Education news

Teachers work more and have seen bigger pay drop than police, study suggests

A study published by the National Foundation for Educational Research found that teachers work longer hours in term time

TEACHERS work longer hours in term time and have seen a bigger drop in pay than police officers and nurses, research suggests.

It suggests that despite the hours and falling wages, most teachers are satisfied with their jobs and income, although many would like more leisure time.

The study, published by the National Foundation for Educational Research, comes amid continuing concerns about teacher workload and staff shortages, particularly in subjects such as physics.

Overall, the study, which is based on results from the ongoing Understanding Society survey, shows that in 2015/16, teachers worked 50 hours a week during term time, compared with 44 for police officers and 39 for nurses.

Taking into account school holidays, and how much teachers may work during these breaks, the researchers calculate that annually, teachers and police officers work a comparable number of hours.

"Teacher working hours have been increasing since 2009/10, while police officer working hours have decreased slightly over the same period, though neither difference is statistically significant," it says.

"We also show that the long hours that teachers work during term time substantially exceeds the amount of extra holiday time they may receive."

The study notes that all public sector workers have faced a pay freeze or a cap on wage increases since 2010, which has eroded real-terms pay for all three professions.

It says that in 2015/16, police officers had the highest annual average earnings, followed by teachers and then nurses.

But it calculates that taking into account average hours worked each year, teachers have an average hourly pay rate of £17.70 - about the same rate as nurses, but lower than police officers' real average hourly pay, which stands at £18.80.

The study also estimates that teachers' real average hourly pay has dropped by about 15% since 2009/10, while for nurses t has dropped by about 4 per cent, and for police officers about 11 per cent.

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