Teachers’ pay in England down by 12% in 10 years, influential study reveals

The Guardian reports that teachers’ salaries in England have dropped by more than a tenth in the last decade while their earnings have risen in comparable countries, according to an influential international study.

The survey by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) shows that teachers’ salaries in England were worth 12% less in 2015 than in 2005 and 6% less in Scotland. This contrasts sharply with trends elsewhere in OECD countries, where teachers’ salaries have gone up in real terms by an average of 10% at pre-primary level and 6% at primary, with the rate of growth slightly slower – but still up – at secondary.

Union leaders attending the TUC conference on Monday demanded a 5% pay increase for all public sector workers, threatening coordinated strike action against the cap. According to the NASUWT teachers’ union, the average pay award for teachers last year was 0.6%.

The decreasing value of teachers’ salaries in England is revealed in the OECD’s annual Education at a Glance survey, which provides a picture of the state of education around the world, comparing data in 35 OECD countries, plus a number of partner countries.

The broad trend shows the impact of the economic downturn in 2008, with pay generally frozen or cut between 2009 and 2013, before starting to increase again, but England’s teachers appear to be falling behind.

The increase exceeded 20% in Poland at pre-primary,

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primary and secondary levels, as a result of a 2007 government programme that aimed to boost teachers’ salaries and to improve the quality of education by providing financial incentives to attract high-quality teachers.

 

There were also significant increases in Israel, Latvia, Luxembourg, Norway and Turkey, while teachers’ salaries decreased in Portugal and also in Greece, where they went down 28% in value. In England and Scotland, as in most OECD countries, teachers are paid less on average than other university-educated workers.

Read more Teachers’ pay in England down by 12% in 10 years, influential study reveals

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