Just four per cent of teachers think now is the best time to be in the profession

Finding comes as four in ten secondary heads face ‘serious shortage of staff’

Just four per cent of teachers believe that now is “the best time to be a teacher” and few would recommend the profession to their own children, research has found.

The Teacher Happiness Survey, a poll of 4,000 teachers by TES‘ parent company TES Global, found that almost 85 per cent believed that teaching was “better in the past than it is today”. Over 10 per cent said that being a teacher would be better in the future.

Just 16.3 per cent said that they would encourage their own children to enter the profession.

The survey, carried out this month and released today, found that more than a quarter of teachers were “seriously looking” to leave the profession or were “certain” to do so within the next three years.

It found that nearly one in ten teachers, 9.8 per cent, were either certain or seriously looking to leave the UK to teach overseas.

The Teacher Happiness Survey found that 31 per cent of teachers felt that talk of a “recruitment crisis” made them more likely to leave the profession. But 67 per cent said that they would feel more optimistic if they were “treated as partners in the debate [about teacher shortages], rather than objects of discussion.”

A separate poll – the TES Leadership Survey – also released today, found that almost four in 10 secondary heads (39 per cent) were “facing a serious shortage of staff” for the coming academic year. Twenty-seven per cent of primary heads said that they were in this position.

The survey of 650 heads and school leaders, carried out in January, found that 72 per cent of those at secondaries and 69 per cent of those at primaries believed that their school’s budget was likely to fall in the next three to four years.

Rob Grimshaw, chief executive of TES Global, said: “Teachers are putting their hands up to be more involved in fixing the current recruitment challenges and this offers a real opportunity for school leaders and policy makers.

“Highly-engaged teachers, if given an outlet for their ideas, could play a vital role in key areas such as attracting new entrants to the profession, encouraging other teachers to remain in the classroom, advising policy makers on how to retain teachers and helping stakeholders to understand the causes of the shortages.”

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