Teachers’ pay hits the headlines again

Teachers’ pay hits the headlines again as the OECD reports on education’s global top earners.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has produced an annual report on global teachers’ pay. In the report teachers pay is ranked by country and though in England teachers are amongst the best paid in the World, England is ranked seventh after Denmark, Ireland and the United States with an average annual salary of £30,326. The highest teaching specialism earners identified in the report were English teachers; and in Luxembourg teachers can expect to earn £66,441 on average per annum. It’s worth noting what the parameters of the report are.

It is based on all 12 participating countries, and the data available from them since November 2014. Participating countries are: Australia, Canada, Denmark, England, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Scotland, Spain, and the United States of America.

Pay is measured per capita (per population head) and as a proportion of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), in other words how much a country produces (and is able to sell) per person. This gives economic context to teachers’ rate of pay. The same calculation is used to measure spend on students; tertiary students being those that are in post-secondary school education including college, university and Further Education institutions. Here is a link to the full report but we have summarised the main findings for you here.

Teachers’ pay

  • In England and Scotland the starting salaries for pre-primary, primary and lower-secondary school teachers are below the OECD average;
  • After 10 years’ of experience however, teachers’ salaries increase considerably and exceed the OECD averages across all levels of education in both countries (England and Scotland);
  • In England the salary increases for pre-primary teachers is the second largest of all OECD countries and Scotland is the fourth largest;
  • But, after 10 years the salaries slow such that England and Scotland lag behind other OECD countries;
  • The combined low starting salaries, and slow burn final year salaries for teachers in England is why England holds seventh position overall in the global teachers’ pay chart.

Student expenditure

  • Expenditure on pupils and students from pre-primary through to tertiary education in the United Kingdom (England, Scotland and Northern Ireland) is above the OECD average;
  • However the increase has slowed since 2005 when compared to other OECD countries;
  • The UK has one of the highest expenditures per pupil by education institutions at the tertiary level at around $24,338 (US Dollars) compared to the OECD average of $15,028 (USD). This makes the UK the highest in terms of expenditure based on the data available to the OECD.

Unfortunately as regards trainee teacher recruitment, there is an obvious supply and demand squeeze.

Here’s what we mean:

Based on the data above; UK post graduates are the most in debt (of OECD countries) and if they choose to go into teaching in England or in Scotland, they can expect to earn the least amongst OECD countries. Hmmm – you don’t need to be Einstein (or even John Maynard Keynes) to figure out that saddling potential teachers with debt and paying them low starting salaries may deter them from a career in education.

Over to you…

News, Pay, teacher, Teaching

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