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OECD: Raising teacher status will boost schools

16/03/2012 Joanna
Elevating the status of teachers in line with the importance of teaching jobs will make the profession more attractive to top students, a new report has claimed.

Carried out by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the study argues that teachers need to be awarded the status, remuneration and professional autonomy afforded other knowledge workers, the BBC reported.

Author of the report, Andreas Schleicher, believes that for schools to achieve the highest standards it is essential that they recruit the best students to become teachers.

Finland and Singapore, widely recognised as having the best education systems in the world, exemplify this practice, with the best students often recruited into teaching jobs.

Mr Schleicher, who is special education adviser to the OECD, said: "People who see themselves as knowledge workers are not attracted by schools organised like an assembly line, with teachers working as interchangeable widgets in a bureaucratic command-and-control environment," the news provider quoted.

The report argues that given the importance of teachers to the global economy, across the world they are not paid enough to recognise this and raising salaries would help keep the best teachers in the profession.

This is a practice acknowledged in countries with the very best education systems, where the high social status bestowed upon teachers makes the competition for teaching jobs incredibly high.

In Finland, only one in ten applicants to become teachers are accepted while in Singapore the average teachers' wage is level with other graduate professions.

Across other OECD countries, the report found that teacher jobs generally pay an average 80 per cent of comparable graduate positions.

The report was published this week at an international teaching profession summit in New York organised by the OECD.

Representing UK teaching at the event, Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT teaching union, said: "It is vital that teaching is seen as an attractive and rewarding career choice in order to cope with the increased demands on the education sector and the high-level skills needed to secure sustained recovery from the economic crisis."ADNFCR-2164-ID-801319926-ADNFCR
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