Teachers: stressed and undervalued – but satisfied with their job

Ian NealeResearch Director, Public Sector and NfP
November 29, 2018, 10:51 AM GMT+0

New YouGov research pinpoints the causes of stress and pressure in teachers’ lives but also reveals that, despite these issues, the majority of are satisfied at work.

The study - conducted among 911 teachers in Great Britain - shows that close to six in ten educators (58%) are satisfied, against 37% that are dissatisfied.

Nonetheless, teachers have several criticisms of their chosen profession. For example, over eight in ten (83%) teachers feel stressed as a result of their job, against just 15% that are not similarly affected.

We asked the teachers to highlight up to three areas which cause them stress. The most common answer was the workload of marking, which was selected by 60%. Next up was a changing education policy (42%), and the “inspection regime” from Ofsted (42%).

Teachers also feel they are being underpaid. Only three in ten (30%) feel the pay is fair for the work they do, against almost six in ten (58%) that do not. What’s more, 84% of teachers do not believe the profession is valued by society.

So what explains this apparent disconnect, with teachers being satisfied in their job but also having several large issues with pay and conditions?

A possible explanation can be found in the reasons teachers give for getting into the profession in the first place. Our data reveals that the reward of seeing children develop, progress and achieve is a motivating factor for 83% of teachers. A further 55% say that classroom teaching itself is the attraction. And 41% said that generous holidays are a good reason to teach.

So it may be that teaching is more of a calling than a job, and that the satisfaction of imparting knowledge and wisdom offsets the stress and pay. And the long summers don’t hurt.

Image Getty

This insight was taken from the YouGov Teacher Track service. A fast turnaround survey that enables you to access up-to-the minute views from teachers on a range of topical issues.

Our teacher panel represents the whole teaching workforce: from head teachers to newly qualified classroom teachers, drawn from a sample of maintained primary and secondary schools across the UK.

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