nearly one in three education professionals “no longer finds meaning” in their work

The What Education union published the 10th edition of its annual barometer questioning education staff. While they still say they love their job, fewer say they are happy, with growing disapproval of government policy.

Fewer and fewer teachers are feeling respected and recognized for their profession © AFP / Aline Morcillo / Hans Lucas

“Healing rather than continuing”: this is the watchword of What Education, which publishes the results of the 10th barometer of the Education, Research and Culture professions. According to the teachers ’union, which collected 42,836 responses from all education professions (a record, the report says), the evolution between the start of Macron’s first five-year term and now very visible: 87% of respondents say they disagree with the political choices made by their sector of activity, compared to 65% five years ago. When asked which words best describe their state of mind, what comes out of the top is “uncertainty”, “fatigue”, and “anger”.

Not one in five staff will recommend their work to a young person

Illness is also on the rise: in 2016, 46% of staff said they felt recognized and respected. Six years later, they were only 27%. Overall, the rate of respondents who say they enjoy practicing their profession is low, from 80% in 2017 to 74% in 2022.. And only 59% of respondents said they expected something from the next government, showing a relatively limited hope.

Thus, 92% of respondents say they like their profession … but there are increasing signs of weakness: 29% say they no longer see meaning in their missions, while they were “only” 21% in 2017. And only 22% would recommend their work to a young man or woman today: that’s 15 points less than five years ago. “Worryingly, because we see them getting smaller. It’s a fulcrum, you have to do it: we have to fix things, there are real breaks in this five -year period.“, analyzes Frédéric Marchand, secretary general of What Education.That’s good, we’re already at the start of a five -year term that has begun: we need, in dialogue, to build, to create ways to better identify staff.“, He added.

Purchasing power and student levels are among major concerns

Purchasing power is, at present, the number one concern of staff surveyed, followed by job and career prospects – a top three that, for their part, have not changed compared to 2017.The trio hasn’t changed, but every concern is even stronger: there’s this need for a shock on the question of revaluation, for all personnel.“, explains Frédéric Marchand. As a result, 38% of respondents said they were ready to change jobs to stay in the public sector, and even 29% to go into the private sector. (again, the improvement compared to ten years ago was huge, with 10 points more than five years ago).

Among the topical themes chosen by those surveyed, there is also the overall level, where 48% believe it is the number one priority of education policies. “But there are also other themes to be seen, such as the question of orientation or the school climate, and major weather topics such as inclusion, social diversity or ecological issues.“, topics that for some are not in the presidential debate, said Frédéric Marchand. “We need to create conditions for a peaceful debate on these topics“, he concluded,”to fix the link with the staff, and to give them time as appropriate, to build with them“.

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