Some 61 per cent of the public think the work of teachers is valued less than it was five years ago, according to a survey published today.
The YouGov poll, commissioned by the Chartered College of Teaching, also reveals that 53 per cent of teachers would not be likely to recommend teaching as a career to children and young adults, and that 78 per cent of the public agree more recognition needs to be given to the work of teachers.
Dame Professor Alison Peacock, the Chartered College’s chief executive, said teachers needed the support of “the whole of society.”
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Dame Alison said: “Despite growing workloads and stretched resources our teachers have a positive impact on society every single day. With these growing pressures, it is unfortunately not surprising that people are reluctant to recommend teaching as a career.
“At the Chartered College of Teaching, we wholeheartedly believe that teachers should be celebrated for their work. If we can support our teachers from the second they start training and celebrate them throughout their career for their impact, we can build the strongest profession possible.”
The Chartered College, which is the professional body for the teaching profession, has also highlighted the decline in the number of teachers entering the profession, and the fact that one in three early-career teachers leaves within five years. Yet, at the same time, the survey also reveals that 62 per cent of people agree teaching is a job for life.
Crisis of mental health
Meanwhile, the Education Support Partnership (ESP) charity has warned that the undervaluing of teachers is leading to more than three-quarters experiencing behavioural, psychological or physical symptoms due to their work, compared with 60 per cent of UK employees in general.
The ESP has today warned of a crisis of mental health among trainee teachers and has announced it is opening its helpline to "anyone in training".
The charity's chief executive, Sinéad Mc Brearty, said: “We must ensure that teachers feel respected, supported and resilient in order to reverse the declining numbers of early-career teachers leaving the profession. Only then can we make teaching an attractive lifelong career again.”
“It’s damning that over half of teachers themselves would not recommend teaching as a career. Those entering the profession are motivated to make a positive difference to the lives of children and young people. Instead of recognising and acknowledging the positive impact that teachers have on society, we’ve created a system of hyper-accountability, scrutiny and unnecessary workload.
“The result is far too many teachers currently not feeling valued or good enough. This is leading to over three-quarters experiencing behavioural, psychological or physical symptoms due to their work, compared with 60 per cent of UK employees.”
The Chartered College's YouGov survey has been released to coincide with its #YourProfession campaign, which aims to support people training to enter the profession, including through an early-career guide with advice and insight from teachers and experts, and a series of early-career events being staged across the country as well as an early-career conference.
The organisation is also set to hold celebrations for the very first teachers in the country to receive chartered teacher status.
Education Secretary Damian Hinds, said: “There are no great schools without great teachers, which is why it is my top priority to make sure teaching remains an attractive and fulfilling profession.
“Our Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy was developed alongside and welcomed by teachers, education unions and leading professional bodies, and provides more early careers support and opportunities for flexible and part-time working, to ensure we continue to attract and retain more great teachers.
“It was a pleasure at the recent National Teaching Awards Reception at the House of Commons to have had another opportunity to commend the 450,000 teachers across England for their selfless and dedicated work in inspiring young people.”