Poor background a teaching barrier, say 59% of public

Most UK adults see coming from a lower-income background as an obstacle to entering teaching, research suggests

Teacher recruitment: Most UK adults believe that a poor background is an obstacle for people who want to enter teaching, a poll shows

The majority of UK adults feel that coming from a lower-income background would hold people back from going into teaching, according to a new survey.

The study – commissioned by the Association of Accountancy Technicians (AAT) – of 2,000 adults shows that people thought socioeconomic background was a greater barrier to teaching than for many other professions, such as accountancy, investment banking or engineering. 

More than half – 59 per cent – of respondents said that coming from a lower-income background would act as a barrier to people going into teaching.

Teaching 'out of reach for poorer people'

Teaching was seen as the most difficult profession to enter from a lower-income background out of a list of eight – accountancy, business analysis, teaching, engineering, human resources, investment banking, IT and law.


News: White, middle-class teachers 'letting down black boys'

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Those surveyed, on average, thought the cost of going into teaching was £19,860. This is significantly higher than the cost of some routes into the profession, with most PGCEs costing around £9,000.

More than two-thirds of respondents – 69 per cent – felt that not having a degree would make it very difficult to enter teaching, while 77 per cent felt this was true of becoming a solicitor, 64 per cent for accountancy and 62 per cent for investment banking.

In the UK, teaching applicants must have a degree or equivalent qualification to obtain qualified teacher status (QTS).

The survey was published before Wednesday's deadline for Ucas applications, with thousands of students applying for university courses, many with the aim of entering one of the professions included in the survey.

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