Chalk Talk: Teaching is a dream job for many - not that they'd recommend it


Click to follow
The Independent Online

I have this dream: I turn up to one of the teachers' union conferences and someone is on the rostrum extolling the virtues of their job and saying how happy they are in it.

The speech is greeted with rapturous applause and… then I wake up.

Sadly, with the current state of hostility between the teachers' organisations and the Education Secretary, Michael Gove, I don't think I'll hear it in my lifetime as an education editor.

So here's the next-best thing: a survey of 10,000 teachers carried out by The Education Company reveals that 61.3 per cent of them are happy in their job.

Scotland has the happiest teachers: 67.7 per cent of them, compared with 60.7 per cent in England and 60.4 per cent in Wales.

In England, the teachers are happier the farther south you go – so there should be a lot living near me in London.

True, independent-school teachers are far happier than those in state schools – 80.3 per cent compared with 60.1 per cent in local-authority-run state schools. Something to bring a knowing look to the faces of all those delegates at the teachers' union conferences here, though: those in free schools and academies are the least happy – but their figure is still a respectable 58.5 per cent. Exploited, you can hear them saying.

However, only 9.7 per cent would recommend a career in teaching. Teachers in Scotland are the most likely to do so, at 14.3 per cent, compared with 9.3 per cent in England and 8.9 per cent in Wales.

In independent schools, 23.1 per cent would recommend it to a friend – compared with just 8.1 per cent in state schools.

So even if it is not quite such a good-news story as it first seemed, at least it's a refreshing thought that the majority of children in this country may be being taught by someone who is happy in their job – and able to communicate their enthusiasm to those in their charge.

* In last week's Chalk Talk, I referred to a survey by Student Hut saying 27.9 per cent of students at Manchester University said teaching standards were poor. It has amended the figure to 13.2 per cent.