They are probably right. Unsurprisingly, the fastest deterioration was in the decade from 1988 when the televised antics of National Union of Teachers' activists included jostling Labour's blind education spokesman, David Blunkett. Status has been most affected, though, by social changes.
Deference is a rare commodity today, and teachers' former position as the community's most highly-educated people is disappearing as more of us go to university. The important thing is that parents rate their own child's school and teachers highly. And respect does not always help recruitment.
Just ask the young people who are desperate to join the planet's most despised profession - journalism.