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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Which Factors Determine the Level of Expenditure on Teaching Staff?

  • The higher the level of education, the higher the salary cost of teachers per student. In Belgium (Flemish Community), France and Spain, the difference in the annual salary cost between the primary and upper secondary levels of education exceeds USD 1 800 in 2010.
  • Between 2000 and 2010, the salary cost of teachers per student increased in nearly all countries at the primary and lower secondary levels of education and, on average, by one-third and one quarter respectively.
  • Changes over time in the level of salary cost of teachers are mainly driven by teachers’ salaries; class size is the second main driver.
  • Similar levels of expenditure among countries can mask a variety of contrasting policy choices.

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