British teachers work harder than peers in most other countries, study finds

British teachers work harder than peers in most other countries in the world, global study suggests in The Independent

But the public underestimates the number of hours teachers put in by almost a whole school day per week, according to the new research. 

Teachers in the UK are working the fourth highest number of hours per week (50.9) out of 35 countries surveyed – and only teachers in New Zealand, Singapore and Chile work harder.

The study, from education charity Varkey Foundation, finds that members of the public believe British teachers only work 45.9 hours a week and that they earn £5,000 more than they actually do. 

The Global Teacher Status Index – which surveyed 1,000 members of the public and 200 teachers in each of 35 countries around the world – shows that overall teacher status has risen in the UK.

Sunny Varkey, founder of the Varkey Foundation, which also runs the Global Teacher Prize, said: “When we conducted the Global Teacher Status Index five years ago we were alarmed by the weight of evidence pointing to the low status of teachers around the world.

“It’s heartening that since the first Global Teacher Status Index there has been a modest rise in the status of teachers globally.”

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), said the report shows that “teachers are underpaid and overworked thanks to government-imposed pay austerity combined with a relentless series of reforms which have left teachers doing more for less.

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said: “Teachers’ average hourly pay has fallen by 15 per cent over the last decade. And they are working under the pressure of an ever more punitive accountability system where one bad year of test results can destroy a career.”

Read more British teachers work harder than peers in most other countries, study finds

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