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Teachers in British Columbia

Between 2000 and 2016, BC lost over 3,400 teachers. Thanks to the restoration of collective agreement language, the overall number of teachers has recovered.

1TeachersGraph
In 2017–18 the Ministry of Education changed what staff groups are included under the label of “teachers.” Source: For Pre-2017 Definition, Ministry of Education. (2018). BC Schools – Teacher Statistics. For Post-2017 Definition, Ministry of Education. (2018). Educator Statistics, 201314-201718 Masked, Nov 15, 2018. Values are rounded to the nearest whole number.

The number of Full-time Equivalent (FTE) teachers in public schools fell from 33,388 in 2000–01 to a low of 29,951 in 2014–15. This is a drop of over 9%.

The number of teachers slightly increased afterwards to support an increased student count. With increases in funding due to the restoration of collective agreement language by the Supreme Court of Canada ruling, the number of teachers jumped in a single year to 33,466 in 2017–18.








Of the teaching positions lost between 2000 and 2016, over 1,900 were specialist teachers. Less than half (900) of these positions have been restored by 2017–18.2


* Estimated from BC School District Revenue and Expenditure Tables and overall teacher FTE.

Source: Ministry of Education. (2019). BC School District Revenue and Expenditure Tables; (2018). BC Schools – Teacher Statistics; (2018). Educator Statistics, 201314-201718 Masked, Nov 15, 2018. Values are rounded to the nearest whole number and percent.

The caseload of many specialist teachers has improved in recent years. However, more needs to be done.3

1StudentsPerTL
Source: Ministry of Education. (2019). BC School District Revenue and Expenditure Tables; (2018). BC Schools – Teacher Statistics. (2018). Educator Statistics, 201314-201718 Masked, Nov 15, 2018; (2019). BC Schools – Student Enrolment and FTE by Grade. Values are rounded to the nearest whole number.

1StudentsPerELL
For example, the number of students per teacher-librarian has decreased by 102 between 2000 and 2016. Although a significant improvement, this is only a third of the way to returning to pre­­-2002 ratios. Meanwhile, ELL teachers’ workload has continued to increase because the significant increase in ELL students has not been matched by additional teachers.

Overall, teachers in BC are very highly qualified.4

BC Teacher Qualification Service (TQS) categorizes teachers based on their education and training. In September of 2018, 47% of public school teachers in BC had five years of post-secondary training, while another 47% had six years or more.

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Source: British Columbia Public School Employers’ Association. (2019). Salary data for active Teachers as of September 2018. 


Ministry of Education. (2018). BC Schools – Teacher Statistics. Ministry of Education. (2018). Educator Statistics, 201314-201718 Masked, Nov 15, 2018. Acquired via Freedom of Information Request.

2 BCTF research table compiled from Ministry of Education. (2019). BC School District Revenue and Expenditure Tables, (2018). BC Schools – Teacher Statistics. and (2018). Educator Statistics, 201314-201718 Masked, Nov 15, 2018. 

BCTF research table compiled from Ministry of Education. (2019). BC School District Revenue and Expenditure Tables. (2018). BC Schools – Teacher Statistics. (2018). Educator Statistics, 201314-201718 Masked, Nov 15, 2018. and (2019). BC Schools – Student Enrolment and FTE by Grade.

4 British Columbia Public School Employers’ Association. (2019). Salary data for active Teachers as of September 2018.

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