TLPMsF https://thelearningprofession.wordpress.com/) suggested that students were retaining new quotations. However, I needed to test it out in more robust detail. 3 months after their mock exam, my groups sat another. Their initial mock was on Romeo and Juliet so I decided to use the same text, and only have 1 exam, rather than one on each text. The reason for this was to be able to measure the improvement in marks, specific to one text. They hadn’t sat a mock on the other texts, and so I didn’t have a reliable benchmark for these, despite their quote learning tasks being on all 4 literature texts.


The findings were surprising. In the initial mock exam, a total of 3 different quotes had been used. In the second, 40 different quotes were used. I was delighted by the increase, especially as it was a no notice mock. Not only had the variety of quotations increased, the amount they were using increased too. In their first mock, an average of 1.2 quotes were used. In the second, that went up to 3.0. Their marks went up, too. 96% increased their mark (on our internal grade boundaries). With this, 22% saw a 1 grade increase, 29% a 2 grade increase, 19% a 3 grade increase, and 6% a 4 grade increase. I was really very happy with their progress, especially in light of the fact that our curriculum plan meant that I hadn’t recapped or revised the text with them at all in the time between their first and second mock.


There were some other, more incidental things that I learnt from marking their second mocks. Earlier on, I mentioned that I’d used Rebecca Foster’s 5 a day starter idea. In students’ work, I saw that some of the quotes that they’d used best were those that had featured in one of these activities. When I do this as a starter, I follow it with modelling what I’d pick out of the quotes, what analyses I’d make, different interpretations, subject terminology and how I’d make contextual links. Students were transferring this very well. When I repeat this quote learning journey next year, one thing I will plan far more closely is that my staters follow up what students have done the previous week, to build their knowledge of the quotations in more depth.


I’ve also thought long and hard about the right time to start something like this with students. I think one of the reasons it worked as well as it did is down to it coming after the students’ first mock exam. Many were disappointed with their result. They needed some firm guidance with how to improve, and this provided just that. Rather than simply providing “Learn quotes” as their area for improvement, they had a simple programme to follow to achieve that. Equally, by using the 5 a day starters to test their recall, students could see that it was working, meaning they were more likely to buy into it as an idea. I think, had they not seen an improvement, their buy in might have weakened and it would have been less effective overall.


And so, my top tips for enabling students to adequately prepare for the English Literature exam would be:

  • Design the programme for them.
  • Make it compulsory
  • Use starters and in class activities regularly to enable students to build their confidence
  • Introduce it at the right time – they need a motivation for it
  • Don’t leave it too late. Students have a lot to learn for this exam, alongside their other subjects.


I have uploaded all of the resources mentioned in my talk at ResearchEd into a Dropbox. You’ll find the PowerPoint slides from the talk, as well as research papers and the homework resources in here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/wh7az8vp2kw88j9/AABt1Gw-_VyKXeotz1bLOhLua?dl=0


You can find me on twitter @amforrester1 where I’m more than happy to take questions you may have.