Warning: Embedded clip contains strong language
He may be known for taking a light-hearted view of almost all aspects of life, but comedian Russell Howard has said he believes teaching is "one of the hardest jobs in the country".
On his show, the Russell Howard Hour, on Thursday, Howard said he had this summer interviewed “loads” of school kids, and that this had been an absolute joy.
“That got me thinking it would be great being a teacher, hanging out with funny kids, watching their minds grow, playing a vital role in society. But then when you look into being a teacher – oh my God – it’s one of the hardest jobs in this country," the comedian said.
Quoting headlines of the increasing prevalence of bad mental health among teachers, he said it was “no wonder they are depressed”. “Class sizes are getting ridiculous. I read a story the other day of a class of 64? You would do the register and then the bell would go.”
Howard said the number of attacks on teachers from primary school children was growing, both in schools and online.
“There shouldn’t be a Rate my Teacher, there should be a Rate my Parent,” he said.
“Teachers aren’t just being battered by parents and kids, austerity is smashing them too. Their real-term pay is decreasing year on year and they are working longer hours than teachers almost anywhere in the world, and they have got to make savings of £3 billion a year by 2020. And what are they doing in the face of these cuts? Behaving like heroes.”
Some teachers were buying school supplies or food for students who could not afford it, he said. “They are looking after our children, so why aren’t we looking after them?”