UK is Home to the World's Most Popular Teachers

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Teachers are embracing the sharing economy by creating and sharing classroom resources that are being used all over the world. And UK teachers are leading the way.

Over 8 million educators are now part of the fast growing network where teachers create and share free and paid classroom resources, tapping into a global community for inspiration and support. Many of the most popular teachers globally are from the UK, including Sarah Crowther, an art teacher at Bolton School, and Emma Rylands, a primary school teacher at East Preston Junior School in West Sussex.

Both Sarah Crowther and Emma Rylands are recognised Tes gold authors, sharing free and paid-for resources. The income earned by the teachers from this has enabled Sarah to pay for extracurricular activities and trips for her daughters, and Emma is saving towards a house and has been improving her classroom for her pupils – with extra books, storage and pet fish.

Teachers recognise the benefit of someone else’s teaching experience and expertise, wherever in the world that comes from. Over one million resources are now downloaded on peak days, covering over 30 subjects across early years, primary, secondary, whole school and special needs education. There are over 700,000 resource reviews by teachers and this peer review system ensures the most credible and effective materials rise in prominence and authority.

Brigitte Ricou-Bellan, Managing Director of TES Digital, commented on the popularity of the platform:

“Teachers spend on average seven to eight hours a week preparing their lessons and the bulk of this happens after school and at weekends. Downloading resources saves teachers time and helps them improve their classes as they can benefit from the collective knowledge of the global teaching community. Teachers enjoy being able to help teachers around the world to engage and inspire children. They now also have the ability to develop another income if they choose to sell some of their resources. This has made a real difference to the lives of many of the authors.”

Since February 2015, teachers have been given the option of selling their lesson plans and classroom materials. Almost 400,000 premium paid-for teaching resources have been uploaded to date, with buyers from over 180 countries. Amongst the most popular countries for premium resources include the UAE, Spain, Hong Kong and New Zealand. One in five UK teachers has purchased a paid resource since launch. The most popular paid resources focus on whole school—covering topics like classroom behaviour, bullying and assemblies—maths and languages.  

Top 10 countries downloading all UK teacher resources in the last 12 months (excludes UK)

1.              Australia

2.              United Arab Emirates

3.              Ireland

4.              United States

5.              Spain

6.              Qatar

7.              Malaysia

8.              Thailand

9.              New Zealand

10.           Hong Kong

Case Studies

Sarah Crowther (also known as Arty Teacher), Art Teacher at Bolton School

What have your paid resource earnings on TES have allowed you to do/buy and how has it made a difference to you?

I've used my earnings to pay for extra things for my daughters, particularly school trips.  My eldest daughter is scheduled to go a writing retreat to the Lake District where she will attend workshops with an author and a poet.  I was able to say to my youngest daughter 'Yes! You can go on the ski trip!' And she was thrilled.  My daughters think I should spend this extra money on me but it gives me more pleasure to give them these extra opportunities.

Why did you start sharing your resources with the TES Community? What did you hope they achieve?

I wanted to make money but I do pride myself in creating good quality resources. I want teachers to feel confident to buy from me again.  I've always enjoyed planning work and creating resources and now I can earn some extra money from something I enjoy.  It's fun to log on to see if any resources and sold and I love receiving the daily email which tells me my earnings.

Did you find other teachers’ resources helpful when planning your own lessons in the past? If so, did it free up some of your time to do other things?

I have downloaded some brilliant resources from other teachers that have saved me hours of time. Particularly presentations which are so useful for teaching art which is such a visual subject.

Quick facts: Sarah Crowther

  • UK-based art teacher, with over 15 years of experience, working in the North West
  • Teaching since: 2001
  • Created 8 free and 283 paid-for Art and Design resources
  • Download number: 4,049 (view number is 28,030 times)
  • Paid-for resources purchased in 28 different countries (top countries are UK, US, Australia, Spain, Cyprus, Germany, Canada. She has also sold in Bermuda & Tanzania)
  • Link to shop on can be found at:

Emma Rylands, Primary School Teacher, East Preston Junior School

What have your paid resource earnings on TES allowed you to do/buy?

I’ve been putting up my own resources on Tes for just over a year now and have made around £5,000. This has not only topped up my income but enabled me to buy extra bits and pieces for my classroom that will benefit the children (books, storage, fish!), set up my own website where I also share resources, and save up towards a deposit for a house.

Using Tes has allowed me to focus on resources for the children I teach. Anything I can’t find on Tes I create myself, so I spot gaps, create lessons and give other teachers what they need. We all have many lessons to plan in a short timeframe, and a resource makes or breaks a lesson. To give the children the best lessons, it is important to have the right materials, and teachers are willing to pay a pound or two to save themselves some time. This happens mostly when there is a new curriculum to teach.

Why did you start sharing your resources with the TES Community? What did you hope they achieve?

I started sharing my resources for two reasons. First, I had misconceptions at primary school that I wanted to address and solve for other children. That is part of why I became a teacher! Second, I spotted gaps in the market – if a resource I needed wasn’t on Tes, I had to create it myself. Therefore, I could share it with others. Teachers now often get in touch with me to request resources on specific areas and I create them!

Ultimately by selling resources, my end goal is to do part-time teaching.

Did you find other teachers’ resources helpful when planning your own lessons in the past?

I go on to, usually more than twice a day to find a resource and use the community chat which is especially useful if you have a last-minute task, like planning an assembly!

Quick facts: Emma Rylands

  • Based in England
  • Teaching since: 2012
  • Created total of 29 free resources and 239 paid-for resources
  • Main subjects are: Whole school, Maths, English 
  • Resources have been viewed over 55,660 times, and downloaded over 25,810 times
  • Paid-for resources purchased by teachers in United Kingdom 2335 sales followed by New Zealand and United Arab Emirates. However all her resources are sold all around the world including Australia, Qatar, Spain, Ireland, Hong Kong, Germany, United States, Russia, Oman, Israel 
  • Link to shop on can be found at:

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Notes to editors resources marketplace at a glance

  • Global digital community of 8 million educators
  • A total of 1.6 million free and paid resources created by teachers for teachers, including 65,000 videos
  • Over 1 million downloads on peak days
  • Site will see 1 billionth resource download in 2017
  • One in five UK teachers have purchased a paid resource in 18 months
  • Purchases have been made from over 180 countries
  • Over 700,000 reviews on resources by teachers