Teachers Revealed as the Original Influencers


New research shows that teachers are considered more influential than social media stars


They may not boast millions of Instagram followers like YouTuber, Joe Sugg, and are unlikely to be as famous as the youngest member of the Kardashian clan, Kylie, but new research out today (7 October) has found that teachers are the ultimate, Original Influencers.

Two fifths (40%) of Scottish adults adults[1], said that, excluding family and friends, teachers have the greatest opportunity to inspire and shape future minds. With just 21% saying social media influencers and only 7% saying celebrities. Nearly two-thirds (62%) said that between one and five teachers helped to positively influence them or inspired them to become the person they are today. While the majority (68%) said they could still remember the name of their favourite teacher.

The online survey was commissioned by the Scottish Government, in partnership with YouGov, as part of its Teaching Makes People campaign. It aims to encourage more people studying to consider if they have got what it takes to inspire the next generation – by highlighting that a career in

teaching offers a rewarding and challenging role that can genuinely make a difference. And, with 83% agreeing it’s one of the most influential professions to help shape people’s lives – it’s clear that teaching is held close to the nation’s heart as an important and meaningful career.

Maxine McNeill (29) qualified in 2014 and has been teaching at Bell Baxter High School in Fife for four years.
Maxine said, “It’s great to see this new research on teachers as it’s something my friends always say to me – that I’m the real influencer. It makes me laugh but it’s always struck a chord with me because it’s true. I love my job and realise what an important role I’m in because I can really make a difference to young people’s lives. I work hard to inspire, lead and motivate every day in a relevant way and hope that I nail it.”

“No two days are ever the same. It’s hard work but I thrive on the challenge that working with such a diverse range of pupils of different ages, backgrounds and abilities brings. Also, I feel like I have a great work/life balance and the holidays are brilliant, which means I can do a lot of travelling, another great passion of mine”.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:

“Every week I meet teachers who inspire me so it is really encouraging to see so many people recognise the positive influence teachers can make to children and young people’s lives. We are working to make teaching an attractive and rewarding job that provides more opportunities for development and progression and I would urge undergraduates to consider a highly rewarding career in teaching.”

“By choosing a career in teaching, you can make a big difference to a young person’s life. It’s a highly rewarding, inspiring career that comes with many benefits. If you’re driven and ambitious, there are career progression opportunities too. I’d encourage all the undergraduates out there to consider getting into teaching.”

Previous research has shown that people attracted by and suited to teaching are generally motivated by helping to develop others and making the most of their own knowledge.

Under the new teaching pay deal in Scotland, the starting salary for a fully registered teacher is currently £32,034 rising to £32,994 by April 2020.
The latest Teaching Makes People national drive includes advertising, PR and social media activity. It’s also taking to the streets – visiting all seven universities in Scotland which offer PGDE courses. If you’re an undergraduate student considering your career pathway, why not get into teaching? For more information check out teachinscotland.scot

[1]Total sample size was 1,007 Scottish adults (18+)


Notes to editors

The Scottish Government’s Teaching Makes People campaign targets university, undergraduates with a particular focus on those studying science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) as well as people currently working in STEM industries. The new teaching pay deal in Scotland means teachers saw a 13% pay award over the next three years, before any salary progression is taken into account. Under this deal the starting salary for a fully qualified teacher in Scotland is currently £32,034 rising to £32,994 by April 2020.This is significantly higher than anywhere else in the UK, including under the new proposals set out by the UK Government in its spending review announcement.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 1007 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 26th – 30th September 2019.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Scottish adults (aged 18+).