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Teachers report increased job satisfaction

Teachers report increased job satisfaction

Research 3 minute read
The job satisfaction of Australia’s school teachers has increased over the past three years, and almost nine out of every ten teachers is either satisfied or very satisfied with their job, new research suggests.

Between August and December 2010, 15475 school teachers and 1579 school leaders completed the Staff in Australia’s Schools (SiAS) survey about their background and qualifications, their work, their career intentions, and school staffing issues. The findings of the survey, conducted by ACER on behalf of the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR), were released on 15 January 2012.

The survey revealed that 88 per cent of primary teachers and 86 per cent of secondary teachers are overall either satisfied or very satisfied with their current job. This represents an improvement since the first SiAS survey, conducted in 2007, of about 3 percentage points for both primary and secondary teachers.

There was little variation in the results when separated according to school sector and location - in all cases over 80 per cent of respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with their current job. The aspects of the job that teachers were most satisfied with were their working relationships with their colleagues and with parents/guardians, while the areas of least satisfaction were the value society places on teachers’ work and the amount of administrative and clerical work teachers are expected to do.

SiAS project director, ACER Research Director Dr Phillip McKenzie said, 'Despite such positive feeling about overall job satisfaction, more than half of all teachers surveyed are unsure how much longer they intend to continue working in schools.'

'This suggests that career intentions are somewhat fluid, and difficult to predict with certainty,' he added. 'However, it is worth noting that only fairly small proportions (7 per cent primary, 10 per cent secondary) indicated that they actually plan to leave teaching permanently before retirement.'

The top two reasons for leaving prior to retirement were ‘better opportunities outside schools’ and ‘the workload is too heavy’.

McKenzie said that SiAS contributes directly to the ongoing development of better information on the teaching workforce. In 2010 SiAS collected information on a wide range of teacher workforce characteristics and attitudes, and comparisons with 2007 enable analysis of trends over time. This will assist governments, teacher employers and teacher education institutions in planning for future needs.

Read the full report:
Staff in Australia’s Schools 2010: Main Report on the Survey, by Phillip McKenzie, Glenn Rowley, Paul Weldon and Martin Murphy, is available at <>

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