At times it would be easy to feel downhearted about our profession. Just this week the press have reported that teachers in England have one of the highest workloads in the world and more than half of secondary teachers say their job is unmanageable. The poll of teachers and school leaders in 48 countries, conducted by the OECD, found those in England had longer working days than anywhere else other than Japan. It also shows the average age of teachers in England is five years lower than the average throughout the OECD countries, suggesting that large numbers continue to resign in the early stages of their career. Fortunately, alongside the continual challenges we all face on a daily basis, the profession still offers those magical moments that make a career in education so rewarding.
Over the last week I have been provided with numerous examples of the value and importance that our community place on our staff team and the roles they perform. On Wednesday I was invited to attend a special assembly at our Hart Schools Trust partner primary, Roebuck Academy. The assembly was planned for #thankateacher day and started with year 6 students talking about the positive impact their teachers and wider staff team have had on their time at school. This was followed with the presentation of certificates to four staff members, our school cook receiving an achievement award from Herts Catering, two teachers being presenting with certificates, and one colleague, Jade Herbaut, receiving a silver award for teacher of the year in the Pearson Teaching Awards. The citations from the parents emphasised the positive impact colleagues have had on the young people they work with. Our MP, Stephen McPartland, also emphasised the important role that all members of our school communities play in the lives of young people. Staff responses recognised the wider team who allow us all to do our jobs. I was left bursting with pride at the fantastic community spirit evident in our trust.
Whilst our job is challenging and we have a long way to go to ensure our profession recruits and retains the best workforce, we must remember what an amazing opportunity we all have to transform the future lives of young people. Working in schools is a privilege and I am proud to say I am a teacher. I would like to thank all the teachers who inspired me at school and my colleagues who continue to inspire me on a daily basis.