By the numbers - Teacher pay

1st November 2013 at 00:00

The amount of money paid to teachers is often the subject of heated debate, as demonstrated by the recent controversy over the introduction of performance-related pay in England.

A new report from Eurydice, a network providing information on European education, investigates the issue of pay in 36 countries across the continent.

The report finds that most countries continue to link pay to teachers' length of service, but there are huge variations in the number of years required to reach the top of the pay scale. In Scotland, for example, it currently takes six years, but in Spain it takes 38.

In almost all European countries, central government sets teachers' basic salaries. The exceptions are the Nordic countries, where local authorities decide.

Plans to change the salary structure in England and introduce performance pay will end automatic rises: the government will set only minimum and maximum salaries, leaving it up to school leaders to determine individual teachers' pay.

This change was among the concerns that led to widespread strikes by members of two major teaching unions.

In the US, one of the largest pay increases teachers can expect to receive comes as a result of having a master's degree. A 2010 study shows that the "master's bump" can vary between states from $700 (pound;430) to $9,000.

But the state board of education in North Carolina has said that its pay supplement of 10-15 per cent for teachers with a postgraduate degree will end next year. The state is the first to implement such a measure.

Teacher pay in the US

Salaries for public school teachers are set by each state. Teachers with postgraduate degrees earn 10% more on average. Slightly more than half of all public school teachers have a postgraduate degree

1. Figures are approximate. Source: Teachers' and School Heads' Salaries and Allowances in Europe, 2012-13, Eurydice. bit.lyEuropeTeacherPay

2. Source: Changing Teacher Compensation Methods: moving toward performance pay (2010), Council of State Governments. bit.lyUSTeacherPay


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