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Nearly half the public think they’d be good teachers

With a poll showing that many people believe they would make good teachers, union questions why recruitment is a struggle

People are put off training to become a teacher because of poor pay and high workload, one union warns

With a poll showing that many people believe they would make good teachers, union questions why recruitment is a struggle

A new survey today reveals that 44 per cent of the public believe they have traits that would make for being “a good teacher.”

The survey, commissioned by the Department for Education as part of its Get into Teaching campaign, found that, of these people, 44 per cent said it was because they were good at explaining things, while 40 per cent thought they could make learning fun and 39 per cent believed they could relate to others.

Campaign spokesperson Roger Pope said a career in teaching could give "a wider sense of fulfilment and worth".

He said: "A large proportion of people believe they would make a good teacher and see the draw and rewards of a career that can have an impact on so many."

However, a teaching union has criticised the survey for not asking the right question.

Teacher pay and workload

Andrew Morris, assistant general secretary of NEU teaching union, said: “It’s a shame that the survey didn’t ask people why they don’t go into teaching despite thinking they could do a good job.

“Tackling excessive workload, ending the punitive inspection system and improving pay would all help persuade more people into teaching."

Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT teaching union, said the survey was “encouraging” and that it was interesting that, given the results, the profession was still facing a recruitment crisis.

She said: “Perhaps these individuals are put off by the stories we often see about teachers suffering from burnout due to crushing workloads and attacks on their professionalism.

“If teachers’ pay and working conditions do not recognise them as professionals then it will not be possible to recruit and retain a high-quality teaching workforce.

"The DfE may be rejoicing the fact that so many people feel they could be a teacher, but if they don’t actually follow through with this, there is nothing to celebrate.”

In the survey, which involved more than 3,000 members of the public, excluding teachers and retirees, 40 per cent of people who believed they could be good teachers said it was because they enjoyed working with young people. 

A DfE spokeswoman said the survey results had been published ahead of the launch of the DfE's teacher recruitment and retention strategy and that it hoped to encourage more of those who think they have what it takes to be a teacher to give it a try.

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