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British public thinks teachers deserve a £7,500 pay rise

Global survey shows fall in support for performance pay and in UK parents wanting their children to go into teaching

The British public believes teachers should be paid £7,500 higher, according to the Global Teacher Status Index

Global survey shows fall in support for performance pay and in UK parents wanting their children to go into teaching

The British public thinks that the country’s teachers are underpaid and the number of people who want their children to enter the profession is falling, a major new survey has revealed.

Teachers in the United Kingdom earn around £5,000 less a year than the public thinks according to the latest Global Teacher Status Index (GTSI).

It reveals that on average respondents estimated a secondary school teachers’ starting salary in the UK is £29,000 - when it is actually around £24,000.

The index also shows that the British public does not think is fair and believe the starting salary of teachers should be £7,500 higher – around £31,500.

And it shows that support for performance-related pay in the UK has fallen massively. 

In 2013 almost three-quarters of people polled agreed with teachers being rewarded with pay linked to results but now only a third of people questioned agree. 

The global survey also reveals that British teachers work some of the longest hours in the world and that the public underestimates how many hours teachers in the UK work for.

And it found that the British public is far more likely to think pupils disrespect their teachers rather than respect them. 

Around a quarter of those questioned think that pupils respect teachers while 46 per cent think they do not.

The GTSI gauges how society views teachers across 35 countries across the world.

It is run by the Varkey Foundation and was first carried out five years ago.

The latest findings published today reveal that although the public’s perception of the status of teachers in Britain has improved since 2013 there are fewer people now who actually want their children to become teachers.

The UK is one of just eight countries where the numbers of people who would encourage children to enter teaching have fallen since the first GTSI.

Five years ago 26 per cent of respondents in this country said they would definitely or probably encourage them to become teachers. This has now fallen to 23 per cent.

Paul Whiteman the general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) said: "It is no wonder the number of teachers leaving the profession has risen in recent years. There is a serious recruitment and retention crisis in teaching that the government must recognise and take urgent steps to solve. Not just by reducing workload and accountability, but by properly funding schools and teachers’ pay.

“Teachers are graduates who have many career choices open to them. They go into teaching with passion, because they care and want to make a difference, but we have to treat them well and respect their need for a proper work-life balance if we expect them to stay.”

 The GTSI shows the overall status of teachers has risen in the UK relative to other countries since the survey was last conducted.

British people ranked the status of primary and secondary school teachers higher than respondents in any other major European country other than Greece.

People were asked to rank 14 professions including teachers, doctors, nurses, librarians and social workers in terms of respect. 

Britain was ranked 13th highest out of 35 countries and the second highest in Western Europe for the status the public believe teachers have.

The survey shows that when only teachers were polled the status index score for teachers in the UK is lower.

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