Education: new report shows more efforts are needed to increase teachers’ pay

Today, the European Commission’s Eurydice network published its annual report on teachers’ salaries to mark World Teachers’ Day (5 October). It found that while teachers’ salaries increased in most European countries in the 2017/2018 school year, these pay rises were mainly index-linked to inflation. Only in seven countries (Bulgaria, Czechia, Estonia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Romania and Slovakia) were the increases due to policy changes. The report also acknowledges that remuneration is a key element in drawing people into the teaching profession and in ensuring that serving teachers feel valued and sufficiently motivated. Policies that affect the earnings and career prospects of those employed in the education sector should therefore be an integral part of comprehensive strategies to improve the attractiveness of the teaching profession. Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, said: ”The quality of education depends on teachers who are excellent, motivated and confident. We have to invest in a teaching profession that is attractive to the best candidates, and keeps offering them opportunities to develop throughout their careers. Salaries are an important factor, just like effective support, prestige and social recognition for an increasingly complex and demanding task.” Supporting teachers and recognising the importance of their role were the main themes of the Commission’s 2019 Education and Training Monitorand the recent European Education Summit which saw 160 teachers debate with education ministers, academics and civil servants the main challenges facing the profession. In addition, ministers responsible for education and finance will meet in November 2019, under the current Finnish EU Presidency, to discuss funding of education. The Eurydice report is a comparative analysis, which covers all EU Member States except Cyprus as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia and Turkey.