Teachers’ morale has fallen in last two years


A recent survey commissioned by the National Union of Teachers (NUT) has shown that teachers’ morale has worsened over the last two years.

The YouGov survey aimed to identify the things teachers value about their jobs most and those disheartening them as professionals.

When asked whether their morale had improved, declined or stayed the same over the past two years, 59% of teachers answered that it had declined, and only 9% said morale had improved.
While the vast majority of teachers (92%) said that working with children and seeing the difference they could make in their lives and classroom teaching was the aspect of the job they enjoyed most, only 3% considered their morale to be very high and 59% say that their morale has declined over the past two years.

The biggest obstacles to performing to the best of their ability was constantly changing policy initiatives (63%), unnecessary paperwork (62%), constant external criticism and undermining of teachers (58%) and unrealistic expectations on what can be achieved within the working week (53%).

Changes that teachers would find most helpful in their role as a teacher included greater consultation with the profession before policy initiatives were implemented (63%), time for initiatives to be embedded and evaluated (63%), less internal and external pressure (62%), smaller class sizes (46%) and a change in the focus of Ofsted to be one of identifying areas for support (41%).

The main reasons given for what would influence decisions to leave the profession are excessive workload (71%) and the pay and pension changes (56%). A lack of respect for the teaching profession was cited by 53% of respondents, whilst exactly half (50%) referred to constant changes/initiatives as a significant factor that would influence their decisions to leave the profession.
When asked what they would say to Government the majority of teachers surveyed said they felt demoralised, deflated, devalued and overworked.

NUT General Secretary Christine Blower, said: “Until the high-stakes nature of league tables is removed and teachers are trusted, working hours are unlikely to reduce. Add to that pension cuts, pay freezes, continual inspection and criticism from Government and recruitment into the teaching profession will become increasingly difficult.”

The most enjoyed aspects of teaching were seeing children progress and class teaching. Educators also valued opportunities to try out and develop new approaches to teaching and learning.
Over six out of 10 teachers (63%) said they found helpful the time allowed for new initiatives to embed and be evaluated, as well as greater consultation with the profession before new policy initiatives are launched.

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