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Calculating average teaching cost, pupil–teacher ratio and contact ratio

Average teacher cost

The average teacher cost is calculated by dividing the total teaching cost, including the headteacher and teacher members of the SLT, by the full-time equivalent (FTE) number of teachers.

Pupil–teacher ratio (PTR)

PTR is calculated by dividing the number of FTE pupils on roll by the total number of FTE teachers. A relatively low PTR suggests small class sizes. In addition to benchmarking, the PTR schools may want to review the average PTR and pupil to adult ratios in state-funded schools by type by looking at the national school workforce statistics.

The ratio of pupils to all curriculum adults is also relevant, especially in primary schools, where the use of teaching assistants in place of teachers can skew the PTR. What is the PTR for different key stages?

Teacher contact ratio

Teacher contact ratio is calculated by taking the total number of teaching periods timetabled for all teachers in the school, and dividing that by the total possible number of teaching periods (i.e. the number of teaching periods in the timetable cycle multiplied by the number of FTE teachers). All teachers should have a guaranteed minimum of 10% timetabled planning, preparation and assessment (PPA) time. Therefore, the teacher contact ratio will always be lower than 1.0.

Class sizes

The smaller the class size, the greater the cost of delivery per pupil. Schools have to ensure that class size plans are affordable, whilst supporting the best outcomes for pupils.

The Education Endowment Foundation’s evidence on the impact and costs of reducing class size may inform your thinking.

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Herts for Learning
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