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Swiss reach pay heights

Secondary teachers in Luxembourg and Switzerland are the highest paid in the developed world, earning up to eight times more than teachers in Poland and the Slovak Republic after 15 years of experience.

A teacher in Luxembourg earns on average pound;25,000* after 15 years and more than pound;63,000 at the top of the scale, compared to just pound;5,500 for the Slovak Republic and Poland, according to the OECD's latest Education at a Glance report. Staff in England come ninth out of 30 OECD countries, with average pay after 15 years of pound;23,200.

However, Andreas Schleicher, the OECD's head of analysis, said that in a competitive labour market for graduates, even countries where teachers are well paid have difficulties attracting staff. Only in Korea and Turkey are average teachers' salaries more than double the average income per capita.

In England, teachers' pay is around 50 per cent higher than the average income.

Starting salaries have risen faster than mid-career and top-of-the-scale salaries in England, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark and Finland, indicating a desire to attract new teachers into the profession.

* All figures adjusted for purchasing power parity.

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