Teacher survey: passion for job plummets during pandemic

The survey was carried out by more than 1,200 teachers from state, private, grammar, academy and higher education institutions across the UK

More than a third (35%) of teachers feel less passionate about their career than they did before the pandemic, a new survey suggests. 

Although state school teachers (39%) are far more likely than private school teachers (26%) to state they are no longer passionate about teaching, the figures suggest that the impact of school closures, remote working and increased expectations have all taken their toll on the workforce. The survey suggests more than half (51%) feel about the same, and 13% feel more passionate ever. 

The teacher survey was commissioned by Quizlet – a digital learning platform and app – and involved more than 1,200 teachers from state, private, grammar, academy and higher education institutions across the UK.

More than eight in 10 (85%) felt anxious or overwhelmed during the pandemic, the survey suggests, and this was consistent across the state, grammar and independent sectors. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, teachers, it would seem, felt more prepared for the second round of school closures than the first: 70% felt more prepared than March 2020, but around a quarter (26%) of independent school teachers and 37% of state school teachers said they lacked adequate resources to teach during the pandemic.

Other key findings

  • Nearly two thirds (62%) of teachers surveyed feel their occupational stress levels have increased as a result of the pandemic
  • 78% of teachers feel that the government could be doing more to support mental health during the pandemic, with almost half (49%) stating that ‘not enough is being done’
  • 88% of teachers feel that changing the length of the summer holidays or extending the length of the teaching day to make up for lost learning during the pandemic would have a negative impact on the mental health of educators, and 75% feel these changes would have a negative impact on student mental health


The figures mirror a survey from September 2020 that found that more than half of teachers say their mental health has declined since March 2020. The report from Education Support suggested that 52% of teachers had worse mental health than before the pandemic, compared to 16% who felt it had improved and 29% who thought it unchanged. 

Another survey in September, commissioned by Ecclesiastical Insurance, suggested that 80% of independent school teachers felt anxious about returning to school last September. Although the survey suggested Covid was the most significant stress factor for teachers last term (77%), nearly half (48%) said increased workloads had exacerbated their stress. 

Read more: Worcestershire school achieves top award for mental health provision

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