Dumbledore tops poll of best-loved teachers

Poll shows power of Harry Potter as three Hogwarts' staff are named in top 20 fictional teachers

Helen Ward

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Professor Dumbledore, the headteacher from the Harry Potter books, is the UK’s favourite fictional teacher, new British Council research has revealed.

Commissioned for World Teachers’ Day, which recognises the work of teachers around the world, the poll sees JK Rowling’s creation, Albus Dumbledore, the headteacher of Hogwarts Schools of Witchcraft and Wizardry topping the poll. He comes ahead of Mr Chips from the 1930s classic Goodbye Mr Chips and Hogwarts colleague Severus Snape.

Professor Dumbledore has been described as “the epitome of goodness”, by Rowling, who once taught English abroad on the British Council’s language assistant scheme. Almost one in five of the 1,081 adults surveyed chose the character as their top fictitious educator - nearly twice as many votes as those who selected runner-up Mr Chips.

A previous poll by the TES in 2014, also recognised Dumbledore as being teachers’ own favourite fictional teacher.   

The nation’s other most well-loved fictional educators range from Miss Honey (Matilda) and Jean Brodie (The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie) to the less conventional Mr Gilbert (The Inbetweeners) and Walter White (Breaking Bad).

Wise Professor Dumbledore takes the crown

Mark Herbert, head of schools programmes at the British Council, said: “Hogwarts School clearly tops the fictional league tables to get three places in the top ten. JK Rowling’s characters have reached out of the Potter pages to inspire a nation of pupils and teachers.

“And while it is the worldly and wise Professor Dumbledore who takes the overall crown, each character on the list indicates that we are most influenced by those who look at things differently – and who encourage those around them to do the same.

“Inspirational teachers change lives and develop minds by opening their pupils’ eyes up to the world. It matters more than ever that our young people have the knowledge, skills and outlook they’ll need in the increasingly international world of work – and great teachers are an essential part of that.  However I’m sure that plenty of teachers sometimes wish they had Dumbledore’s magical powers.”

World Teachers’ Day 2016 includes a #WorldOfThanks social media drive to recognise the work of educators across the globe.

The top 20 list is:

  1. Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter series)
  2. Mr Chips (Goodbye Mr Chips)
  3. Severus Snape (Harry Potter series)
  4. Mr Gilbert (The Inbetweeners)
  5. Miss Honey (Matilda)
  6. Minerva McGonagall (Harry Potter series)
  7. Jean Brodie (The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie)
  8. Charles Xavier (X Men series)
  9. Walter White (Breaking Bad)
  10. Merlin (The Sword in the Stone)
  11. Jane Eyre (Jane Eyre)
  12. John Kimble (Kindergarten Cop)
  13. Mrs Krabappel (The Simpsons)
  14. Mrs McClusky (Grange Hill)
  15. Mr Keating (Dead Poets Society)
  16. Alfie Wickers (Bad Education)
  17. Susan Kennedy (Neighbours)
  18. Miss Trunchbull (Matilda)
  19. Mr Bronson (Grange Hill)
  20. Pete Brockman (Outnumbered)

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Helen Ward

Helen Ward

Helen Ward is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @teshelen

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