Overworked, underpaid, but at least you’re appreciated

9th November 2018, 12:00am
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Tes Editorial

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Overworked, underpaid, but at least you’re appreciated

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archived/overworked-underpaid-least-youre-appreciated

Teaching might be one of the hardest jobs in the world, but where in the world are teachers working the hardest?

According to a new survey from the Varkey Foundation, British teachers surveyed say they are working the fourth longest hours per week (50.9) of all the 35 countries polled after New Zealand, Singapore and Chile.

And in a state of affairs that will perhaps shock precisely no British teacher, the profession works much harder than the public gives them credit for. When polled, the public estimated the number of hours teachers work at 45.9 hours a week, almost a whole school day less per week than teachers say they are actually working.

And just as they underestimated how much teachers worked, the public also overestimated how much teachers were getting paid.

Respondents on average estimated that the salary of a starting secondary school teacher was around £29,000, rather than the reality of £24,000.

You will perhaps be gratified to hear that the public was slightly horrified by this state of affairs, suggesting that a starting salary more in line with what teachers deserve should be much higher - around £31,500.

But while the British public value teachers and want them to be paid accordingly, fewer people would encourage their child to become a teacher now (23 per cent) than in 2013, when 26 per cent said they would definitely or probably encourage them to do so.

Sunny Varkey, founder of the Varkey Association said that respecting teachers "isn't only an important moral duty - it's essential for a country's educational outcomes".

He added: "There is still a mountain to climb before teachers everywhere are given the respect they deserve. After all, they're responsible for shaping the future."

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