Revealed: How public views teacher pay and workload

Opinions split over whether profession's workload and salaries are too little or about right, but confidence in education improving is down

Amy Gibbons

Four in 10 people think teachers are paid too little

Nearly half of people think teachers work too hard, and four in 10 believe they are paid too little, according to new research.

A survey partly commissioned by the Department for Education found that 47 per cent of adults believe teachers work too hard, while 43 per cent think their workload is around the right amount.

Meanwhile, four in 10 (42 per cent) think that teachers are not paid enough.

Related: 5 questions Ofsted should ask about teacher workload

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For the British Social Attitudes (BSA) survey 2018, NatCen Social Research asked a representative sample of 3,000 adults across England, Scotland and Wales for their thoughts on the teaching profession and the wider education system.

It found that:

  • A lower proportion of people think children today have “better educational opportunities”, compared to a decade ago.  In 2010, 59 per cent of people agreed with the statement: "Children today have better educational opportunities than children had 10 years ago". This proportion fell to 52 per cent in 2018.
  • Almost half of people (47 per cent) think that teachers work too hard, while 43 per cent think that teachers’ workload is around the right amount. A small proportion (7 per cent) think they didn’t work hard enough, and 4 per cent don't know.
  • Almost half of people (44 per cent) think that teachers are paid about the right amount, while a similar proportion (42 per cent) believe they are not paid enough. Just 4 per cent think they are paid too much, and 10 per cent don't know.
  • The majority of people (83 per cent) think that studying a foreign language GCSE at school is fairly or very important.

School standards minister Nick Gibb agreed that foreign languages are an "increasingly important to a modern, global economy", and praised the English Baccalaureate for helping to "halt the decline in languages".

He added that, since 2010, the proportion of pupils studying a language at GCSE has risen from 40 per cent to 47 per cent in 2019.



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Amy Gibbons

Amy Gibbons

Amy Gibbons is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @tweetsbyames

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