Why Do UK Teachers Work 50 Hours a Week and Earn Less Than Nurses?

3 years ago



The shocking figures provided by the Independent, suggest that UK educators work longer hours getting significantly lesser hourly pay compared to police officers and nurses. Of all three professions, teachers are the most dissatisfied with the amount of leisure time they have.

Concerned with intense teacher workload, Damian Hinds, the Education Secretary, pledged to decrease educators’ work hours to improve staff retention. The research conducted by the National Foundation for Educational Research in the 2015-16 academic year showed the difference in the number of work hours by profession:

  • Teachers - 50 hours a week
  • Police officers - 44 hours a week
  • Nurses - 39 hours a week

How Did Salary Rates Change By Profession?

It has to be said that teachers work approximately the same number of hours as police officers given the school holidays time. The research also admits that all workers in public sector haven’t had a wage increase since 2010. As of 2015-2016, police officers had a higher income than teachers and nurses. The average hourly rates by profession are as follows:

  • Teachers and nurses - about £17.70
  • Police officers - £18.80

At this point, the average hourly rates have already decreased since 2009-2010. Teachers have lost about 15% of their wages, while nurses lost 4% and police officers about 11%, respectively. As for the job satisfaction, 78% of educators working full-time are satisfied and 79% of teachers believed their income levels are sufficient.

Long working hours is one of the factors that hinder the teacher retention. Over the past 5 years, the amount of work hours has significantly increased. Due to this, educational sphere fails to attract enough teachers and is losing many professionals who have just started teaching.

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