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More respect needed for teaching says TLTP Education

A new report that ranks the UK tenth in a list of countries where teachers are respected shows that the reputation of teaching needs to be addressed says TLTP Education.

The report indicates that the issue of respect is a challenge for teachers as well as for society in general.

The Global Teacher Status Index found that teachers in China, Greece and Turkey received the highest levels of public respect.

The study, compiled by the University of Sussex and published by the Varkey GEMS Foundation, was based on surveys of 1,000 adults in each of the countries which examined public attitudes to professional status, trust, pay and the desirability of teaching as a career.

“This might appear fairly superficial but it is really important that we restore public respect for teachers and pride in the profession,” explains Darryl Mydat, managing director of TLTP Education.

“The fact that, in the UK, only about one in five adults believed that students showed their teachers respect in school is a concern. Part of this is symptomatic of changing attitudes towards authority generally among some young people and we receive more frequent reports of teachers facing anything from disrespect to active abuse from students. But it is also about the pressures on the profession, the way teachers respond to those pressures and the perceptions that people have as a result.”

It is encouraging, Mydat says, that the report revealed much higher levels of trust in the education system than in the US and most other European countries and that there was a considerable level of public support for teachers - with a majority underestimating the starting salary for teachers (currently about &pound22,000 in England outside London) and believing that teachers should be better paid.

“The challenge is to restore the position where teachers and teaching have a genuinely valued status in society and the career is aspirational again,” Mydat adds.

“If constant reporting on issues of conflict between teachers and government is all that anyone sees and all that is reported, then society will have a jaundiced view and will miss the seriously important and really high quality work that the majority of teachers are delivering every day. Perhaps the industry itself needs to adopt a more proactive approach to promoting itself for the greater good.”

This is one of the reasons, Mydat says, that prompted TLTP to launch the Pride In Teaching campaign in 2011, which now has more than 5000 followers on Twitter and more than 2000 on Facebook. It is also the reason why TLTP is sponsoring National Pride In Teaching Day on March 27th 2014, a grounds-up campaign to get teachers around the country promoting the positive work that they do all year round on that one day.

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