Only one in 20 teachers believes the profession is appreciated in Sweden, and only little more than 50 percent would choose the profession again. This according to a new OECD school study, with focus on how the teachers are doing. A crisis committee is needed for rethinking the entire system, according to Magnus Oskarsson, who is a project leader at the national center for Pisa (the Program for International Student Assessment). That only 5 percent of Sweden’s teachers believe their profession is appreciated is an exceptionally low number, and places Sweden in the bottom layer of valuing the profession. Only France and Slovakia have worse results, according to OECD’s Talis survey from last year. Talis 2013 also shows that only 53 percent of the Swedish teachers polled would, if they could, choose the teaching profession again. Thus, Sweden is far below the 78 percent average. Oskarsson says the actions taken haven’t been enough and may have even made the situation worse. He is now asking for a different kind of focus on how the Swedish school is run.

“There’s been a great confidence in more control, more grades, more inspection and more national tests. And this has increased the workload for everyone in the system. There are warning signals now, from both the unions and the municipalities that this displaces all other work." That survey after survey paints a picture of a school system experiencing tough times, is something Oskarsson thinks may make it harder to recruit for.
“Of course it makes it harder, it is very worrisome,” he says. Among all the teachers in the survey, 31 percent believe the profession is appreciated. The average is being pulled up primarily by Malaysia, but also in Finland a high percentage (59 percent) believes the teaching profession is highly valued. Minister for Education Jan Björklund calls the result of the report worrying. “It’s a sharp indictment of the municipalities as employers. The status of the profession has fallen sharply during the municipalization time since the early 1990s, and it is a failure for the municipalization." Björklund believes that the report shows the need for the school to be re-nationalized. “That’s my conclusion. The investigation shows teachers to be unhappy with the municipalities as employers." But the spokesperson for the Green Party, Gustav Fridolin, does not agree: “Talis emphasizes that, which the teachers have demonstrated with their feet since 2006, since then every four teachers have left the profession for other reasons than retirement. It’s cheeky and audacious by Jan Björklund to not admit a single mistake.”