Frontier analysis explores the contribution of the publishing industry to school education

The UK Publishers Association has published a Frontier analysis highlighting the value of textbooks to school education by saving teachers time.

The report analyses the value of time that teachers spend on preparation – £4.8bn per year – and the benefit of potentially reallocating that time to more productive tasks such as contact time with students and effective lesson delivery. The report finds that in order to “pay for themselves” in terms of time saved, textbooks would only need to save teachers four and a half minutes per working day. This is based on a ‘value of time’ analysis taking into account teachers’ salaries, the amount of time they spend preparing and money spent on textbooks.

While there is an evidence gap about the exact amount of time that textbooks actually save for teachers, the estimated time of four and a half minutes per working day is likely to be quite conservative; one survey suggests textbooks actually save at least 18 minutes per working day, meaning textbooks would ‘pay for themselves’ four times over. The analysis found that benefits are is higher for secondary school teachers than for primary school teachers, and textbooks can naturally have further benefits in terms of teaching quality and consistency.

Frontier works regularly for the private and public sectors on matters relating to education, value for money, and wider public policy.

For more information, please contact Saskia Nett on s.nett@frontier-economics.com, or call +44 (0)20 7031 7000.

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