Falling teacher pay and five other UK education trends revealed by the OECD

Starting salaries for teachers are low, primary class sizes are high - annual Education at a Glance report finds

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The authoritative Education at a Glance 2016 report was published today by the OECD. It sets out how education systems across the world compare in terms of funding, teachers and academic outcomes.

It revealed that:

1. Teacher pay in England and Scotland has decreased between 2010 and 2014. Only 10 of the 29 countries included in the report saw statutory teacher salaries decrease in real terms continuously between 2010 and 2014

2. The UK has among the youngest teaching workforce of all developed countries, with 22 per cent of teachers aged 30 or younger compared to an average across the OECD of 9 per cent aged 30 or younger. The proportion of teachers over 50 has fallen by more than in any other country surveyed over the past ten years.

age of teachers from education at a glance 2016


3. Starting salaries for teachers in England and Scotland are comparatively low at the start of their careers – although above the OECD average after ten years of service.

education at a glance salaries

4. Children born to foreign parents in England and Northern Ireland are more likely to get a degree than those with British-born parents, in contrast to most developed countries.

tertiary education of immigrant children

5. Per-student funding for vocational programmes in the UK is 70 per cent of that for academic programmes.

6. Primary school classes tend to be smaller than lower-secondary classes in most developed countries – but in the UK they are larger.

class size



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