New Eurydice Report on teachers' and school heads' salaries and allowances in Europe


The annual Eurydice report’s  aim is to provide an overview of the remuneration of full-time, fully qualified teachers and school heads in public and government-dependent private schools in 39 European education systems during the school year of  2020-2021.

Overall, there are significant differences in the statutory salaries of teachers approaching the profession, ranging from EUR 4 000 to EUR 92 000 per year, depending on the country. Teachers' salaries vary depending on the level of education and  the salary discrepancies depend on the minimum qualification requirements for teachers to enter the profession. On average, pre-primary teachers tend to earn less than upper secondary ones. This trend occurs in the majority of countries but not in all of them: Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Montenegro provide the same salary for all education levels. Furthermore, data show that attracting and retaining teachers is possible when there is a quick and appropriate increase in salaries throughout careers and at the end of the year. On the same note, ETUCE strongly believes that increasing salary progression is successful in raising the recruitment and retention of young teachers.

The Eurydice report indicates that salaries increased in the school year of 2020-2021 in comparison with the previous year. However, generally the increase has been modest or index-linked to inflation. In this regard, ETUCE believes that fair and appropriate salaries for teachers need to be ensured and to be adjusted to the rising cost of living. It is essential to consider that salaries have been impacted first by the COVID-19 crisis and then even more so by the energy crisis and inflation. In this regard, it is noteworthy that in ten countries, namely Belgium (German-speaking and Flemish Communities), Spain, France, Italy, Finland, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Norway and Portugal, the annual statutory starting salaries of teachers (adjusted for inflation) remained the same or lower between the school years of 2014-2015 and 2020-2021. In contrast, the highest increases – more than 30% – over the last five years can be found in several central and eastern European countries, e.g. in Bulgaria, Czechia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania,  Slovakia, Serbia, and in Iceland .

The report dedicates a section to school heads’ salaries which vary depending on the size of the school and are often paid according to a different salary scale than teachers. It is remarkable that the minimum statutory salary for school heads is equivalent or lower to the salary for teachers with 15 years’ experience in several countries. The French Community of Belgium and Czechia are examples of countries where the salaries of school heads are lower than those of teachers. ETUCE believes that salaries of teachers and school leaders must be increased in many countries to provide appropriate pay, decent working conditions and attract talented workforce.

On 7 October, Eurydice released a report on the length of compulsory education within the European education systems.  This shows that full-time compulsory education/training usually lasts 10-11 years and ends at the age of 15-16. The shortest duration (8-9 years) happens in Estonia, Croatia, Poland, Slovenia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Liechtenstein, Montenegro and Serbia. The longest duration of full-time compulsory education/training is set in France, where it lasts 15 years (from the ages of 3 to 18 years)." Additional  explanatory graphs present  the structures of formal education in the EU countries, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia and Turkey in the new Eurydice publication on the structure of the European education systems 2022.