Young teachers happier but say hard work is unrewarded

March 05, 2020

Newly qualified teachers report higher levels of wellbeing and life satisfaction compared to other graduates, but are more likely to say hard work in Britain is unrewarded, according to UCL research.

The study, published today in the British Journal of Educational Studies and funded by the Nuffield Foundation, also shows that newly qualified teachers work, on average, nine hours more a week compared to graduates in other professions.

Researchers from the UCL Institute of Education analysed data of around 16,000 people born in 1989-90 from the Next Steps cohort study. The study began in 2004 and has continued to track individuals into their twenties. By age 26 the final sample of teachers who had been in the job for up to three years was 291.

Teachers were asked questions about their wellbeing, health, working and social lives as well as whether they believed that hard work in Britain is rewarded.

Professor John Jerrim (UCL Institute of Education), lead author, said, "We are currently seeing a shortage of appropriately qualified teachers, particularly in secondary schools, and we wanted to find out why so many are leaving the profession.

"This is of particular concern because not only are teachers feeling undervalued, many school teachers and heads are saying this is directly affecting and harming the quality of education pupils receive."

Overall, teachers reported higher levels of life satisfaction and showed no evidence of worse mental health or less active social lives compared to others in the cohort For example, 37% said they were 'very satisfied' at ages 20 and 26, whereas 34% cent of those in office jobs (for example) said they were 'very satisfied' at age 20 compared to 25% at age 26.

Teachers were however less likely than their peers to believe that Britain is a place where hard work gets rewarded. Around 30 per cent of teachers agreed or strongly agreed that hard work is rewarded, compared to around 40% of health workers and lower-managerial workers and 45% of all graduates and over half of all office workers.

The findings also showed that compared to all graduates, teachers are paid around £22 more per week. However, teachers received £54 per week less than their peers working in health and £71 less than those in office jobs.

Professor Jerrim added: "If teachers are expected to work long hours, often for little extra pay - but do not feel that this effort is appreciated - it is little wonder why many end up choosing to leave the profession.

"More work needs to be done to understand exactly why young teachers in England feel this way, and education policymakers and school leaders need to make greater efforts to show junior teachers that their hard work and dedication to the job is highly valued and sincerely appreciated."

Cheryl Lloyd, Education Programme Head at the Nuffield Foundation, said: "It is reassuring that the early career teachers in this study reported relatively good life satisfaction and similar mental health to their peers.

"However, given the ongoing teacher supply crisis we must not be complacent, as less experienced teachers are more likely to leave the profession. New, returning and more experienced teachers have a vital role to play in education and it is important that we build a better understanding of how we can better attract and retain teachers."
-end-


Taylor & Francis Group

Related Education Articles from Brightsurf:

Applying artificial intelligence to science education
A new review published in the Journal of Research in Science Teaching highlights the potential of machine learning--a subset of artificial intelligence--in science education.

Dementia education
School-based dementia education could deliver much needed empathy and understanding for older generations as new research from the University of South Australia shows it can significantly improve dementia knowledge and awareness among younger generations.

How can education researchers support education and public health and institutions during COVID-19?
As education researchers' ongoing work is interrupted by school closures, what can they do to support education and public health institutions dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic?

Online education platforms could scale high-quality STEM education for universities
Online and blended (online and in-person) STEM instruction can produce the same learning outcomes for students as traditional, in-person classes at a fraction of the cost, finds research published today in Science Advances.

Technology in higher education: learning with it instead of from it
Technology has shifted the way that professors teach students in higher education.

The new racial disparity in special education
Racial disparity in special education is growing, and it's more complex than previously thought.

Education may be key to a healthier, wealthier US
A first-of-its-kind study estimate the economic value of education for better health and longevity.

How education may stave off cognitive decline
Prefrontal brain regions linked to higher educational attainment are characterized by increased expression of genes involved in neurotransmission and immunity, finds a study of healthy older adults published in JNeurosci.

Does more education stem political violence?
In a study released online today in Review of Educational Research, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Educational Research Association, three Norwegian researchers attempt to bring clarity to this question by undertaking the first systematic examination of quantitative research on this topic.

Individual education programs not being used as intended in special education
Gone are the days when students with disabilities were placed in a separate classroom, or even in a completely different part of the school.

Read More: Education News and Education Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.