Maths and Science Teachers among World's Unhappiest

By Ward, Helen | Times Educational Supplement, December 2, 2016 | Go to article overview

Maths and Science Teachers among World's Unhappiest


Ward, Helen, Times Educational Supplement


The latest Timss places England second to last in a global job satisfaction survey...but it's worse in Japan

Maths and science teachers in England are among the least happy with their jobs in the world, according to new international data.

England comes second to last in tables ranking teacher job satisfaction in both maths and science, which have been produced by the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (Timss).

Only teachers in Japan are unhappier, according to the survey of teachers, the results of which were released this week.

Teachers in 57 countries were asked about their job satisfaction using seven statements, including "I am content with my profession as a teacher", "I find my work full of meaning and purpose" and "I am going to continue teaching for as long as I can". They were asked to rank how often they have felt like this, ranging from "very often" to "never or almost never". The results reveal that only 29 per cent of 14-year-olds in England are taught maths by teachers who feel very satisfied with their jobs, compared with a global average of 50 per cent. This contrasts with 80 per cent of students in Egypt.

Can't get no satisfaction

England's science teachers are even less happy, with just 27 per cent of 14-year-olds having teachers who are very satisfied with their jobs. In Japan, just 19 per cent have teachers who feel this way.

"Teachers have always worked hard, particularly in the early years of their career," said Malcolm Trobe, interim general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders. "But it's the fact that people are not getting any respite now. They are preparing lots of things because of the new curriculum. There are new qualifications at GCSE and A level. There is a lot more work to do.

"I don't think this is specific to maths and science. I think it is across the piece."

The results are better for England's primary schools, but still below the international average: 42 per cent of 10-year-old pupils are taught maths by teachers who are very satisfied, compared with an average of 52 per cent.

For science, England's figure is 43 per cent, compared with an international average of 52 per cent. …

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