Education Indicators in Canada: An International Perspective 2016
Chapter D
The learning environment and organization of schools

D1 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 2015/2016 school year. Data are presented for Canada, and for the provinces and territories.Note 1

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 teachers’ salaries presented in Indicator D2 and teacher working time in Indicator D3, 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 D.1.1 Total number of cumulative intended instruction hours in public institutions, by level of education, 2015/2016

Data table for Chart D.1.1
Data table for Chart D.1.1
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for chart D.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)
hours
N.W.T. 5,982 3,135 3,135
B.C.Chart D1.1 Note 3 5,268 2,782 Note ...: not applicable
Alta. 5,700 2,850 3,000
Sask. 5,701 2,850 2,750
Man. 5,550 3,053 3,053
Ont. 5,640 2,760 2,420
Que.Chart D1.1 Note 2 5,400 2,700 1,800
N.B. 4,871 2,868 3,053
N.S. 4,955 2,805 2,805
P.E.I. 5,159 2,715 2,640
N.L. 5,610 2,805 2,805
Can. 5,517 2,790 Note ...: not applicable
OECDChart D1.1 Note 1 4,739 2,738 Note ..: not available for a specific reference period

Definitions, sources and methodology

Data on instruction time are from the 2015 OECD-INES, Eurydice – OECD Instruction Time Data Collection 2015 and refer to the 2015/2016 school year. 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 2015/2016 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 July 1, 2015 by single age (6 to 17) in each jurisdiction. All jurisdictions except Yukon and Nunavut are taken into account in the Canada-level 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 2014-2015). 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 should be not less than 5 hours a day. This excludes recess and scheduled intervals between classes. For ages 6 to 13, compulsory and intended instruction time is 5 hours of instruction multiplied by 188 instructional days per Ontario Regulation 304. Based on the Ontario Schools, Kindergarten to Grade 12: Policy and Program Requirement, 2011 (OS), for ages 14 to 15, instruction time is based on 8 credits at 110 hours per credit.
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 997 hours per year for Grades 1 to 6 and no less than 1,045 hours per year for Grades 7 to 12.

Note: The corresponding OECD indicator is D1, How much time do students spend in the classroom?

Tables for D1 Instruction time

D2 Teachers’ salaries

Context

This indicator presents annual statutory salaries for teachers at the start of their careers, after 10 and 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 minimum 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 4

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 D1 and D3, 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

Salaries by ISCED level

Chart D.2.1.1, Annual statutory teachers' salaries, full-time teachers in primary and lower secondary institutions, by teaching experience, Canadian dollars, Canada, 2013/2014

Data table for Chart D.2.1.1
Data table for Chart D.2.1.1
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for chart D.2.1.1 Starting salary /
typical training, Salary after 10 years /
typical training and Salary after 15 years /
typical training, calculated using Canadian dollars units of measure (appearing as column headers).
  Starting salary /
typical training
Salary after 10 years /
typical training
Salary after 15 years /
typical training
Canadian dollars
CAN 51,046 81,634 84,677
N.L. 51,166 87,792 87,792
P.E.I. 49,045 70,878 70,878
N.S. 56,149 79,937 79,937
N.B. 48,793 72,594 75,241
Que. 41,700 60,655 74,690
Ont. 49,983 92,248 92,248
Man. 54,553 83,814 83,814
Sask. 52,428 81,181 81,181
Alta. 58,228 89,850 92,104
B.C. 46,410 74,564 74,564
N.W.T. 74,088 105,460 105,460

Chart D.2.1.2, Annual statutory teachers' salaries, full-time teachers in upper secondary institutions, by teaching experience, Canadian dollars, Canada, 2013/2014

Data table for Chart D.2.1.2
Data table for Chart D.2.1.2
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for chart D.2.1.2 Starting salary /
typical training, Salary after 10 years /
typical training and Salary after 15 years /
typical training, calculated using Canadian dollars units of measure (appearing as column headers).
  Starting salary /
typical training
Salary after 10 years /
typical training
Salary after 15 years /
typical training
Canadian dollars
CAN 51,260 82,048 85,052
N.L. 51,166 87,792 87,792
P.E.I. 49,045 70,878 70,878
N.S. 56,149 79,937 79,937
N.B. 48,793 72,594 75,241
Que. 41,700 60,655 74,690
Ont. 50,470 93,148 93,148
Man. 54,553 83,814 83,814
Sask. 52,428 81,181 81,181
Alta. 58,228 89,850 92,104
B.C. 46,410 74,564 74,564
N.W.T. 74,088 105,460 105,460

Salaries throughout career experience

International comparison of salary levels

Chart D.2.2, Annual statutory teachers' salaries, full-time teachers in lower secondary institutions, by teaching experience, Canada and OECD, 2013/2014

Data table for Chart D.2.2
Data table for Chart D.2.2
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for chart D.2.2 Starting salary /
typical training, Salary after 10 years /
typical training, Salary after 15 years /
typical training and Salary at top of scale /
typical training, calculated using US dollars units of measure (appearing as column headers).
  Starting salary /
typical training
Salary after 10 years /
typical training
Salary after 15 years /
typical training
Salary at top of scale /
typical training
US dollars
OECD 32,485 41,613 44,407 53,557
CAN 39,492 63,157 65,511 65,511
N.L. 39,585 67,922 67,922 67,922
P.E.I. 37,944 54,836 54,836 54,836
N.S. 43,441 61,844 61,844 61,844
N.B. 37,749 56,163 58,211 58,211
Que. 32,262 46,927 57,785 57,785
Ont. 38,670 71,369 71,369 71,369
Man. 42,206 64,844 64,844 64,844
Sask. 40,562 62,807 62,807 62,807
Alta. 45,049 69,514 71,258 71,258
B.C. 35,906 57,688 57,688 57,688
N.W.T. 57,319 81,591 81,591 81,591

Chart D.2.3,  Annual statutory teachers' salaries after 15 years experience, full-time teachers in lower secondary institutions, US dollars, Canada, OECD and selected countries, 2013/2014

Data table for Chart D.2.3
Data table for Chart D.2.3
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for chart D.2.3 Salary after 15 years /
typical training, calculated using US Dollars units of measure (appearing as column headers).
  Salary after 15 years /
typical training
US Dollars
ITA 35,951
FRA 36,814
FIN 42,613
ENG 46,390
JPN 49,378
USA 61,918
DEU 69,431
OECD 44,407
CAN 65,511
N.L. 67,922
P.E.I. 54,836
N.S. 61,844
N.B. 58,211
Que. 57,785
Ont. 71,369
Man. 64,844
Sask. 62,807
Alta. 71,258
B.C. 57,688
N.W.T. 81,591

Definitions, sources and methodology

The data on annual statutory teachers’ salaries were derived from the 2015 OECD-INES Teacher’s Salaries and Working Time Survey and reflect the 2013/2014 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 2013/2014 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 5

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 D.2.1). The average salary for Canada was calculated as a weighted average of all provinces (the Northwest TerritoriesNote 6, YukonNote 7 and NunavutNote 7 are not included). Weights used depend on the salary calculated. For teachers at the beginning of their careers (starting salaries), the number of full-time educators younger than 30 was used. For teachers with 10 years of experience, the number of full-time educators aged 35 to 44 years was used. And, for teachers with 15 years of experience, as well as those at the top of the salary scale, the number of full-time educators aged 45 or older was used. The Northwest Territories are excluded from the Canada average because the Elementary-Secondary Education Survey (ESES) does not report a breakdown by age for the number of full-time educators. Salaries have also been converted to US dollars (Table D.2.2) using the purchasing power parity (PPP)Note 8 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. The starting salaries and salaries for teachers after 10 and 15 years of experience reported for Ontario differ from other provinces and territories. The figures for Ontario are the midpoint of a range based on the provincially funded grid. They reflect the funded salary assuming the most common level of qualifications among teachers in Ontario at the relevant experience level. 

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

Tables for D2 Teachers’ salaries

D3 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 2013/2014 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 D2), this indicator describes some key aspects of teachers’ working conditions. Data are presented for Canada, and for the provinces and territories.Note 9

Similar to instruction time for students (see Indicator D1) and teachers’ salaries (see Indicator D2), 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 D.3.1, Hours of teaching time per day, by educational level taught, 2013/2014

Data table for Chart D.3.1
Data table for Chart D.3.1
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for chart D.3.1 Primary, Lower secondary and Upper secondary,
general programmes, calculated using hours units of measure (appearing as column headers).
  Primary Lower secondary Upper secondary,
general programmes
hours
averages  
OECD 4.24 3.83 3.58
CAN 4.35 4.06 4.07
mandated  
Que. 4.10 3.40 3.40
Alta. 4.92 4.92 4.92
estimated  
N.L. 4.60 4.40 4.30
P.E.I. 4.25 4.17 3.75
N.S. 4.25 4.50 4.50
N.B. 3.78 4.62 4.92
Sask. 4.60 4.60 4.60
other  
B.C. 4.82 5.19 5.19

Chart D.3.2.1, Annual net teaching time and total working time, primary level, 2013/2014

Data table for Chart D.3.2.1
Data table for Chart D.3.2.1
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for chart D.3.2.1 Primary level, Net teaching time and Total working time, calculated using hours units of measure (appearing as column headers).
  Primary level
Net teaching time Total working time
hours
averages  
OECD 776 1,178
CAN 796 1,227
mandated  
Que. 738 1,280
Alta. 905 1,200
estimated  
N.L. 860 1,147
P.E.I. 769 1,170
N.S. 795 1,130
N.B. 700 1,105
Sask. 874 1,200
other  
Man. Note ..: not available for a specific reference period 1,073
B.C. 868 Note ..: not available for a specific reference period

Chart D.3.2.2, Annual net teaching time and total working time, lower secondary level, 2013/2014

Data table for Chart D.3.2.2
Data table for Chart D.3.2.2
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for chart D.3.2.2 Lower secondary level, Net teaching time and Total working time, calculated using hours units of measure (appearing as column headers).
  Lower secondary level
Net teaching time Total working time
hours
averages  
OECD 694 1,160
CAN 743 1,233
mandated  
Que. 612 1,280
Alta. 905 1,200
estimated  
N.L. 823 1,147
P.E.I. 755 1,219
N.S. 842 1,130
N.B. 854 1,197
Sask. 874 1,200
other  
Man. Note ..: not available for a specific reference period 1,073
B.C. 934 Note ..: not available for a specific reference period

Proportion of total working time spent teaching

Chart D.3.3, Net teaching time as a percentage of total working time, 2013/2014

Data table for Chart D.3.3
Data table for Chart D.3.3
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for chart D.3.3 Primary, Lower secondary and Upper secondary,
general programmes, calculated using percentage units of measure (appearing as column headers).
  Primary Lower secondary Upper secondary,
general programmes
percentage
averages  
OECD 65.9 59.8 57.8
CAN 64.9 60.3 60.2
mandated  
Que. 57.7 47.8 47.8
Alta. 75.4 75.4 75.4
estimated  
N.L. 75.0 71.7 70.1
P.E.I. 65.7 61.9 55.0
N.S. 70.3 74.4 74.4
N.B. 63.4 71.4 72.6
Sask. 72.8 72.8 72.8

International comparison of teaching hours

Chart D.3.4, Number of teaching hours per year in general lower secondary education, Canada, provinces, OECD and selected countries, 2013/2014

Data table for Chart D.3.4
Data table for Chart D.3.4
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for chart D.3.4 Lower secondary level and Net teaching time, calculated using hours units of measure (appearing as column headers).
  Lower secondary level
Net teaching time
hours
FIN 589
JPN 611
ITA 616
FRA 648
ENG 745
DEU 750
USA 981
OECD 694
CAN 743
N.L. 823
P.E.I. 755
N.S. 842
N.B. 854
Que. 612
Sask. 874
Alta. 905
B.C. 934

Definitions, sources and methodology

The data are from the OECD-INES 2015 Survey on Teacher’s Salaries and Working Time and refer to the 2013/2014 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 and working 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 and working 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. 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 D1), 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.

For all variables, the Canada level average is weighted by the number of full-time educators, for all levels of education combined,Note 10 for all jurisdictions who submitted figures for both teaching time and working time.

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

Tables for D3 Teachers’ working time

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