Teachers pay not the issue

The Department for Education has long maintained that teachers are well paid and that wages are not behind teacher recruitment and retention problems that have seen teacher recruitment targets missed for five years in a row. This claim appears to be backed by a new report from the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER), which has found that 79% of teachers are satisfied with their income. 

The report, based on income in 2015-16 has found that despite a real term decrease in income of 15% since 2009-10, full-time teachers were satisfied with their jobs but were far less happy about their amount of free time with only 47% of teachers satisfied in this area. 

With Teachers working an average of 50 hours per week during term time and if holidays are taken into account, this still amounts to an average of 45 hours a week throughout the whole year. This has caused a number of teachers to go part-time in order to manage their workload, findings confirmed by DofE research.

“NFER calculated that teachers have a real average hourly rate of £17.70 which is lower than police officers who earn £18.80. Job satisfaction among police officers was lower than teachers at 67%.”

Despite this higher satisfaction level, teachers are more likely to leave the profession than nurses or police officers with 12.3% leaving compared to 9.9% for nurses and 7.6% for police officers. The causes for this have been blamed on workload and burnout which is also making it harder to attract people to the profession. 

Earlier this month, Education Secretary Damian Hinds pledged to reduce the working hours of teachers by removing pointless tasks and unnecessary marking which don’t help children learn. He also promised there would be no more changes to primary tests, GCSEs or A-Levels and to cut the bureaucratic burden on teachers, calling workload “one of the biggest threats to retention, and also to recruitment…”

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