Chapter 4. The teaching workforce in the Czech Republic1

This chapter presents a profile of the teaching workforce in the Czech Republic and describes current approaches to teacher initial education, recruitment, qualification requirements, work load, professional development and career structure. It considers the strengths and challenges inherent in the current system and makes policy recommendations designed to improve the management and development of the teaching workforce, including creating a more coherent teacher career pathway.


Context and features

Profile of the teaching workforce

An estimated 100 000 teachers work in basic and secondary schools across the Czech Republic (see Figure 4.1).2 The size of this workforce has declined over the past decade, dropping by 11% between 2005/06 and 2013/14. The greatest decline is seen in upper basic schools and secondary schools, with a decrease of 18% and 15% respectively between 2005/06 and 2013/14 as seen in Figure 4.1. A contraction was not experienced in all areas: the size of the teaching workforce in lower basic education actually expanded by 5% over the same period. Changes in the size of the teaching workforce generally follow trends in student enrolments over this period (see Figure 4.A1.1, Annex 4.A1).

Figure 4.1. Trend in number of teachers in basic schools, secondary schools and conservatoires, 2005/06-2013/14

Source: MŠMT (forthcoming), OECD Review of Policies to Improve the Effectiveness of Resource Use in Schools National Background Report: Czech Republic, Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Prague. Further data available in Table 4.A1.1, Annex 4.A1.

While the ageing of the teaching workforce is an issue around the world, it is comparatively worse at primary level in the Czech Republic than in other countries. Figure 4.2 shows there are substantively fewer Czech primary teachers under the age of 40 (31%) compared to the OECD average (41%). The issue in primary education has also worsened with time. The proportion of young primary teachers under 40 years old dropped by 18% in the Czech Republic between 2007 and 2012, much higher than the 2% drop in the OECD average over the same period (further data available in Table 4.A1.5 and Figure 4.A1.2, Annex 4.A1). The ageing workforce at primary level is a concern given the increasing number of teachers needed at lower basic schools over the past decade, discussed above. This issue is not as pronounced in secondary education.

Figure 4.2. Percentage of teachers under age of 40 years in primary education, 2012

Source: OECD (2014a), Education at a Glance: OECD Indicators 2014,, Table D5.1.


Feminisation of the teaching workforce is significant in the Czech Republic. The proportion of Czech female teachers is well above the OECD and EU21 averages (Figure 4.3). Male teachers make up only 3% of primary teachers and 26% of teaching staff at secondary school.

Figure 4.3. Percentage of female teaching staff in primary education, 2012

Source: OECD (2014a), Education at a Glance: OECD Indicators 2014,, Table D5.3.

There is little pay difference between female and male teachers in basic education and secondary education (MŠMT, forthcoming). However the lowest earning segment of the education sector is nursery teachers who earn 16% less than basic education teachers on average, and these positions are held by women only (see data in Table 4.A1.4, Annex 4.A1).

Qualifications of teachers

There is a mixed picture on the extent of qualified teaching staff in the Czech Republic. School leaders report relatively low levels of shortages of qualified and/or well performing teachers (27%) compared to the OECD average (38%) (OECD, 2014b, Table 2.19). However, the number of Czech teachers who have completed a teacher education training programme is 77%, well below the OECD average of 90% (OECD, 2014b, Table 2.3).

The Czech Republic has some instances of out of field teaching in mathematics, science, ICT and foreign languages, although it is relatively low compared to the OECD average. For example in literacy it is 3% compared to 6%, and in modern languages 8% versus 11% respectively. This issue is most prominent in science where 10% of science teachers report not being qualified in the Czech Republic (OECD, 2014b, Table 2.5).

Class size and student-teacher ratio

Research shows that systems prioritising teacher quality over smaller class sizes tend to perform better (Barber and Mourshed, 2007; OECD, 2012). A number of high performing systems such as Shanghai and Singapore choose to have larger class sizes to free up teacher time to review and improve teaching and learning in their everyday practice (Jensen, Hunter, Sonnemann and Burns, 2012). The average class size in the Czech Republic is slightly below the OECD average in primary education (19.8 versus 21.3 students) and well below in lower secondary education (21.3 versus 23.5 students) (Figure 4.4). Class sizes have not always been so small at lower secondary level in the Czech Republic – this has happened in more recent times (OECD, 2014a).

Figure 4.4. Average class size in educational institutions, by level of education, 2012

Source: OECD (2014a), Education at a Glance: OECD Indicators 2014,, Chart D2.2. Average class size in educational institutions, by level of education (2012).

The student-teacher ratio measure gives another perspective on the use of teacher resources and shows the number of students (full-time equivalent, FTE) to the number of teachers (full-time equivalent, FTE). It has little direct relationship to class size explained further in Box 4.1. The student-teacher ratio at secondary level is smaller (i.e. more teacher resource intensive) in the Czech Republic than the average OECD country (11 students per secondary teacher compared to 13 students respectively). This ratio at secondary level has declined since 2004.3

Box 4.1. The relationship between class size and the ratio of students to teaching staff

There is little direct relationship between class size and the student-teacher ratio across countries. Countries with similar class sizes may have different student-teacher ratios. This is because of differences in definitions in the two measures. The class size measure is calculated from a number of different elements: the ratio of students to teaching staff, the number of classes or students for which a teacher is responsible, the amount of instruction time compared to the length of teachers’ working days, the proportion of time teachers spend teaching, and how students are grouped within classes and team teaching. The student-teacher ratio simply compares the number of students (full-time equivalent) to the number of teachers (full-time equivalent). This means that countries with similar student-teacher ratios may have different class sizes, because of differences in teaching hours required or in student instruction time.

Source: OECD (2014a), Education at a Glance: OECD Indicators 2014,

By contrast, the student-teacher ratio at primary level is higher than the OECD average (19 students compared to 15 students per primary teacher respectively). The primary level ratio has increased over time, contrary to the general OECD trend. For further data see Figure 4.A1.3, Annex 4.A1.

Becoming a qualified teacher

Most teachers are required to attain a master’s degree over five years to teach in the Czech Republic.4 Teachers at upper primary and secondary levels tend to undertake a bachelor’s degree and a follow-up master’s degree, whereas primary teachers who teach at the first stage of basic education usually undertake a five-year continuous master’s degree (MŠMT, forthcoming).5

Primary teachers at the first stage of basic education are qualified for teaching all subjects at primary level. Teachers at higher levels of education may have both multi-subject teaching qualifications (most commonly for two subjects) and single-subject teaching qualifications (most often for languages, physical education, special subjects or industrial arts).6

Teachers in vocational education who teach practical courses do not need a masters-level university degree and professional education at a lower level is sufficient.7 Teachers of students with special educational needs must have special pedagogical qualifications. They are required to complete a master’s study programme in pedagogical sciences focussing on special pedagogy (MŠMT, forthcoming).8

Initial teacher education

Universities operate autonomously and are responsible for each programme’s content and organisation. This includes entrance examination requirements, the study programmes and assessment. Faculties of education commonly deliver teacher education for general subjects. Other university faculties also help to prepare teachers for specialised study at upper primary and secondary levels, for example faculties of arts, natural sciences, and mathematics. All teacher education courses must obtain accreditation at the outset to ensure they are of sufficient quality.

Initial teacher education programmes integrate both academic and practical components. Students are required to undertake practical experience as part of their education, which is around two weeks on average or 4% of the time of study (European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education, n.d.). There is no unified compulsory curriculum for teacher training but components usually include: general subject education, psychology, pedagogy, didactics and pedagogical practical training (European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education, n.d.). The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports formulates the key competences for teachers, but it is up to the universities providing teacher training to give their graduates the expected skills level.

Prospective candidates seeking to enter initial teacher education must pass the secondary school-leaving examination as well as any entrance examinations set by the institution (Santiago et al., 2012). Institution procedures for enrolment vary and may include a general test, an examination (written and/or oral) in the relevant subjects and/or an interview regarding students’ motivation and suitability. The number of places for teacher education is generally limited by the capacity of each institution.

Recruitment into schools

Once initial teacher education is complete, teachers are eligible for recruitment to schools. At present there is no system of teacher certification or an on-the-job qualification phase.

School principals have the autonomy to recruit teachers directly independent of municipal or regional authorities.9 The process involves an open recruitment procedure at the school level. Teachers are selected based on the best fit of their skills to the local school context.

Teacher career structures

The Act on Education Staff defines the following categories of education staff in school settings (MŠMT, forthcoming):

  1. Teacher

  2. Teacher in a facility for the in-service training of pedagogical staff

  3. Educator

  4. Special education teacher

  5. Psychologist

  6. Teacher responsible for leisure activities

  7. Teaching assistant

  8. Coach

  9. Education manager

Within each of the above categories, there are five to six different career levels. For example, there are generally six career levels for teachers in schools.10 To place teachers on the relevant career level, the school principal takes into account the extent of responsibilities the job involves and the relevant qualification requirements. For example, a teacher at Level 2 is required, in addition to teaching, to develop and update pedagogical documentation or individual student learning plans for his/her teaching activities. A teacher at Level 3 must, in addition, provide methodological and specialised advice on teaching to other teachers (MŠMT, forthcoming). Current salary rates for educational staff are included in Table 4.A1.6 in Annex 4.A1.

While the current career structure allows for scope in differentiation of teacher roles, in practice most teachers are paid based on years of practical experience.

New career structure

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MŠMT) has worked on the development of a new career system for teachers since 2010 with the support of EU funding. The proposal was still being considered by policy makers and legislators at the time of the OECD review. If approved, the new system will aim to better link career development with teacher appraisal, professional learning opportunities and better remuneration. A key feature will be that school leaders can differentiate teachers across career levels – at the time of the OECD review visit there were four levels, but the review team is advised that the final proposal includes three career levels (the fourth level that was dropped was conceived for teachers primarily serving as mentors and consultants to other teachers). Within the parameters of central rules, school leaders can progress high performing teachers up the career ladder to pay them more as well as give them leading roles in developing others. They can offer teachers various career paths, including management positions.

The three career levels in the new system are:

  • Level 1 – for beginning teachers

  • Level 2 – a qualification threshold for regular teachers

  • Level 3 – teachers can take on additional duties and specialisation such as become a mentor, chairperson, subject commissions.

Beginning teachers will be assessed at the end of Level 1 in order to move to the threshold qualification for a regular teacher at Level 2. The novice teacher will need to meet the competencies set out in the new teacher standards. At present there is no test or assessment of this kind for teachers transitioning to the classroom. High performing and specialist teachers will be progressed from Level 2 to Level 3, where they will take on extra roles in mentoring and developing others in their school. This differentiation in expert teacher roles helps to create a more systematic approach to mentoring support and pedagogical guidance for teachers across the system.

Teachers’ salaries

Teachers’ salaries are based on the new Labour Code in public schools service. There is collective agreement between the government and teacher unions over the basic salary amounts. Teacher compensation includes: the basic salary, plus allowances for additional duties (such as counselling, administrative tasks), and a bonus based on teacher performance (often referred to as a “personal part”). These additional allowances are generally 2.9% of the statutory salary across the Czech Republic (Eurydice, 2014, p. 24).

There are 16 basic salary categories that apply to pedagogical workers. Within each of the salary categories, teacher pay varies depending on previous years of service in teaching. Teacher pay generally ranges from the 8th to the 13th salary categories depending on the type of work they perform. Only in exceptional circumstances are teachers paid at the 13th salary category, for example where they act as education advisors, mentors and head teachers.

Practical experience in other settings can also count toward higher salaries but at the discretion of the school leader. Professional learning and other qualifications do not impact teacher pay. This helps avoid incentives for teachers to undertake courses or qualifications simply to increase salary.

Since 2012, school leaders can remunerate teachers not just on years of practical experience but on performance. The head teacher awards an amount above the set salary as well as personal bonuses (MŠMT, forthcoming). Teachers showing very good long-term performance or undertaking a range of extra tasks may receive pay increments up to 50% of basic pay (or, in exceptional cases, up to 100%). However groups interviewed by the review team indicated a low take-up of this policy, with many school leaders reverting to the former system of compensating teachers based on years of service only. Funding for bonuses tends to be re-allocated at school level to cover budget shortfalls as needed. For example, to cover an unexpected drop in student enrolments negatively impacting the budget.

Relative attractiveness of teachers’ salaries

Figure 4.5. Ratio of salary at top of scale to starting salary in lower secondary education, 2012

Note: Data refer to statutory salaries for teachers with minimum qualifications in public institutions. For Hungary, Sweden and the United States, data refer to actual salaries. For Sweden, reference year is 2011.

Source: OECD (2014a), Education at a Glance: OECD Indicators 2014,, Table D3.1. Teachers’ statutory salaries at different points in their careers (2012).

Teachers’ salaries are especially low compared to other professions within the Czech Republic as well as other teachers internationally (discussed further in the Challenges section). In addition, the salary trajectory for teachers is relatively flat. As can be seen in Figure 4.5, the ratio of salary at the top of scale to starting salary is modest relative to other countries (1.28 against an OECD average of 1.61 in 2012). This means that teachers will earn just 28% more between the beginning and end of their career. This is in addition to the fact that reaching the top of the scale takes 27 years (longer than the OECD average of 24 years) (OECD, 2014a).

Teacher appraisal

In the Czech Republic teacher appraisal is typically conducted by school principals in approaches defined locally by the schools. Formal appraisal is prevalent across schools, with virtually all teachers reporting being appraised by their school principal.

There are no national requirements for teacher appraisal and no formal procedures exist to periodically evaluate the performance of teachers. There is little information available on the procedures and criteria used by schools in appraisal processes. However the process appears to typically involve interviews and observation undertaken by the school principal at least once a year (Santiago et al., 2012). In some schools a peer review system exists, which means that teachers observe the classes of their colleagues and subsequently work together on possible improvements (MŠMT, forthcoming). On the whole, a large number of teachers report never being appraised by peers (55%), as seen in Figure 4.6 (OECD, 2014b, Table 5.2).

Figure 4.6. Teacher appraisal by the school principal, school management team and other teachers

Note by Turkey:

The information in this document with reference to “Cyprus” relates to the southern part of the Island. There is no single authority representing both Turkish and Greek Cypriot people on the Island. Turkey recognises the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). Until a lasting and equitable solution is found within the context of the United Nations, Turkey shall preserve its position concerning the “Cyprus issue”.

Note by all the European Union Member States of the OECD and the European Union:

The Republic of Cyprus is recognised by all members of the United Nations with the exception of Turkey. The information in this document relates to the area under the effective control of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus.

Source: OECD (2014b), TALIS 2013 Results: An International Perspective on Teaching and Learning,, Table 5.2.

The new career system outlined in Strategy 2020 intends to pilot the use of professional teaching portfolios in teacher appraisal and evaluation in future. Based on the pilot, the new system will gradually be implemented (MŠMT, forthcoming).

Staff development and professional learning

The school principal is primarily responsible for staff development. While all teachers are expected to have individual teacher development plans created within appraisal processes, only 60% of teachers report having them in place (OECD, 2014b, Table 5.8). The new career system under consideration includes a more systematic approach to developing teacher capacity at the school level. School leaders will be responsible for a school-wide teacher development plan as well as the creation of individual plans for each teacher linked to further professional learning. The new structure is based on a uniform framework of defined teacher professional standards that describes the quality of the teacher’s work, the scope of his/her activity and his/her professional development at these four career stages (MŠMT, forthcoming).

At present, all education staff is obligated to regularly undertake in-service professional learning over the course of their careers. Teachers are entitled to 12 days of leave for self-study purposes per year (Santiago et al., 2012). The cost of professional development may be covered by the school (fully or partly) or by the participating teachers themselves.

Many Czech teachers (over 80%) report regularly participating in professional development activities.11 Teachers most frequently take part in short courses and workshops. Around one-third of teachers participate in a combination of formal mentoring, peer observation and/or coaching, which is just above the TALIS average. Less than 20% participate in a teacher network or research on a topic of interest, and few teachers (15%) undertake classroom observations at a different school each year (OECD, 2014b).

Specific indicators on formal mentoring (alone) show a bleak picture. Only 3% of teachers report having an assigned mentor, far below the 30% of school principals reporting that mentoring is for all teachers in the school (OECD, 2014b, Table 4.3).

Figure 4.7. Type of professional development recently undertaken by teachers, TALIS 2013

Source: OECD (2014b), TALIS 2013 Results: An International Perspective on Teaching and Learning,, Table 4.9.

Mentoring is more prevalent for beginning teachers with less than five years of experience, however only 17% of such teachers report having a mentor (OECD, 2014b, Table 4.4). Less than half (45%) of new teachers report having taken part in a formal induction programme, and slightly more (56%) report participating in formal induction activities (OECD, 2014b, Table 4.1). These low levels of formal induction are line with the general trends for induction across TALIS countries.

A culture of collaborative communities varies even among the few schools the OECD review team visited. In particular, some schools had subject commission meetings where groups of teachers in the same subject meet between 4 to 10 times each year.

External training providers

Schools can draw on the services of many accredited public and private further education training providers to help build the capacity of their staff.12 The ministry sets national education priorities which guide providers in the courses and services offered to schools. Regional authorities are responsible for overseeing the provision of teacher professional development and ensuring that teacher needs are adequately met by the services on offer.

The largest public training provider is the National Institute for Further Education (NIDV) which has 14 regional centres. It is funded by the ministry budget and the European Social Fund, and many courses are provided to teachers at a low cost or free of charge.13 It provides professional development opportunities for teachers related to national priorities, as well as additional qualifications for school principals, teachers and teaching assistants.

Courses and programmes are credited by the ministry. This occurs through the NIDV and a special Accreditation committee that provides recommendations for approval. There are very few rejected applications each year.

Workload and use of teachers’ time

The weekly working time of teachers is 40 hours, set by the Labour Code. This includes time spent teaching as well as other related activities such as preparation and planning for class (MŠMT, forthcoming). Teacher self-reports of actual working hours are 39.4 hours per week, similar to the TALIS average 38.3 hours per week (Figure 4.8).14 The number of hours spent on teaching in the classroom (17.8 hours) is slightly below the TALIS average (19.3 hours). The profile of a Czech working day is relatively similar to the TALIS average for other tasks such as the planning and preparation for lessons, correcting student work, and participating in school management.15

Figure 4.8. Average number of hours that lower secondary education teachers report having worked during the most recent complete calendar week, 2013

Note: A “complete” calendar week is one that was not shortened by breaks, public holidays, sick leave, etc. Also includes hours worked during weekends, evenings or other off-classroom hours. The sum of hours spent on different tasks (shown in Figure 4.3) may not be equal to the number of total working hours because teachers were asked about these elements separately. It is also important to note that data presented represent the averages from all the teachers surveyed, including part-time teachers.

Please see Figure 4.6. for notes on Cyprus.

Source: OECD (2014b), TALIS 2013 Results: An International Perspective on Teaching and Learning,

Support staff for teachers

Czech teachers can draw on a range of support staff to assist with specific pedagogical issues in their daily roles. For example, teachers can ask for advice from a group of expert specialists employed at a regional level to help with specific educational issues.16 Teachers can also access guidance from school-based education advisors. Advisors hold roles as teachers but have lower workloads each week (by 1 to 5 hours) to advise and help develop other teachers’ practice. Advisors are appointed by the school leader and must undertake specific professional learning to perform this role (including 250 hours of study with written work and an examination) (MŠMT, forthcoming).

Teachers are also entitled to request the support of teaching assistants. Schools must apply to the relevant regional authority for assistant staff, which may be granted depending on the strength of the case put forward and resource availability. There are two categories of teaching assistants in the Act on Education Staff, in particular those who: i) support students with special education or integration needs in class; or ii) support auxiliary educational work at the school (MŠMT, forthcoming).


Recognition of the need to improve teacher pay

A clear priority of the ministry in Strategy 2020 is to secure more resources for teacher salaries. Sustained efforts have been made over the last decade to increase pay which remains low in international comparison. The Czech Republic ranks higher than the OECD average in terms of the index of change in teacher salaries between 2000 and 2012 (Figure 4.9). The Czech Republic registered one of the largest increases in teacher salaries across Europe between 2009 and 2014 with the annual gross salary increasing by 22% in real terms for teachers in primary, lower secondary and upper secondary general education (ICSED 1, 2 and 3) (Eurydice, 2014, p. 20). In addition, there has been a sharp increase in teacher pay by 3.5% in 2015 and the aim is to continue this trend. The OECD review team underlines how necessary these increases in teacher salaries have been as a core factor to ensure a minimum attractiveness for the profession.

Figure 4.9. Change in lower secondary teachers’ salaries, 2000, 2005 and 2012
Index of change between 2000 and 2012 (2005 = 100, constant prices), for teachers with 15 years of experience and minimum training

Note: Countries are ranked in descending order of the index of change between 2005 and 2012 in the salaries of lower secondary teachers with 15 years of experience. No 2000 data available for Luxembourg, Norway, Poland and Slovenia.

1. Break in time series following methodological changes in 2009.

2. Year of reference 2011 instead of 2012.

3. Actual base salaries.

4. Break in time series following methodological changes in 2012.

5. Salaries after 11 years of experience.

Source: OECD (2014a), Education at a Glance: OECD Indicators 2014,

Teaching standards have been developed and used to inform the design of the proposed career system

An earlier OECD review supported the completion and implementation of teaching standards (Santiago et al., 2012). The development of a set of Professional Teaching Standards in 2012 has helped in designing the proposed career system, although these have yet to be officially introduced. If the proposed career system is approved, these professional teaching standards will be adopted. Their strength is that they can clarify what is expected of quality teaching. The standards outline the expectations of teacher qualities, professional capabilities and development over the course of their career. They outline the scope of a teacher’s work and the professional development to be undertaken at each of the career stages. Such standards help articulate professional roles and responsibilities, and are a vital source of information for teachers in making judgements. It provides a credible, calibrated reference for the teacher appraisal processes in which to judge teacher competence. Further, the new career structure (if approved) will better link teaching standards and teacher appraisal with teacher professional development.

Schools and teachers are empowered with high levels of autonomy

Schools have high levels of autonomy over their staffing. This is a strength given greater ownership of resource allocation decisions at a school level can have positive effects on student outcomes (Hanushek, Link and Wöβmann, 2011). According to PISA 2012 data, 95% of 15-year-olds attended schools whose principals reported that only principals and/or teachers have a considerable responsibility for selecting teachers for hire, against an OECD average of 49% (OECD, 2013b, Figure IV.4.2). The equivalent figure for responsibility for dismissing teachers is 94% (the highest of any PISA country), against an OECD average of 36% (OECD, 2012b, Figure IV.4.2). Additionally, 74% of Czech principals report that only principals and or/teachers have a considerable responsibility for establishing teachers starting salaries and 72% for determining teachers’ salaries increases (the highest of any PISA country).

Teachers also enjoy high levels of autonomy in the classroom. The Framework Education Programmes represents a significant shift to give schools and teachers more flexibility in interpreting broad education objectives into local curricula. While there were some concerns raised during the OECD review about varying teacher capacity to develop and implement School Educational Programmes, this general approach supports greater teacher professionalism. Teachers also have high levels of autonomy to decide which pedagogical methods and educational materials to use. Teacher professional judgements are relied on to design the best approach to teaching and learning for their students and continuously improving it on the ground. This provides the conditions for teachers to tailor teaching to students’ needs. Teacher autonomy is complemented by support from teaching assistants to help with students with special needs as well as non-teaching tasks.

Efforts are underway to introduce new career system to better recognise effective teaching

Recognising and rewarding effective teaching practice is important for teacher attraction, development and retention. Since 2010, the Czech Republic has undertaken active steps to develop a new and enhanced career structure which is currently under consideration. The new career structure, if approved, will include four new levels of teaching positions to better screen beginning candidates at the end of their first year, as well as ensure that the best teachers progress to Levels 3 and 4 (as discussed earlier).

The proposed new arrangements give the best teachers extra roles in mentoring and developing others in their school is a key benefit. This is in line with the approach of high performing systems which tend to give the best teachers more responsibilities in developing others (Barber and Mourshed, 2007; Jensen et al., 2012).

Teacher appraisal is prominent in schools

A key strength of the Czech system is the wide acceptance of the principle that teachers should be evaluated and appraised within their regular work. A previous OECD review found that Czech school principals generally use the results of teacher appraisal in defining professional development plans of individual teachers (Santiago et al., 2012). Meaningful appraisal is geared to teacher development and improvements in learning. It helps teachers improve their teaching skills by identifying and developing specific aspects of their teaching. It improves the way they relate to students and colleagues and their job satisfaction, and can have a large impact on student outcomes. Internal teacher appraisal also helps teachers identify how they need to develop and the professional development required to get there.

Virtually all teachers report being appraised in their school in the Czech Republic, well above the TALIS average of 90%. Within formal appraisal, almost 100% of teachers reported they are directly observed in their classroom, again above the TALIS average of 92% (OECD, 2014b).


Teacher status is low and attracting and retaining high calibre candidates is difficult

Czech teachers have a very low perception of their social status in society. An estimated 12% of Czech teachers think the teaching profession is valued, compared to an EU average of 19% (OECD, 2014b). Just over half (53%) of lower secondary teachers believe that the advantages of being a teacher clearly outweigh the disadvantages, the lowest figure among TALIS countries (OECD, 2014b).

With low teacher salaries, poor working conditions and low levels of teacher morale, it is no doubt difficult to attract high calibre candidates to the profession. While efforts have been made to improve the salaries of teachers in recent years, pay is still very low. The ratio of primary and secondary teachers’ salaries to earnings for full-time, full-year workers with tertiary education is one of the lowest among OECD countries (Figure 4.10). Further, the slow rate of salary progression over the course of a teacher’s career is found to be one of the least rewarding across OECD countries (OECD, 2014a, Table D3.3) (This is discussed further below).

Teacher morale appears to be an issue. TALIS results show that only 30% of teachers in the Czech Republic believe they can motivate students who show low interest in school work, while only 39% think they can help students value learning (OECD, 2014b). These low levels of self-efficacy may be exacerbated by few opportunities for teachers to work together and collaborate to improve what they do on a daily basis.

Figure 4.10. Teachers’ salaries relative to earnings for tertiary-educated workers aged 25 to 64, 2012
Lower secondary teachers in public institutions

Note: Data refer to actual salaries except for the following countries, for which statutory salaries were used: Austria, Canada, Ireland, Korea, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain and Turkey. The “Actual” method refers to the ratio of average actual salary, including bonuses and allowances, for teachers aged 25-64 to earnings for full-time, full-year workers with tertiary education aged 25-64. The “Statutory” method refers to the ratio of teachers’ statutory salary after 15 years of experience and minimum training (regardless of age) to earnings for full-time, full-year workers with tertiary education aged 25-64. For Belgium (French Community), Belgium (Flemish Community), England and Scotland (UK), data on earnings for full-time, full-year workers with tertiary education refer to Belgium and the United Kingdom respectively. Scotland includes all teachers, irrespective of their age. For Sweden, average actual teachers’ salaries do not include bonuses and allowances.

Source: OECD (2014a), Education at a Glance: OECD Indicators 2014,

Weak links between teacher performance, pay and recognition

While there is currently scope to promote teachers to a higher career level if teachers take on additional responsibilities or demonstrate high performance, in practice, salary is still largely determined by teachers’ length of service. Whether or not teachers receive their “personal pay” often depends on factors outside of their performance. Such funding may be re-allocated at the school level at the end of the year to cushion and absorb losses in other areas, such as a drop in school enrolments. The personal pay component to reward outstanding teaching is very low in practice, averaging only 2.9% per annum.

Sanctions are only applied in exceptional cases where teachers violate legal obligations. Less than half of teachers (45%) in the Czech Republic believe that if a teacher is consistently underperforming that he/she would be dismissed. Only 55% of teachers believe that the best performing teachers in the school receive the greatest recognition (OECD, 2014b, Table 5.8).

The proposed new career system (under consideration) may help to bring teacher performance, appraisal and salary closer together. However, a key consideration is whether the new structures will actually result in greater differentiation of teacher roles given some of this flexibility already exists and is not fully utilised. The barriers to actively promoting and advancing teachers need to be fully understood to ensure the new career system can have positive effects.

At the time of the OECD review there was some uncertainty about securing additional funds for the new career structures. Many interviewees expressed the view that additional funding for implementation of the new career system will be critical to its success in enabling greater differentiation among teachers and promoting the best to the top teaching levels.

The consistency in quality of initial teacher education needs to be improved

OECD review team consultations found that preparation of graduate teachers in practical skills for teaching is a key issue. School practicums are of relatively short duration (average two weeks). The ability to connect with schools and co-ordinate placements, as well as level of school commitment to the teacher students, appears to vary greatly among different initial teacher education providers and schools. In recognition of this, the MŠMT (Ministerstvo školství, mládeže a tělovýchovy – Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports) has recently approved new guidelines for accreditation standards of the university pedagogical programmes – although the OECD review team has not seen these. There are limited mechanisms and feedback loops on the quality of initial teacher education programmes, and few consequences for poor quality training. A large issue appears to be the significant numbers of graduates completing initial teacher education who do not go into teaching on completion of their studies. Unfortunately, the OECD review team was not able to acquire data on this.

Professional learning and collaboration can be improved

The OECD review team gained the impression that there is a lot of emphasis on training by external providers, and less on teacher learning that occurs in the school in the daily work of teachers. The most powerful form of professional learning occurs close to the classroom; where teachers evaluate practice, analyse how to improve student learning in classroom, and adapt teaching to improve student outcomes. Teachers learn best working collaboratively with others to evaluate practice, so that tacit assumptions on teaching can be directly engaged and challenged. They also need to have opportunities to see evidence of the impact they are having over time. Integrating these opportunities for this form of learning into teaching work is key to professional growth in the Czech Republic.

School visits show few examples of teachers working collaboratively together to intensively analyse student learning and how it can be improved. While subject commissions are one form of collaboration, it is not clear how much they deeply explore issues of learning and teaching versus more routine and administrative subject-related matters.

Mentoring in schools is occurring at low rates and could also be increased to boost collaboration and open dialogue on how to improve teaching in the classroom. There are plans to increase mentoring under the new career system (if approved). In order for the new mentoring arrangements to be effective, mentors may require upskilling in how to effectively mentor others, along with adequate time to do so.

While the open market for external training providers allows for schools to select from a competitive range of training courses, there appears few mechanisms at the regional level to monitor if teacher development needs are adequately being met. OECD review team interviews revealed few structured or co-ordinated approaches by regional authorities to monitoring an adequate supply of high quality training in these areas. The autonomy that schools have to upskill their teachers has its merits, but requires monitoring in the event that information asymmetries may exist (i.e. there may be few indicators of course quality to schools and few avenues for providing feedback if teachers and schools are not satisfied). It was the OECD review team’s impression that there were limited feedback loops between providers, schools, teachers and regional officials on the quality of training received.

Appraisal and feedback could better strengthen teacher development

Teacher appraisal in the Czech Republic appears to have greater emphasis on accountability than teacher development and growth. It appears to be used by schools mostly as a summative tool to check teacher performance and assess eligibility for a pay rise or promotion (Santiago et al., 2012, p. 70). TALIS 2013 (OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey 2013) data shows that almost 50% of teachers either agree or strongly agree that teacher appraisal and feedback have limited influence on the way teachers teach in the classroom (OECD, 2014b, Table 5.8). Only half of teachers believe that feedback is provided based on a thorough assessment of their teaching.

Czech teachers report low levels of positive outcomes resulting from either formal or informal feedback, sitting below the TALIS average on most measures (Figure 4.11). In particular, after receiving feedback, only 60% of teachers report “moderate” or “large” positive changes to their teaching practice, and less than 55% report changes to their confidence and motivation. Around 50% report positive changes to use of formative assessment, and less than 30% to career advancement and amount of professional development.

Figure 4.11. Percentage of lower secondary education teachers who report a “moderate” or “large” positive change after they received feedback

Note: “Feedback” here refers to both informal and formal feedback. It covers any communication of the results of a review of an individual’s work, often with the purpose of noting good performance or identifying areas for development.

Source: OECD (2014b) TALIS 2013 Results: An International Perspective on Teaching and Learning,, Table 5.7. and outcomes of teacher feedback.

The monitoring, planning and distribution of teachers is not adequately addressed

Given the significant ageing of the teacher workforce in the Czech Republic, the ministry’s monitoring and planning role will become more critical as supply pressures intensify. The OECD review team gained the impression the ministry’s data systems could be strengthened to better monitor teacher supply and demand, in particular around current and future projections of teacher supply. While out-of-field teaching does not appear to be significant issue in the Czech Republic, shortages in subject areas such as especially science need to be closely monitored and proactively managed (discussed earlier under “context”).

A key issue in the planning and distribution of teachers is whether the best teachers are working where they are needed most, especially in disadvantaged schools from an equity perspective. Students who are struggling arguably need access to the best teachers in order to improve their performance. Research shows that schools with higher proportions of disadvantaged students are known to be least favoured by teachers (OECD, 2012a). Such schools are more likely to have staff shortages, and their students tend to find themselves in classes with the least experienced teachers. This is often pronounced in remote and rural settings.

The uneven distribution of quality teachers across schools appears to be a real concern in the Czech Republic. Disadvantaged schools are more likely than advantaged schools to report shortages of qualified or competent teachers. The index of teacher shortage between advantaged and disadvantaged schools is 0.60 in the Czech Republic, well above the OECD index difference of 0.32 (Schleicher, 2014). Other OECD data confirms that disadvantaged schools are less likely to have qualified teachers than advantaged schools (0.37), significantly above the OECD average (0.15) (Schleicher, 2014).17 At present there are no targeted programmes or incentives to motivate teachers to work in remote or regional areas, or schools with more challenging student populations in the Czech Republic (MŠMT, forthcoming).

The streaming of students into select-entry gymnasia may further exacerbate the uneven distribution of quality teachers across schools, although there is little data to confirm this. Anecdotal reports during the OECD review visit expressed that some basic mainstream schools found it harder to attract quality compared to select-entry gymnasia at lower secondary level.

An immediate issue in the supply of teacher skills in the Czech Republic is whether teachers in mainstream education schools have the capacity to adequately support expanding numbers of students with special needs in the near term. Major reforms are underway in 2015 to transition the number of special needs students from specialised schools and classes into mainstream education. While research finds that reduced segregation is likely to improve the education outcomes of this cohort,18 the success of this intervention will depend on whether teachers in mainstream settings are sufficiently equipped to meet additional needs. Such teachers will need to have the right skills, training, tools, materials and aides and other relevant support required.

Teacher resources appear high in secondary schooling by international comparisons

Analysis of class size and student-teacher ratios provides indications that there may be too many teachers at secondary level in the Czech Republic. As discussed earlier, class size and student-teacher ratios are below OECD average at secondary school indicating they are highly resource intensive. Research shows that investing in teacher quality over small class sizes is more effective in raising student outcomes, discussed further in Box 4.2 below.

Box 4.2. Trade-offs in decisions on use of teacher resources

Smaller class sizes are more expensive than larger classes as they use teacher resources more intensively, holding other factors constant. Smaller classes are often perceived as allowing teachers to focus more on the needs of individual students, yet there is little evidence to support this (with the exception of positive impacts on specific groups of students, such as those from disadvantaged backgrounds). According to recent findings from the 2013 OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS), smaller classes are not necessarily related to greater job satisfaction, except in some cases (OECD, 2014a, Box D2.1). However, there is also evidence that suggests a positive relationship between smaller classes and more innovative teaching practices (Hattie, 2009).

Smaller class sizes and student-teacher ratios often have to be weighed against higher salaries for teachers, investing in their professional development, greater investment in teaching technology, or more widespread use of assistant teachers and other paraprofessionals whose salaries are often considerably lower than those of qualified teachers (OECD, 2014a). Some high performing systems choose to have larger class sizes and instead reduce teacher workloads so that teachers have more time for professional learning, for example in Shanghai and Singapore (Jensen, Hunter, Sonnemann and Burns, 2012).

Source: OECD (2012b), “Indicator B3 How much public and private investment in education is there?”, in Education at a Glance 2012: OECD Indicators,; and Jensen, B. et al. (2012), Catching Up: Learning from the Best School Systems in East Asia, Grattan Institute, Melbourne, Victoria.

Policy recommendations

Increase efforts to attract and retain high calibre teachers

Improving the attractiveness of teaching is a key priority given the very low social status of teachers in the Czech Republic. While the ministry has taken steps to steadily increase teacher salaries over the past decade, these efforts should be strengthened. The ministry’s plan to introduce a new career structure is a step in the right direction and is commended.

To raise the public profile of teaching, the ministry should consider highly selective entry pathways. Other education systems such as the US and UK have enacted such reforms to strengthen their teaching workforce. “Teach for America” is one initiative that has helped in attracting outstanding college graduates to work in disadvantaged schools. While findings have been mixed, research shows positive effects of the programme on participant teacher beliefs and increasing the likelihood that the high calibre graduates will pursue a career in education (Fryer and Dobbie, forthcoming). In addition, the English government enacted a series of reforms in 2000 to strengthen its teaching workforce, including expanding alternative pathways in teaching, and launched an aggressive marketing campaign. This resulted in a significant reduction in teacher shortages and England now has one of the youngest teaching workforces in the world (OECD, 2014c; OECD, 2011).

To further improve the appeal of the profession, a key policy priority for the ministry is to make the everyday work of teachers less isolating and more motivating. Addressing low teacher morale in the profession is a key issue. It is suggested the ministry increase opportunities that tap into the intrinsic motivation of teachers to improve student learning. Evidence shows that teachers are more motivated to improve where there are learning opportunities that are specific and relevant to their regular work (Stoll, Fink and Earl, 2003; Timperley, Wilson, Barrar and Fung, 2007). The working environment of schools could be better organised so teachers have collaborative groups and safe forums to discuss and solve specific, concrete problems that occur in daily practice (discussed further below).

The ministry should also consider raising the selectivity of candidates to raise the calibre of those becoming teachers. This should be considered at two stages: firstly, the quality of candidates accepted into initial teacher education, and secondly the standards that must be demonstrated to graduate from beginning teacher to qualified teacher. At the first stage, the ministry should explore approaches that can help better screen candidates into initial teacher education, such as encouraging providers to use more in-depth procedures that assess whether the individuals wanting to become teachers have the necessary motivation, skills, knowledge and personal qualities (specific assessments). Additionally, flexible programme structures can provide student teachers with school experience early in the course, with opportunities to transfer into other courses if their motivation towards teaching changes as a result.19

The ministry’s plans to establish assessments at the end of the first year of teaching should help to raise teacher selectivity. However assessments on their own will not be effective in changing teaching practice in a sustained way unless there is also a culture of continuous improvement and deep learning in the school (discussed further below). It is also important that the new assessment also avoids overly cumbersome processes that only lead to compliance and not improvement.

The full range of potential policy options to improve teaching attractiveness is outlined in Box 4.3.

Box 4.3. Policy options for improving the attractiveness of the teaching profession

A large international study in 2010 found that Singapore, Korea and Finland undertake a mix of the following to improve attractiveness of teaching:

  • Make entry into teacher training highly selective.

  • Pay for tuition and fees, give students a salary or student stipend while they train.

  • Offer competitive compensation and in some cases, performance pay.

  • Offer opportunities for advancement and professional growth throughout career.

The mix of initiatives used to boost attraction is important and specific approaches should not be considered in isolation. For example, in Singapore, prospective teachers are selected into initial teacher education by panels that consider strong academic ability and commitment to the profession. But Singapore also places huge emphasis on making the profession attractive. Student teachers receive a tuition waiver and are provided an additional stipend during training in exchange for a commitment of 3 to 5 years of service. The Ministry of Education ensures that starting salaries of teachers are adjusted to be in line with other professions, and teachers have the opportunity to move up career ladders and earn performance pay (Jensen et al., 2012).

The OECD (2005) provides a full range of policy pointers on what systems can do to improve the attractiveness of teaching:

  • Improve the image and status of teaching, for example promotional programmes to allow career change both to, and from, teaching, as well as general campaigns and media.

  • Improve salary competitiveness and employment conditions, including targeting larger salary increases to key groups in short supply.

  • Make reward mechanisms more flexible – for example expanding incentives with substantial salary allowances for teaching in difficult areas, transportation help for teachers in remote areas or bonuses for teachers with skills in short supply.

  • Improve entrance conditions for new teachers, for example provide well-structured and resourced induction programmes for new teachers.

  • Expand the supply pool of potential teachers, for example enable suitably qualified candidates from outside teaching to start working and earning before completing teacher training qualifications.

  • Capitalise on an oversupply of teachers by being more selective, for example make teacher selection criteria and processes include interviews, aptitude tests, preparation of lesson plans and demonstration of teaching skills.

Source: Auguste, B., P. Kihn and M. Miller (2010), Closing the Talent Gap: Attracting and Retaining Top-Third Graduates to Careers in Teaching, McKinsey & Company; OECD (2005), Teachers Matter: Attracting, Developing and Retaining Effective Teachers,; Roberts-Hull, K., B. Jensen and S. Cooper (2015), A New Approach: Teacher Education Reform, Learning First, Melbourne.

Improve the quality of initial teacher education

It is recommended that the ministry take action to help strengthen links to practical experience in initial teacher education. The application of education theory to practical classroom teaching is an essential part of a beginning teacher’s development (Barber and Mourshed, 2007). Measures that may help to achieve this include establishing a framework or guidelines for ’quality’ practicum placements as an industry benchmark, or providing better incentives for schools to ensure practicums are a valuable learning experience, including sufficient pay, time and support for schools who participate. In addition to raising the quality of practical placements, the duration should be extended. The OECD review team understands practical experience is two weeks on average in the Czech Republic.

High performing systems integrate a substantial practical component within their initial teacher education. In Singapore, pre-service teachers have 22 weeks of practicum in a school over the four years of their degree (Jensen et al., 2012). The practicum includes observation, co-teaching and eventually teaching with the assistance of a mentor. The practical components of the degree start in the first year and increase over the duration of the course. In the one-year postgraduate programme, 40% of the course is devoted to the practicum. Japanese pre-service teachers spend up to two days a week in one-on-one coaching in their classrooms during their first year of initial teacher education (Roberts-Hull et al., 2015).

Greater pressure should also be applied to providers to lift the quality of course provision. One feasible option is to strengthen formal feedback loops between schools, the ministry and both initial teacher education and continuing professional development (in particular the NIDV) providers to make the quality more transparent, with consequences for failure to improve poor provision. In Singapore, there is constant feedback between the National Institute for Education (which provides the theoretical foundation of training in education), the schools (which provide the practical experience), and the ministry (which sets the strategy and direction for the teaching profession.) Constant feedback and evaluation on the programme allows for changes to the curriculum and structure of the training to better suit school and ministry needs; conversely, the National Institute for Education can inform policy and practice with relevant research (Jensen et al., 2012). Another option is to adopt the approach of high performing systems such as Korea and Taiwan, which regulate the student intake for providers based on their programme quality. The government lowers the number of students that can enter poor quality programmes and raises the number of entrants for high quality programmes (Roberts-Hull et al., 2015). Linking the quality of the course to the number of students that can be enrolled creates an incentive for providers to lift the quality of their programmes.

Embed professional learning within everyday teaching practice, and increase the use of feedback, observation, student data and collaboration in the school

The most powerful form of professional learning occurs when it is integrated in everyday teaching practice (Hattie, 2009; OECD, 2005; Timperley et al., 2007). Currently, this kind of professional learning receives little attention across schools in the Czech Republic, and it is recommended the ministry take steps to encourage it. Research shows the most effective teacher learning involves collecting, evaluating and acting on feedback to modify their own teaching practices. In Hattie’s 2009 meta-analysis, intensive observation and analysis, or ’microteaching’, is shown to be most effective in lifting student outcomes, along with practices such as formative evaluation (ranked 3rd) and feedback (ranked 10th) in effects.

Research shows it is particularly important for professional learning to make a specific connection to an individual teachers’ practice or to a problem within the school (Stoll et al., 2003; Timperley et al., 2007). The most effective learning activities help teachers to examine what they do in the classroom, what works and why. Individuals often need to see evidence of impact before changing practice (Kolb, 1984; Timperley, 2008). Improvement will not occur through only understanding theory and evidence, but through numerous activities such as observation, demonstration, practice, and feedback (Showers and Joyce, 2002).

The ministry can encourage schools and teachers to focus of this kind of effective teacher learning in various ways. For example, by setting clear strategic expectations that teachers continuously assess, review and improve their practices. This can be embedded as a core responsibility of school leaders to help education staff develop in this way. Further, school-level planning processes should be required to focus on this type of teacher learning and development in schools.

Teachers can be encouraged to set own goals for development within their individual development planning processes, known to increase motivation for learning in the workplace. The use of student assessment data should be central to identifying teacher development needs and goals within this process. Further, it is recommended that teacher job descriptions in the new career structures incorporate the use of peer observation, demonstration and feedback. These practices can be embedded within specific programmes such as learning communities and mentoring in the school.

While the new career system will expand mentoring, there should be more of a focus on establishing intensive learning communities in schools (which is currently missing). Given low teacher self-efficacy in the Czech Republic, opportunities for team work can help build confidence to try out improved approaches together. Collaborative learning communities provide safe environments for teachers to challenge existing assumptions. Active, shared discussions force individuals to articulate why they are working in a certain way, and unpack their tacit assumptions on what works and why (Timperley et al., 2007). High performing systems such as Shanghai, Japan and Singapore use professional learning communities as a key vehicle for teacher growth and development (Barber and Mourshed, 2007; Jensen et al., 2012). Teachers work together to set learning goals, research and try new approaches, observe others, receive feedback, and assess evidence of impact in the school. Such groups tend to have strong leadership to guide others through the continuous improvement process. Teachers promoted to the highest career levels in the new career system in the Czech Republic could promote and lead such communities.

While it is recommended that the ministry increase support for this type of teacher learning in every day practice, there should also be clear incentives and accountabilities for these activities as well. Teacher development and accountability do not need to be separate endeavours, but mutually reinforcing. This is done well in a number of high performing systems such as Shanghai and Singapore, for example where teachers are expected to work together as a key criteria for promotion in the career system (Jensen et al., 2012).

Improve teacher appraisal for development purposes

The ministry should encourage teacher appraisal to have more of a development focus in addition to its accountability function. While rates of teacher appraisal (and feedback within it) are high in the Czech Republic, it appears to have low impact on actual positive changes in teaching practices (discussed above). One step the ministry can take is to promote a wider range of appraisal tools than just school principal observation which may be associated with accountability purposes. For example peer observation and feedback can be very powerful, as well as feedback from student surveys known to have a high correlation with teaching effectiveness (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, 2013).

The proposed new career structure should help improve links between teacher appraisal, teacher development plans and school-level objectives, which is commended. Connecting individual needs with school-level objectives and mission is important for whole school improvement and system alignment. Further, the ministry should encourage new teaching standards to be fully utilised within appraisal to better connect teacher development needs and professional development processes.

Improve oversight of external training provision

The ministry should review arrangements at the regional level for overseeing provision of external training. While the open market for the provision of professional development has many players, it was unclear the extent to which regions or providers have a clear picture of the needs of teachers, and if those needs are being met.

Tight strategic direction and increased accountability for professional learning throughout the system should be enacted; so that regions are held accountable for their role in overseeing professional learning in schools. It is also suggested that information flows are improved on whether teacher development needs are being satisfied by external training providers. It is recommended that more information is systematically collected from teachers on the quality of courses undertaken and whether it me their needs.

Improve monitoring of teacher supply and demand, and expand incentives for teachers to work in specific areas

The ministry should improve the monitoring of teacher supply and demand and better plan for future demographic shifts in student enrolments. This includes subject areas of teacher shortage, especially in science subjects where out-of-field teaching is high by international comparisons. The ministry should consider a range of initiatives to encourage teachers to work in these specialist subject areas such as fee waivers and scholarships for initial teacher education, salary bonuses and recognition of work experience in areas of skill shortage.

Disadvantaged schools are known to experience significant difficulties in attracting qualified teachers in the Czech Republic (discussed earlier), and the ministry should increase incentives for high quality teachers to work in these areas. While there is limited evidence on what motivates effective teachers to work in these challenging settings, a number of studies consistently find that both financial and non-financial factors are important (Mourshed, Chijioke and Barber, 2010; OECD, 2012a; Rice, 2010). Professional factors matter, such as opportunities to take on extra responsibilities and positions of influence, reforms and innovation, and developing strong leadership and collegiality in professional development (OECD, 2012a; Rice, 2010). The ministry should support disadvantaged schools in these areas as a priority to help attract the best teachers where they are needed most.

Develop capacity of teachers in mainstream schools to teach students with special needs

Given new reforms will see many more special need students entering mainstream education in 2016, the ministry must ensure teachers in mainstream schools have the right skills, training, tools, materials and aides and other relevant support in this area. Any legislative restrictions that prevent collaboration or job-sharing arrangements between teachers in special schools and mainstream schools should be removed. Collaboration with (and mentoring from) special need teachers can help upskill the broader teaching workforce.


Auguste, B., P. Kihn and M. Miller (2010), Closing the Talent Gap: Attracting and Retaining Top-Third Graduates to Careers in Teaching, McKinsey & Company.

Barber, M. and M. Mourshed (2007), How the World’s Best-performing Schools Come Out on Top. McKinsey & Company,

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (2013), Ensuring Fair and Reliable Measures of Effective Teaching: Culminating Findings from the MET Project’s Three-Year Study, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle, Reliable_Measures_Practitioner_Brief.pdf.

European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education (n.d.), Czech Republic – Teacher training – Basic and Specialist Teacher Training,

Eurydice (2015), Overview – Teachers and Other Education Staff,

Eurydice (2014), Teachers’ and School Heads’ Salaries and Allowances in Europe, 2013/14. Eurydice Network,

Field, S., M. Kuczera and B. Pont (2007), No More Failures: Ten Steps to Equity in Education, OECD Publishing, Paris,

Fryer, R. and W. Dobbie (forthcoming), “The impact of voluntary youth service on future outcomes: Evidence from teach for America”, B. E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy, Advances Tier.

Hanushek, E.A., S. Link and L. Wöβmann (2011), “Does school autonomy make sense everywhere?”, NBER Working Paper 17591, National Bureau of Economic Research,

Hattie, J. (2009), Visible Learning: A Synthesis of Over 800 Meta-Analyses Relating to Achievement, Milton Park, Routledge, United Kingdom.

Jensen, B. et al. (2012), Catching Up: Learning from the Best School Systems in East Asia, Grattan Institute, Melbourne, Victoria.

Kolb, D.A. (1984), Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development, Prentice Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, NJ.

Mourshed, M., C. Chijioke and M. Barber (2010), How the World’s Most Improved School Systems Keep Getting Better, McKinsey and Company, London.

MŠMT (forthcoming), OECD Review of Policies to Improve the Effectiveness of Resource Use in Schools National Background Report: Czech Republic, Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Prague.

OECD (2014a), Education at a Glance: OECD Indicators 2014, OECD Publishing, Paris,

OECD (2014b), TALIS 2013 Results: An International Perspective on Teaching and Learning, OECD Publishing, Paris,

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OECD (2012b), “Indicator B3 How much public and private investment in education is there?”, in Education at a Glance 2012: OECD Indicators, OECD Publishing, Paris,

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OECD (2005), Teachers Matter: Attracting, Developing and Retaining Effective Teachers, OECD Publishing, Paris,

Rice, S.M. (2010), “Getting our best teachers into disadvantaged schools: differences in the professional and personal factors attracting more effective and less effective teachers to a school”, Education Research and Policy Practice, 9(3), Springer Netherlands, pp. 177-192.

Roberts-Hull, K., B. Jensen and S. Cooper (2015), A New Approach: Teacher Education Reform, Learning First, Melbourne.

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Schleicher, A. (2014), Equity, Excellence and Inclusiveness in Education: Policy Lessons from Around the World, OECD Publishing, Paris,

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Stoll, L., D. Fink and L. Earl (2003), It’s about Learning (and It’s about Time). What’s in it for Schools, Routledge Falmer, London.

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Timperley, H. et al. (2007), Teacher Professional Learning and Development: Best Evidence Synthesis Iteration. Ministry of Education, Auckland,

Annex 4.A1. Data for Chapter 4
Table 4.A1.1. Number of teachers in mainstream schools, by level of schooling education, 2005, 2009 and 2013




Change between 2005 and 2013 (%)

Basic education – first stage

 27 586

 27 635

29 025


Basic education – second stage

 35 572

 30 782

29 244


General secondary education

 47 352

 46 489

40 214



  1 020


 1 158



111 530

105 904

99 641


Note: This includes teachers in public, private and church schools.

Source: MŠMT (forthcoming), OECD Review of Policies to Improve the Effectiveness of Resource Use in Schools National Background Report: Czech Republic, Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Prague.

Table 4.A1.2. Number of students in mainstream schools, by level of schooling education, 2005, 2009 and 2013




Change between 2005 and 2013 (%)

Basic education – first stage

 282 183

 314 008

 363 568


Basic education – second stage

 473 269

 460 754

 505 983


General secondary education

 443 306

 333 705

 321 671



 577 605

 556 260

 448 792



1 497 675

1 354 154

1 280 136


Source: MŠMT (forthcoming), OECD Review of Policies to Improve the Effectiveness of Resource Use in Schools National Background Report: Czech Republic, Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Prague.

Table 4.A1.3. Number of nursery teachers and students in mainstream schools, 2005, 2009 and 2013




Change between 2005 and 2013 (%)

Nursery teachers

 22 485

 24 584

 28 583


Nursery students

282 183

314 008

363 568


Source: MŠMT (forthcoming), OECD Review of Policies to Improve the Effectiveness of Resource Use in Schools National Background Report: Czech Republic, Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Prague.

Table 4.A1.4. Teacher average monthly wage in CZK, male and female, 2006, 2010 and 2013

Basic school

Secondary school












21 855

24 044

26 021

23 294

25 894

27 163

17 118

18 893

22 365


22 093

24 100

26 102

23 901

26 506

27 531




Difference (male higher by percentage)










x: not applicable.

Source: MŠMT (forthcoming), OECD Review of Policies to Improve the Effectiveness of Resource Use in Schools National Background Report: Czech Republic, Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Prague.

Table 4.A1.5. Change in age distribution of teachers, Czech Republic and OECD, 2007-12

Czech Republic

< 30 years

30-39 years

40-49 years

50-59 years

>= 60 years

Percentage under 40 years

Decline in percentage under 40 from 2007-12

















Lower secondary
















Upper secondary

















< 30 years

30-39 years

40-49 years

50-59 years

>= 60 years

Percentage under 40 years

Decline in percentage under 40 from 2007-12

















Lower secondary
















Upper secondary
















Source: OECD (2009), Education at a Glance 2009: OECD Indicators,, Table D7.1. (Web only) Age distribution of teachers (2007); OECD (2014a), Education at a Glance: OECD Indicators 2014,, Table D5.1. Age distribution of teachers (2012).

Table 4.A1.6. Inclusion of pedagogical workers in salary categories according to the Work Catalogue and annual salary tariff

Job title

Salary category

Minimum (CZK)

Maximum (CZK)

Nursery school teachers

Leisure time pedagogues


180 000

271 200

School-teachers at the 1st and 2nd stages

Teachers of general and vocational subjects at secondary schools, conservatoires and higher vocational schools

Teachers at primary artistic schools

Pedagogues in facilities for the in-service training of pedagogical staff

Special pedagogues and psychologists


244 200

325 200

Teachers of practical instruction and professional training


240 000

279 000

Pedagogue’s assistants


114 600

264 600

Educators (according to the type of facility they work in)


180 000

301 800

Source: Provided to the review team by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.

Figure 4.A1.1. Trend in number of students and teachers in schools, 2005/06-2013/14

Source: MŠMT (forthcoming), OECD Review of Policies to Improve the Effectiveness of Resource Use in Schools National Background Report: Czech Republic, Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Prague.

Figure 4.A1.2. Change in age distribution of teachers in the Czech Republic and OECD, 2007-12

Source: OECD (2009), Education at a Glance 2009: OECD Indicators,

Figure 4.A1.3. Ratio of students to teaching staff, primary and secondary, 2012

Source: OECD (2012b), “Indicator B3 How much public and private investment in education is there?”, in Education at a Glance 2012: OECD Indicators,, Table D2.2.


← 1. The statistical data for Israel are supplied by and under the responsibility of the relevant Israeli authorities. The use of such data by the OECD is without prejudice to the status of the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem and Israeli settlements in the West Bank under the terms of international law.

← 2. In 2013/14 there were 99 641 teachers working in basic schools, secondary schools and conservatoires (MŠMT, forthcoming). This includes teachers in public, private and church schools.

← 3. The student-teacher ratio at secondary school level dropped from 13.1 in 2004 to 11 in 2012. This decline does not follow the trend in the OECD average over that period which remained stable across countries (OECD, 2014a, Table D2.2; OECD, 2006, Table D2.2).

← 4. This applies to teachers in basic, secondary, special education, vocational education (general and vocational courses).

← 5. Primary teachers (at the first stage of basic schools) and teachers of general and theoretical technical subjects at upper levels are required to have an academic master’s degree (Level 7 in ISCED 2011, including either a long first degree of at least 5 years or a second or further degree following successful completion of a bachelor’s or equivalent programme) (Eurydice, 2014).

← 6. Teachers of music, art, foreign languages and physical education, who work at primary and secondary schools, have alternative routes to become qualified (in addition to mainstream avenues). Specialised study options for these teachers are included in the Pedagogical Workers Act (MŠMT, forthcoming).

← 7. In practical courses, individuals are required to have completed the secondary school maturita as well as Czech accredited studies of pedagogy, at least 120 hours (the so called “pedagogical minimum”). In practical training, individuals are required to have completed secondary school with an apprenticeship as well as the Czech accredited studies of pedagogy.

← 8. Since 2012, the master’s programme for a special education teacher need not focus specifically on special pedagogy, however in these cases individuals must also complete follow-up studies to extend their professional qualifications (sourced from MŠMT, forthcoming).

← 9. The prerequisites for entering the teaching profession detailed in the Act on Educational Staff include: i) having full legal capacity; ii) being qualified for the direct educational activity being performed; iii) not having a criminal record; iv) being in good state of health; and v) proving knowledge of the Czech language (Santiago et al., 2012).

← 10. This refers to teachers at basic schools (including basic art schools), secondary schools and conservatoires (MŠMT, forthcoming).

← 11. Over 80% report participating in professional learning activities in the previous 12 months (OECD, 2014b, Table 4.7).

← 12. Providers must seek accreditation from the MŠMT. An ’educational institution’ is granted accreditation for a period of six years and an ’educational programme’ for third years. The MŠMT checks the activities performed within the framework of accredited programmes and keeps records of all accredited educational institutions and programmes (MŠMT, forthcoming).

← 13. See the National Institute for Further Education website (

← 14. This is for lower-secondary education teachers (OECD, 2014b, Table 6.12).

← 15. This is for lower-secondary education teachers (OECD, 2014b, Table 6.12).

← 16. In more serious cases, teachers and school leaders can draw on the advice of the Czech School Inspectorate as well (MŠMT, forthcoming).

← 17. These figures represent the simple correlation between the school mean socio-economic background and percentage of teachers with university-level degree among all full-time teachers.

← 18. An OECD (2012a) report finds that early student selection exacerbates differences in learning between students. It has an impact on educational inequities, as any given pathway and any given school affects learning in two ways. First, the teaching environment can vary, since it depends on the curriculum, the teachers and the resources. Less demanding tracks tend to provide less stimulating learning environments. Second, students’ outcomes can also be affected by the students alongside them (Field, Kuczera, and Pont, 2007; OECD, 2012a, p. 58).

← 19. Raising admission standards to initial teacher education is an option pursued by some high performing systems, however this is not recommended for the Czech Republic at this point given the poor working conditions, pay, and low teacher status. Raising entry requirements without first addressing these issues may have little positive effect.