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Education Indicators in Focus

Education Indicators in Focus is a recurring series of briefs that highlight specific indicators in OECD’s Education at a Glance that are of particular interest to policy makers and practitioners. They provide a detailed look into current issues in pre-primary, primary and secondary education, higher education, and adult outcomes from a global perspective, and contain an engaging mix of text, tables and charts that describe the international context of the most pressing questions in education policy and practice.

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How Much Are Teachers Paid and How Much Does it Matter?

  • Teachers’ salaries increased in real terms between 2000 and 2011 in virtually all OECD countries, but mostly remain below those of other tertiary-educated workers.
  • Statutory salaries for lower secondary school teachers with 15 years of experience are 35% higher than starting salaries in OECD countries.
  • Among OECD countries, education systems that pay teachers more relative to their national income per capita tend to perform slightly better in mathematics as shown by the PISA study.
  • An increasing number of countries are now targeting salary increases to attract high-level graduates in the profession, to retain the best teachers or to assign the most experienced teachers to disadvantaged schools.

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