Over-supply has made academic results less important, survey of schools shows Having a good academic background is no longer enough to become a teacher, according to a survey released yesterday. A serious over-supply of teachers in recent years means schools now have more choice than ever when it comes to hiring staff. They say it is equally important for teachers to be well-mannered, enthusiastic in their work and proficient in languages. 'Having the right attitude to the teaching profession' topped the list of the most important qualities with all 47 primary and secondary schools polled by Baptist University's department of education studies. The survey team defined teachers with 'the right attitude' as lifelong learners who are responsible, flexible and enthusiastic about their students. The other most important qualities for teachers are subject knowledge, appearance, manner and language ability. The schools said it was important for teachers to have detailed knowledge in the subject they taught, while most said they looked for people with good manners who were sociable and conducted themselves well. All of the schools polled said language skills were an essential quality for teachers. And three-quarters considered good performance in the controversial benchmark test as necessary. Yeung Siu-wing, an education lecturer at Baptist University and head of the survey team, said: 'Schools are increasingly concerned about teachers' manners and professional conduct. 'Good teachers are not those who look at their watch every now and then to see if they can leave their work place, neither do they only focus on quick results.' Tso Kai-lok, a principal and vice-chairman of the pressure group Education Convergence, said excellent communication skills were crucial for teachers because education reforms had made it necessary for them to establish dialogue with other teachers and the mass media. Only 20 per cent of the schools viewed teachers' academic performance at school and in university - qualities that used to be crucial for teachers - as being of much concern these days.