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Report: Teachers work a day more than public think

WEEKLY working hours of teachers are underestimated by the public by almost a full school day, research by an education charity suggests.

The Varkey Foundation’s Global Teacher Status Index released today found that British teachers are working the fourth highest number of hours per week out of the 35 countries polled, behind New Zealand, Singapore and Chile.

Yet members of the public who were questioned about the hours primary and secondary teachers work said 45.9 hours a week.

Respondents also thought the average starting salary for a secondary school teacher was around £29,000 instead of £24,000.

The public thought that a fair wage would be almost £31,500, while teachers polled said it would be close to £33,000.

Despite holding teachers in high regard, 3 per cent fewer British parents would encourage their child to become a teacher now than in 2013, figures suggest.

Only 26 per cent of British people think pupils respect their teachers, the survey showed, compared to 81 per cent in China which ranked highest.

Teachers’ societal status in Britain is closely aligned with pupils’ performance results, the index suggests, with Britain ranking 12 out of those surveyed by average scores in the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa).

Association of School and College Leaders general secretary Geoff Barton, said: “This report once again shows that our teachers are underpaid and overworked thanks to government-imposed pay austerity combined with a relentless series of reforms which have left teachers doing more for less.

“We’re pleased that the public agrees teachers should be better paid and we hope the government listens, not least because this report establishes a link between teacher status and pupil performance.”

Mr Barton added that it was “disappointing” to see that so few parents would encourage their children to become teachers, demonstrating once more that teachers need “a better deal.”

Overall teacher status has risen in Britain since the last survey in 2013, the index said.

Britain ranked 10 out of 21 countries surveyed in 2013 compared to 13 out of 35 polled this year, leapfrogging countries such as the United States and the Netherlands.

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