England short on happy teachers, Timss study reveals

England among worst in the world for teachers saying they are 'very satisfied' with their job, international study finds

Claudia Civinini

Timss 2019: England has a low ranking for teachers who say they are happy in their job

England has among the fewest teachers in the world who are very satisfied with their job, a new international study suggests.

Published today, the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study collects data from teachers as part of its science and maths assessment of 10- and 14-year-old students.

England sits near the bottom of the table for teachers saying that they are very satisfied with their jobs, the results suggest.

Timss 2019: England's teachers 'should really be proud'

Maths: Top 10 England improves at primary maths

Global study: 'Rankings are the least helpful part'

Revealed: Timss 2019's top countries in science and maths

Science: England's secondary science at record low

Read: 'We need to respect teachers' excellent work'

At Year 5, for teachers saying that they are very satisfied with their jobs, in both maths and science, England is 48th out of 58 countries in Timms 2019. At Year 9, England is 31st and 29th out of 38 countries for maths and science respectively.

This means that the percentage of students taught by teachers who are very happy with their job is lower than in a large majority of other countries.

Timss 2019: Teacher satisfaction 'linked to pupils' results'

The study found a positive relationship between teachers' job satisfaction and Year 9 students' average score in maths: scores for students taught by teachers who were very satisfied were significantly above the scores of students taught by teachers who were less than satisfied.

At Year 5, and for science at Year 9, there were no significant differences in pupils’ average scores when taking into account teacher satisfaction. 

At Year 5, fewer pupils in England were taught by teachers who were very satisfied with their job compared with their peers in any of the highest-performing countries (except South Korea and Japan), and also compared with their peers in all the other English-speaking countries.

At Year 9, the picture was similar: of the highest-performing countries, those with fewer students than England taught by very satisfied teachers were Japan and Russia, and among the English speakers, New Zealand.

As for teachers reporting they were "less than satisfied", the picture is a lot more positive, with England reporting lower-than-average percentages of students taught by unhappy teachers in all groups.

The exception was Year 9 science, where England was high up the teacher dissatisfaction table at fifth out of 38 countries. Of 14-year-old students learning science in England, 15 per cent were taught by less-than-satisfied teachers, against an international average of 8 per cent. 


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Claudia Civinini

Claudia Civinini

Find me on Twitter @claudiacivinini

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