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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 not as a result of sex scandal or job downsizing, but 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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