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Content after three decades in class

A TES teacher poll paints a surprising picture of general well-being, with workload the only real bugbear of the profession, Biddy Passmore reports. Sue Learner talks to teachers around the country

Peter Mason has been teaching for 34 years and is head of art in a Midlands secondary that failed its last inspection.

The 58-year-old, who has been at Manor Farm community school, Walsall, for 30 years says teaching is "a calling rather than just a job".

He said: "I am deeply enthusiastic and committed but I do think the profession is ageist and fails to recognise that older teachers are keen and have new ideas. Having the school put in special measures has made us pull together and made us more determined, but workload has also increased."

The weekend before last he spent seven-and-a-half hours preparing reports for a parents' evening.

He earns about pound;30,000 and feels comfortably off, with a detached house and overseas holidays twice a year with his wife, also a teacher.

It takes him 35 minutes to get to work in his Volvo estate.

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