England’s teachers can’t get no satisfaction, TALIS finds


The OECD has this week published the second volume of results from its latest teaching and learning international survey (TALIS).

The organisation surveyed thousands of teachers from 48 countries, addressing such matters as prestige, career opportunities, collaboration and autonomy.

Here are the four most interesting findings:


Under one-third of teachers feel that the profession is valued

The survey found that 29 per cent of secondary teachers in England either “agree” or “strongly agree” that their profession is valued in society.

This perceived value places England’s teachers far below the likes of Vietnam – which topped the survey, at over 90 per cent – but above teachers in France and the Slovak Republic, which both reported below 10 per cent.

The new figures also indicate that England’s teachers’ perceived societal value fell by 6.6 percentage points between 2013 and 2018.

Professor Dame Alison Peacock, chief executive of the Chartered College of Teaching, has called for teachers to be celebrated “for their work and dedication to the education of young people”.

She said: “In these challenging times, our teachers deserve to be lauded even more than before.”


England’s teachers can’t get no … satisfaction

The OECD reported 77 per cent of England’s teachers “all in all are satisfied with their job”.

While in isolation this may appear positive, it is actually the lowest among the 48 countries in the report – with no other nation scoring below 80 per cent.

Italy and Colombia topped the table, at 96 per cent, while the closest score to England’s was Japan’s, at 82 per cent.

The report explains that teachers’ job satisfaction has “strong implications” for other factors, such as retention, attrition, burnout and job performance.

Elsewhere, England was among just six other countries where most secondary teachers “wonder whether it would have been better to choose another profession”.

England also saw a 12 percentage point drop between 2013 and 2018 in overall satisfaction with the profession – the second largest of any country.

England’s teachers are also more stressed

The survey found 38.2 per cent of secondary teachers in England reported being stressed “a lot” – the highest proportion of any of the other 47 countries taking part in the survey.

Overall, the nation’s teachers were the second most stressed of those surveyed – with 70.1 per cent of teachers stating they felt stressed “a lot” or “quite a bit”.

Portugal took the top spot with 87.2 per cent. This is the first time TALIS has asked teachers about the stress of the profession.

Further analysis shows that in England “the share of teachers experiencing stress a lot is lower in primary education than in secondary education”.

Last year’s Teacher Wellbeing Index found almost three-quarters of teachers say they are stressed out, while more than half consider leaving due to mental health and wellbeing pressures.

Almost one-third of teachers are planning an exit from profession

The report found 30 per cent of teachers in England want to “leave teaching within the next five years”.

The OECD found attrition has become a “severe problem”. Unlike turnover, which refers to teachers permanently leaving their school, attrition refers to those leaving the profession altogether.

The report said: “Attrition can have a detrimental impact on student learning” and “can affect having a negative impact on the school climate and on the implementation of the curriculum”.

Additionally, 22.4 per cent of the teachers in England who said they wanted to leave the profession were teachers aged “50 or younger”.

The OECD added: “A high proportion of young teachers wishing to leave their work within the next five years can be problematic as it may present countries and economies with unexpected teacher shortages.”

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