For national coverage like this call us on 020 3735 8766



LIFE LESSONS: Half of Brits claim they owe everything to an inspirational teacher, research finds

Almost half of Brits claim they owe everything to a truly inspirational teacher, according to new research.

A nationwide survey has revealed that as many as 45 percent of Brits believe that, if it was not for a particular secondary school teacher, their life would not be what it is today.

And while one in ten said the majority of their teachers were pretty ineffective, as many as three quarters (74 percent) still have fond and heartwarming memories of someone particularly inspiring.

According to the survey, half of Brits (44 percent) have thanked an old teacher in their adult life, for everything they did for them personally and academically.

In fact, the study, by Endsleigh Insurance Services, found nearly two thirds (65 percent) of British adults believe their favourite teacher was in fact the only person who really believed in them during their school years, more than their own parents.

And as many as seven in ten believe our teachers helped us more than our own family did during those important years.

The survey also revealed that English was the favourite subject at school for most adult Brits (40 percent), with History coming second (30 percent), and Maths third (28 percent).

More than three quarters (77 percent) of the nation say that their favourite subject was directly connected to the skill of the teacher who took the lessons.


And it had a lasting effect, because 65 percent still use some part of those subjects in their career.

However, 29 percent of those polled said they didn’t realise the importance of education when they were at school, 17 percent believe they had been allowed to “give up” on their education.

“And ten percent confessed they are filled with regret about their behaviour at school.

Jeff Brinley, CEO at Endsleigh, which commissioned the survey to launch its teacher insurance offering, said: “Teachers play a pivotal role in the development of young people across the nation.

“It’s reassuring to hear how many people recognise the value in the amazing work they do, and owe their success to an inspirational mentor.

“From really listening to their students, to never giving up on anyone, there are some key traits that make teachers stand out from the crowd.


“And create lasting impressions on their students – many of whom go on to use the skills they were taught in their later lives and careers.”

Our respect for teachers maintains, with a massive 87 percent of the 1,500 respondents polled saying that they believe teachers deserve more credit. And 77 percent of us think they work harder than ever.

When it comes to what makes a truly great mentor and educator, listening is the key factor with 58 percent of people believing it is vital.

Patience (56 percent) and not giving up on anyone no matter how they behave (52 percent) were also on the list.

When all is said and done, perhaps school days are the best days of our lives, 82 percent of us have positive memories of our time in education. Interestingly, men were more likely to thank their teacher (47 percent) than women (42 percent).

And it seems like the educator’s effects may fade as we get older, as only 58 percent of over 60s claim to have had an inspirational teacher, compared to 87 percent of 16-to-29-year-olds.

Following the research, Endsleigh is launching a nationwide search for the UK’s most ‘inspirational’ teacher, who will receive £500 and a year’s worth of free travel insurance.

All those who nominate will also get a 10% discount on Endsleigh’s gadget insurance.

To nominate an inspirational teacher, visit https://www2.endsleigh.co.uk/ before 11 September explaining in 100 words or less why they deserve to take the crown as the UK’s most inspirational teacher. T&Cs apply.



WHAT makes for an inspirational teacher:

  1. They listen (58%)
  2. They are patient (56%)
  3. They don’t give up on anyone (52%)
  4. They love teaching (50%)
  5. They know their subject (50%)
  6. They are fair (49%)
  7. They give constructive feedback (45%)
  8. They teach the whole class, not just certain students (44%)
  9. They are open minded (43%)
  10. They are open to learn as well as teach (38%)
  11. They encourage good behaviour rather than punishing bad behaviour (36%)
  12. They enjoy spending time with young people (35%)
  13. They are interested in your life (30%)
  14. They never lose their temper (25%)
  15. They know when to use the carrot and when to use the stick (21%)