Teachers feel undervalued and overworked

Only 35% of teachers in England feel their work is valued by society, although they work more hours than their peers in other countries.

The report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), based on an analysis of 106,000 teachers in 34 countries, found widespread dissatisfaction amongst teachers in England. 82% said they were satisfied with their job, compared to 91.2% average internationally, the BBC reports.

English teachers have more autonomy, smaller class sizes and more teaching assistants, but they work for 46 hours each week (including 19.6 hours face to face teaching), eight hours more than the international average.

The study also found that in all high performing education systems the most experienced teachers are more likely to be working with the most disadvantaged pupils, but in England it tends to be the opposite, with the least experienced staff more likely to be in challenging schools.

England has the youngest teaching force of any of the countries in the survey apart from Singapore, and fewer headteachers over 60 than any other developed country.

“We are unsurprised by the deeply disturbing findings that only a third of teachers believe teaching is valued as a profession,” said ATL’s Mary Bousted. “In England teachers’ working lives are dominated by bureaucracy and form filling and school leaders are not empowered to do what they know is best for their pupils, but what they think Ofsted will expect and demand. The OECD, however, says that in the top performing education systems, schools are democratic places for teachers to work.”

What do you think of the OECD report? Do you feel undervalued and overworked?

One thought on “Teachers feel undervalued and overworked

  1. “England has the youngest teaching force of any of the countries in the survey apart from Singapore, and fewer headteachers over 60 than any other developed country.”
    Heads are appointed young, because governors/employers want “dynamic”, “visionary”‘ people. Young headteachers will not hire older teachers, not just because younger ones are cheaper but also because they are afraid that older teachers will see through the BS and waffle uttered by them, the young, dynamic, visionary, ignorant, half-assed heads. England, and Scotland and Wales, are ageist societies. Tony Blair’s “young Britain” vision in 1997 summed it up. In tribal societies, ancient societies, mediaeval socieities and modern Eastern societies older people have been respected as “elders”. In the west now they are regarded as useless and a liability.
    (Singapore is different: it is a booming economy with fantastic people.)

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