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Just a matter of opinion

If proof were needed that class still underpins Britain, look no further than deputy prime minister John Prescott, who lost his grace-and-favour home as a result not of sex scandal or job downsizing but of photos of him playing croquet.

So we shouldn't be surprised that teachers think their social status is higher than everyone else does: just below doctors, rather than on a par with social workers.

It could be a natural reaction: we journalists compare ourselves with Watergate's crusaders for the truth, while the public brackets us with Mr Shark, the Estate Agent, and Mr Midlife Crisis, the three-in-a-bed MP. Look on the bright side: a new poll says they are the least trusted groups of people, while the most trusted... are teachers.

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