What UK teachers can learn from Finland, where children have one of the world's best educations
Figures from the NUT showing one in 10 teachers are deserting the profession
With no inspections, tests, uniforms or fees, Finland’s education system is ranked among the best in the world.
Finland - as well as the Nordic region as a whole - is famed for its schools and staff, consistently topping global league tables for pupils’ performance.
But it is a very different story closer to home, with the teaching profession in the UK classed as at breaking point.
In Finland, the profession commands a great deal of respect, with applicants needing a master’s degree to teach, in line with doctors and lawyers.
In the UK, last year saw a decrease in the number of qualified teachers and a rise of more than 2,000 teachers without a qualified teacher status.
Many are abandoning the rigours of teaching for more lucrative jobs, fewer hours and ultimately more respect.
Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the NUT, said: “This report [NFER] confirms that there is also a growing problem of teacher retention with a significant increase in the last year of those considering leaving.
“The price of policy implementation is being paid by teachers who are overworked and undervalued – and growing numbers are leaving.
“Retention is a problem of the system, which needs systematic and long-overdue attention at a national level.”
Finnish teachers are free to set their own curriculum, compared to schools in the UK – and US – which must adhere to the national curriculum.
The Government body Ofsted, which monitors the performance of schools and has the ability to place underperforming ones into ‘special measures’, is non-existent in Finland.