Cutting spend on textbooks is a ‘false economy’, says PA

Cutting spend on textbooks is a ‘false economy’, says PA

The Publishers Association (PA) says school textbooks only need to save teachers four and a half minutes a day to pay for themselves, arguing that not buying them to save money is a "false economy".

The trade body commissioned Frontier Economics to look at the role of educational materials in saving teachers time. The report shows that the average teacher spends nine hours per week preparing their classes, with the total value of this time equating to £4.8bn a year.

The report also estimated that the UK spends £196m on printed educational materials, so textbooks need only save teachers four and a half minutes each day to pay for themselves.

Chief executive Stephen Lotinga said: “This research shows that cutting spend on textbooks is a false economy and demonstrates the important role good quality textbooks can play in saving teacher time.

“When teachers are struggling under heavy and sometimes unmanageable workloads, quality textbooks not only offer a way to reduce the amount of time spent planning lessons, but they have also been shown to improve pupil attainment and education standards.

“While there is no silver bullet in helping to solve the problem of excessive teacher workload or improving pupil attainment, it is clear that textbooks have an important role to play.”

The PA commissioned the report as part of The Textbook Challenge, which calls for every child to have access to a textbook in the main subject areas. Two years ago the PA said one in five schools don’t use textbooks at all.