Teachers’ use of textbooks

On behalf of the Publishers Association, Public First ran a detailed research project testing teachers’ spending on and perception of teaching resources (physical, digital and online) and how these may have changed in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The main findings were as follows:

  • Teachers were positive about the quality and range of textbook options available in the market, and largely do not find them too expensive.
  • The largest barrier to extensive textbook (physical or digital) use identified by teachers is the need for differentiation and professional autonomy – especially in primary schools.
  • Teachers who prefer physical resources are more likely to be a secondary teacher, work in an outstanding school and less likely to be stressed. They are also more likely to be satisfied with their job than the average teacher, less likely to have had a preference shown to them through training for them to create their own resources, and are more likely to use them as written.
  • Teachers use textbooks to reduce their workload. Without access to these, our report estimated that they would spend an additional 5.7 hours a week planning their lessons.
  • If textbooks were not used, our report estimated that the state system would require an additional 52,250 teachers to function, which would cost nearly £3 billion a year.

You can read the full report here.