World leaders warn of 'damaging' effects of erosion in respect for teachers

29th May 2015 at 11:02
Global Teacher Prize

A group of former world leaders has warned that an erosion in respect for the teaching profession could lead to “profoundly damaging” effects on young people’s life chances and a rise in extremism.

In an open letter to education ministers around the world, the leaders say that a “declining respect for teachers” will “weaken teaching, damage the learning opportunities for millions and ultimately weaken societies around the world”. 

Governments should “play their part in restoring the respect that [teachers] so richly deserve”, they add.

The letter has been published by the Varkey Foundation and the Club de Madrid – which represents former presidents and prime ministers from around the world – to mark the opening of the 2016 Global Teacher Prize. 

The Varkey Foundation award, dubbed the “Nobel prize for teaching”, aims to raise the status of the teaching profession by highlighting best practice around the world. The winner will receive $1 million (£650,000).

Richard Spencer, a science teacher at Middlesbrough College, Teesside, was one of 10 finalists for the 2015 prize. Dr Spencer impressed judges with his use of innovative techniques such as role play, songs and dance to make lessons engaging. 

For the full story, get the 29 May edition of TES on your tablet or phone, or by downloading the TES Reader app for Android or iOS. Or pick it up at all good newsagents.


Related Content

Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today