New OECD report touches on pay and workload issues amongst teachers in England
September 22, 2017
The OECD this week released its 2017 version of Education at a Glance, comparing the education provision, demographics and funding across thirty-five member countries. The report found that, in England, there has been a 10% decrease in real-term earnings for teachers between 2005 and 2015. This is in comparison to other OECD countries where, “over the period 2005 to 2015 … more than half [of those with comparable data] showed an increase in their real-term salaries”.
The report coincided with the Government’s decision to lift the public sector pay cap for prison officers and police with likelihood that this might be the case for other public sector workers in 2018-19. Both the National Association of Headteachers and the Association of College Leaders said that teachers too should be awarded greater than 1% rise.
This has led the national association of headteachers (NAHT) to request an end to the 1% cap on teacher pay announced in July. Paul Whiteman, NAHT general secretary, stated that: “all public sector workers need and deserve a pay rise. The electorate supported proper funding for all of the public sector and will no doubt do so again at their next opportunity”.
One issue which is more important for many teachers than pay is their workload. The OECD report also found that teachers in England spend, on average, over 800 hours a year teaching. This is the ninth highest across the OECD countries. Furthermore, the report also found that teachers in England spent over 60 per cent of their “total statutory working time spent teaching”, the second highest across all OECD countries. Governors and trustees are encouraged to ask executive leaders what is being done in schools to alleviate teacher workload,