Education Indicators in Canada: An International Perspective, 2020
Chapter C
The learning environment and organization of schools

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C1 Instruction time

Context

This indicator examines the amount of time, as established in public regulations, that Canadian students aged 6 to 17 must spend in class. More precisely, this indicator shows the annual number of hours of intended instruction time in the curriculum for students by single age (ages 6 to 17). This information is for Canadian public institutions for the 2018/2019 school year. Data are presented for Canada, and for the provinces and territories.Note

Instruction time in formal classroom settings accounts for a large portion of the public investment in student learning and is a central component of effective schooling. The amount of instruction time available to students is the amount of formal classroom teaching they receive and can therefore determine their opportunities for effective learning. It is also central to education policy decision-making. Matching resources with students’ needs and making optimal use of time are major challenges for education policy. The main costs of education are the use and deployment of teacher resources, institutional maintenance and other educational resources. The length of time during which these resources are made available to students is thus an important factor influencing the budget in education.

In combination with the information on teacher working time in Indicator C2 and teachers’ salaries presented in Indicator C3, this indicator on instruction time contributes to the development of a set of key measures for full-time teachers in public institutions that, in turn, contribute to expanding the context for discussion of quality of instruction and understanding certain aspects of education processes.

Observations

Intended instruction time by level of education

Chart C.1.1 Total number of cumulative intended instruction hours in public institutions, by level of education, OECD, selected countries, Canada, provinces and territories, 2018/2019

Data table for Chart C.1.1 
Data table for Chart C.1.1
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart C.1.1 Primary (ages 6 to 11), Lower secondary (ages 12 to 14) and Upper secondary (ages 15 to 17), calculated using hours units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Primary (ages 6 to 11) Lower secondary (ages 12 to 14) Upper secondary (ages 15 to 17)
hoursData table Note 1
FIN 3,320 2,569 894
DEU 4,665 2,758 937
JPN 4,621 2,680 Note ..: not available for a specific reference period
FRA 5,338 3,522 1,144
ITA 5,445 2,894 914
OECD 5,016 2,845 975
CAN 5,518 2,780 2,783
N.L. 5,610 2,805 2,805
P.E.I. 5,159 2,715 2,640
N.S. 4,955 2,805 2,805
N.B. 5,180 2,868 3,053
Que. 5,400 2,700 1,800
Ont. 5,640 2,760 2,640
Man. 5,550 3,053 3,053
Sask. 5,701 2,850 2,750
Alta. 5,700 2,850 3,000
B.C. 5,238 2,767 2,841
N.W.T. 5,670 2,835 2,835

Definitions, sources and methodology

Data on instruction time are from the 2018 OECD-INES, Eurydice – OECD Instruction Time Data Collection and refer to the 2018/2019 school year, as this data collection is now biennial. Instruction time for 6- to 17-year-old students refers to the formal number of 60-minute hours per school year organized by the school for class instructional activities in the 2018/2019 reference year. Hours lost when schools are closed for statutory holidays are excluded.

Intended instruction time refers to the number of hours per year during which students receive instruction in the compulsory (this refers to the amount and allocation of instruction time that every public school must provide and all public-sector students must attend) and non-compulsory parts of the curriculum. The total compulsory curriculum comprises the compulsory core curriculum, as well as the compulsory flexible curriculum and non-compulsory parts of the curriculum. Intended instruction time does not include non-compulsory time outside the school day, homework, individual tutoring, or private study done before or after school.

Education is compulsory up to the age of 16 in every Canadian jurisdiction, except for Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick and Nunavut, where education is compulsory up to the age of 18.

The average for Canada is calculated by weighting the figures for provinces and territories by the population of children, as of January 1, 2018, for the single ages 6 to 17 in each jurisdiction. All jurisdictions except Yukon and Nunavut are taken into account in the Canada average.


Calculation of instruction time by jurisdiction
Table summary
This table displays the results of Calculation of instruction time by jurisdiction. The information is grouped by Jurisdiction (appearing as row headers), Source/Notes on calculation of instruction time (appearing as column headers).
Jurisdiction Source/Notes on calculation of instruction time
Newfoundland and Labrador The Schools Act sets the minimum instruction hours per day (kindergarten (age 5), 2½ hours; Grades 1 to 12 (ages 6 to 17), 5 hours). The collective agreement between the province and the teachers’ association allows schools to provide up to a maximum of 5 hours of instruction per day for Grades 1 to 3. Compulsory and intended instruction time is 5 hours of instruction time per day multiplied by the number of instruction days (187) in a year.
Prince Edward Island Instruction times for ages 5 to 14 are total minutes per day devoted to a subject multiplied by 181 (the number of instructional days in 2015-2016). Minutes per day for each subject are set in the following provincial documents: Elementary Program of Studies and Authorized Materials, Intermediate Program of Studies and Authorized Materials, and Minister’s Directive No. MD 99-05: Intermediate School Subject Time Allotments. Instruction time for age 15 is based on 8 credits per year at 110 hours per credit as set in Minister’s Directive No. MD 11-02 and the Senior High Program of Studies and Authorized Materials.
Nova Scotia The Ministerial Education Act Regulations set the minimum instruction time per day as 4 hours for Grades 1 to 2 and 5 hours for Grades 3 to 12. Regulated minimum instruction time includes recess for Grades 1 to 6. Compulsory and intended instruction time are calculated based on the minimum instruction time per day (less 15 minutes per day for recess for ages 6 to 11) multiplied by the number of instructional days (187) per year.
New Brunswick Instruction time is based on the minimum number of hours of instruction per day set in the New Brunswick Regulation 97-150 under the Education Act (4 hours per day for kindergarten to Grade 2, 5 hours per day for Grades 3 to 8, 5½ hours per day for Grades 9 to 12). Compulsory and intended instruction time is the minimum instruction time per day, less 20 minutes per day for recess for ages 6 to 10 and 16 minutes per day for flexible scheduling /movement for ages 11 to 15 multiplied by the number of instructional days (185) per year.
Quebec Compulsory and intended instruction time is based on the suggested number of hours for compulsory subjects in elementary and secondary, outlined in the Basic School Regulation for Preschool, Elementary and Secondary Education.
Ontario Ontario Regulation 298 states that the length of the instructional program of each school day for pupils of compulsory school age (Grades 1 to 12 or ages 6 to 17) should be not less than 5 hours a day. This excludes recess and scheduled intervals between classes. For elementary school pupils (Grades 1 to 8 or ages 6 to 13), compulsory and intended instruction time is 5 hours of instruction multiplied by 187 instructional days per Ontario Regulation 304. Based on the Ontario Schools, Kindergarten to Grade 12: Policy and Program Requirements, 2016 (OS), for secondary school pupils (Grades 9 to 12 or ages 14 to 17), instruction time is based on 8 credits at 110 hours per credit. Secondary school pupils are required to earn a total of 30 credits. In the first two years of secondary school, a full course load of 8 credits per year must be completed. In the last two years, there is flexibility in course load distribution in obtaining the minimum 14 credits to graduate.
Manitoba Manitoba Regulation 101/95 states that the instructional day in a school must be not less than 5.5 hours including recesses but not including the midday intermission. For Grades 1 to 6, the instructional day is 5 hours. For Grades 7 through 12, the instructional day is 5.5 hours. The total compulsory and intended instructional time is the hours of the instructional day multiplied by the average number of 185 instructional days in a school year.
Saskatchewan Time and Credit Allocations - Core Curriculum: Principles, Time Allocations, and Credit Policy (updated June 2011) provides the required minutes per subject per week for each grade. Those were divided by 60 to calculate (to two decimal places) the number of hours per week. The resulting value was multiplied by a factor of 38 (weeks in school year) to obtain hours per year.
Alberta In accordance with section 39(1)(c) of the School Act, the Guide to Education stipulates that schools are required to ensure that Grade 1 to Grade 9 students have access to a minimum of 950 hours of instruction per year in each grade. Schools must also ensure that students in Grades 10 to 12 have access to a minimum of 1,000 hours of instruction per school year.
British Columbia Compulsory and intended instruction time is based on the School Act Regulation that sets the total yearly hours of instruction for students.
Northwest Territories Compulsory and intended instruction time is based on the Northwest Territories Education Act which states that a school day shall consist of no less than 485 hours per year for Kindergarten, 995 hours per year for Grade 1 to 6 and no less than 945 hours per year for Grades 7 to 12.

C2 Teachers’ working time

Context

This indicator focuses on the working time and teaching time of teachers in public institutions, by level of education taught, in the 2018/2019 school year. Although working time and teaching time only partly determine teachers’ workloads, they provide valuable insight into the different demands that provinces and territories place on their teachers. Together with teachers’ salaries (see Indicator C3), this indicator describes some key aspects of teachers’ working conditions. Data are presented for Canada, and for the provinces and territories.Note

Similar to instruction time for students (see Indicator C1) and teachers’ salaries (see Indicator C3), the amount of time teachers spend teaching has an impact on education budgets. Moreover, teaching hours and the extent of non-teaching duties are major components of the working conditions and may have a direct bearing on the attractiveness of teaching as an occupation.

Of course, teachers also spend part of their working time on activities other than teaching, such as lesson preparation, marking, in-service training and staff meetings.

Observations

Teaching time and total working time

Chart C.2.1 Annual net teaching time, by educational level taught, OECD, selected  countries, provinces and territories, 2018/2019

Data table for Chart C.2.1 
Data table for Chart C.2.1
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart C.2.1 Primary level (ages 6 to 11), Lower secondary level (ages 12 to 14) and Upper secondary level, general programmes (ages 15 to 17) (appearing as column headers).
Primary level (ages 6 to 11) Lower secondary level (ages 12 to 14) Upper secondary level, general programmes (ages 15 to 17)
hours
OECD countries FIN 677 592 551
DEU 698 651 622
JPN 747 615 511
ITA 766 626 626
FRA 900 684 684
Average OECD 778 712 680
Mandated Que. 738 615 615
Alta. 905 905 905
Estimated N.L. 851 814 796
P.E.I. 769 755 679
N.S. 795 842 842
N.B. 700 854 910
Sask. 874 874 874
Other B.C. 873 947 947
N.W.T. 945 945 945

Proportion of total working time spent teaching

Chart C.2.2 Net teaching time as a percentage  of total working time at school, provinces, 2018/2019

Data table for Chart C.2.2 
Data table for Chart C.2.2
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart C.2.2 Primary level ( ages 6 to 11), Lower secondary level (ages 12 to 14) and Upper secondary level, general programmes (ages 15 to 17), calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Primary level ( ages 6 to 11) Lower secondary level (ages 12 to 14) Upper secondary level, general programmes (ages 15 to 17)
percent
Mandated Que. 58 48 48
Alta. 75 75 75
Estimated N.L. 74 71 69
P.E.I. 65 61 54
N.S. 70 74 74
N.B. 63 71 73
Sask. 73 73 73

Definitions, sources and methodology

These data are from the OECD-INES 2019 NESLI survey on working time of teachers and school heads and refer to the 2018/2019 school year.

All jurisdictions reported instruction time in weeks and days. The “number of weeks of instruction” and the “number of days of instruction” exclude the days per school-year the school is closed for holidays (public holidays and seasonal school holidays).

Only Quebec and Alberta reported statutory working time. For those two reporting jurisdictions, the figures for net teaching time required at school are set in provincial/territorial regulation or collective agreement with the provincial/territorial teachers’ union/association/federation. The remaining jurisdictions reported estimated teaching time of teachers based on the mandated instruction time set in regulation, legislation or collective agreement in each jurisdiction.

“Net teaching time” refers to the number of hours per day or hours per year that a full-time teacher teaches a group or class of students, as determined by policy. It excludes time spent outside of the classroom for non-teaching activities, such as lesson preparation, correction, in-service training and staff meetings. Net teaching time in hours per year is normally calculated as the number of teaching days per year multiplied by the number of hours a teacher teaches per day (excluding periods of time formally allowed for breaks between lessons or groups of lessons). At the primary level, short breaks between lessons are included if the classroom teacher is responsible for the class during those breaks. Apart from Quebec and Alberta, net teaching time was estimated by subtracting from mandated instruction time (as defined in Indicator C1), time allowed for teachers during the school day for marking and preparation as well as recess, if the latter was included in instruction time and if supervision of children was not mandatory.

“Working time required at school” represents the normal working hours of a full-time teacher. Working time may include the time spent specifically on teaching and the time devoted to teaching-related activities required at school, such as lesson preparation, counselling students, correcting homework and tests, professional development, meetings with parents, staff meetings and general school duties. Working time does not include paid overtime. In jurisdictions for which working time is not mandated, working time was estimated by adding supervision time, time for meetings and time for professional development to mandated instruction time.

“Total statutory working time” is the time that teachers are required to spend at work, including teaching and non-teaching time, as specified in regulation or collective agreements.

The methodology for calculating the Canada-level response for quantitative indicators uses two criteria to determine whether there is enough consensus to provide this response:

  1. At least seven (50%) provinces and territories provide a response, and
  2. Reporting provinces and territories represent at least 70% of full-time student enrolments according to the Elementary-Secondary Education Survey (ESES).

If the two criteria above are met, the Canada-level average is weighted by the number of full-time student enrolments (from combined elementary, lower secondary and upper secondary levels) for all jurisdictions who submitted figures for the 2019 joint Eurydice-OECD salaries of teachers and school heads data collection survey.

Data reported are not necessarily representative of all of Canada, but only of the Canadian provinces and territories that took part in the data collection.

Note: The corresponding OECD indicator is D4, How much time do teachers spend teaching?.

C3 Teachers’ salaries

Context

This indicator presents annual statutory salaries for teachers at the start of their careers, after 10 years’ experience, after 15 years’ experience, and once they have reached the top of the salary scale. These categories reflect salaries for teachers with the most common or typical level of training required for certification in public elementary and secondary educational institutions. All data on these salaries are presented for teachers teaching at the three levels in the International Standard of Classification (ISCED) categories: primary (ISCED 1); lower secondary (ISCED 2); and upper secondary (ISCED 3) education.Note

Teachers’ salaries represent the single largest expense in education (see Indicator B3 in this report). A comparison of salary figures at different points reveals some useful information on basic salary structures and the points of salary advancement in a teaching career. Salaries and the accompanying working conditions contribute towards developing, attracting and then retaining qualified teachers. Thus, any compensation issue should be a major consideration for policy-makers or others in the education field who want and need to maintain a high quality of instruction while balancing their education budgets. At the same time, any interpretation of international comparisons of teacher compensation, including salaries, should be considered with several other factors in mind. While the salary figures for this particular indicator have taken differences in cost of living for Canada and its fellow OECD countries into account, it is not possible to capture all differences in taxation, social benefits and allowances, or any other additional payments that teachers may receive.

In combination with the information on instruction time and teachers’ working time, presented in Indicators C1 and C2, respectively, this indicator on teachers’ salaries contributes to the development of a set of key measures for full-time teachers in public institutions that, in turn, contributes to expanding the context for discussion of quality of instruction and understanding certain aspects of education processes.

Observations

Teachers’ salaries

Chart C.3.1 Annual statutory teachers' salaries,  full-time teachers in lower secondary institutions, with typical level of  training, by teaching experience, US dollars, OECD, G7 countries, Canada, provinces  and territories, 2018/2019

Data table for Chart C.3.1 
Data table for Chart C.3.1
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart C.3.1 Starting salary, Salary after 10 years and Salary at top of scale, calculated using US dollars units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Starting salary Salary after 10 years Salary at top of scale
US dollars
ITA 33,708 37,307 50,371
FRA 32,941 37,388 56,889
FIN 38,002 43,866 49,622
ENG 31,265 Note ..: not available for a specific reference period 51,520
JPN 29,440 41,861 60,792
USA 41,833 57,144 74,683
DEU 69,735 80,974 91,510
OECD 35,073 45,684 59,161
CAN 40,504 68,414 70,698
N.L. 41,340 70,932 70,932
P.E.I. 41,863 67,757 67,757
N.S. 40,768 64,911 64,911
N.B. 40,234 59,860 62,040
Que. 34,601 50,535 62,228
Ont. 41,225 76,086 76,086
Man. 45,223 69,849 69,849
Sask. 42,662 66,057 66,057
Alta. 45,749 72,369 72,369
B.C. 38,683 67,599 67,599
N.W.T. 61,051 84,059 86,903

Salaries throughout career experience in Canada

International comparison of salary levels

Years to top of scale salaries

Chart C.3.2 Starting and top of scale salaries in lower  secondary institutions, with typical level of training, for the 10 countries  with highest top of scale salaries, provinces and territories, US dollars,  2018/2019

Data table for Chart C.3.2 
Data table for Chart C.3.2
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart C.3.2. The information is grouped by Country (appearing as row headers), Starting salary and Top of scale salary, calculated using US dollars units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Country Starting salary Top of scale salary
US dollars
LUX 79,667 59,668
CHE 67,022 35,835
DEU 69,735 21,774
NLD 44,215 46,424
KOR 32,172 57,912
AUT 44,453 40,049
USA 41,833 32,850
PRT 33,834 39,194
IRE 36,966 35,331
CAN 40,504 30,193
N.L. 41,340 29,592
P.E.I. 41,863 25,894
N.S. 40,768 24,143
N.B. 40,234 21,806
Que. 34,601 27,627
Ont. 41,225 34,861
Man. 45,223 24,626
Sask. 42,662 23,396
Alta. 45,749 26,620
B.C. 38,683 28,916
N.W.T. 61,051 25,852

Percentage change in 2018 and 2014 salaries

Chart C.3.3 Percentage change for starting salary and top  of scale salary from 2014/2015 to 2018/2019, full-time teachers in lower  secondary institutions, with typical level of training, OECD, G7 countries,  Canada, provinces and territories

Data table for Chart C.3.3 
Data table for Chart C.3.3
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart C.3.3 Percentage change in starting salary and Percentage change in salary at top of scale, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Percentage change in starting salary Percentage change in salary at top of scale
percent
ITA 11 10
FRA 5 5
FIN 6 6
ENG 12 9
JPN 1 -4
USA -6 10
DEU 12 12
OECD 8 7
CAN 7 11
N.L. 9 9
P.E.I. 15 15
N.S. 9 9
N.B. 11 11
Que. 12 12
Ont. 10 10
Man. 13 13
Sask. 10 10
Alta. 6 6
B.C. 10 13
N.W.T. 10 10

Definitions, sources and methodology

The data on annual statutory teachers’ salaries were derived from the 2019 joint Eurydice-OECD salaries of teachers and school heads data collection survey and reflect the 2018/2019 school year. All information has been reported in accordance with formal policies for public educational institutions.

“Statutory salaries” refer to salaries according to official pay scales and schedules. In Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Yukon and the Northwest Territories, the annual statutory salaries are based on 2018/2019 salary scales in collective agreements between each jurisdiction’s teachers’ unions/associations/federations and the provincial or territorial government. In some provinces, however, namely Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia, these pay scales are established at the school-board level and there is no province-wide bargaining.Note

The salaries reported are gross (total sum paid by the employer); i.e., they do not include the employer’s contribution to social security and pension (according to existing salary scales). It is gross salary from the employee’s point of view, since it includes the part of social security contributions and pension scheme contributions that are paid by the employees (even if deducted automatically from the employee’s gross salary by the employer). Salaries are “before tax” (before deductions for income taxes). Gross teachers’ salaries are presented in current Canadian dollars, to be compared with the averages for Canada, which were derived from the provincial values (Table C.3.1).

The methodology for calculating the Canada-level response for quantitative indicators uses two criteria to determine whether there is enough consensus to provide this response:

  1. At least seven (50%) provinces and territories provide a response, and
  2. Reporting provinces and territories represent at least 70% of full-time student enrolments according to the Elementary-Secondary Education Survey (ESES).

If the two criteria above are met, the Canada-level average is weighted by the number of full-time student enrolments (from combined elementary, lower secondary and upper secondary levels) for all jurisdictions who submitted figures for the 2019 joint Eurydice-OECD salaries of teachers and school heads data collection survey. Salaries have also been converted to US dollars (Table C.3.2) using the purchasing power parity (PPP)Note for private consumption from the OECD National Accounts database.

“Starting salaries” capture the scheduled gross salary per year for a full-time teacher with the most common or typical level of training at the beginning of a teaching career. Salaries after 10 and 15 years of experience refer to the scheduled annual salaries of full-time classroom teachers who have the most common or typical training of teachers after 10 or 15 years of experience.

To compare 2018/2019 teacher salaries to 2014/2015 salaries, adjustments were made using the Consumer Price Index. 2018/2019 salaries were deflated using the indexes provided for Canada and each province and territory for 2014 and 2018.

Note: The corresponding OECD indicator is D3, How much are teachers and school heads paid?


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