European Commission: Key Data on Teachers and School Leaders in Europe, 2013 Edition

European Commission: Key Data on Teachers and School Leaders in Europe, 2013 Edition

Executive Summary:

Full Report:


The need to ensure high quality teaching has become one of the key objectives of the Strategic Framework for Education and Training (‘ET 2020’). The framework underlines the importance to provide adequate initial teacher education, continuous professional development for teachers, and to make teaching an attractive career-choice. It is therefore important to collect and analyse reliable information on the state of play of this profession in European countries.

This first edition of Key Data on Teachers and School Leaders in Europe contains 62 indicators. It belongs to the Key Data series, the aim of which is to combine statistical data and qualitative information on European education systems.

The Eurydice Network has a long-standing tradition of collecting information related to teachers within the framework of Key Data on Education (general volume) as well as for thematic studies usually containing a separate chapter or section on teachers.

Structure and Content

The report is organised into six subject-based chapters entitled Initial Teacher Education and Support for Beginning Teachers; Recruitment, Employers and Contracts; Continuing Professional Development and Mobility; Working Conditions and Pay; Levels of Autonomy and Responsibilities of Teachers and School Leaders.

The report presents information for teachers in pre-primary (ISCED 0), primary (ISCED 1) and general lower and upper secondary education (ISCED 2-3). However, for some indicators, information for teachers in pre-primary education could not be collected. Public sector education institutions are the main focus of most of the indicators (except for Belgium, Ireland and the Netherlands, where information on grant-aided private schools is also integrated as they account for an important part of school enrolments in these countries). In some statistical indicators, information on public and also private (both grant-aided and independent) institutions is provided for all countries.

The complementary nature of qualitative and quantitative information has been enhanced by input from the contextual questionnaires of the TALIS 2008 and PISA 2009 international surveys carried out by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) as well as from the TIMSS 2011 survey carried out by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA). These indicators provide a useful supplement to the material from Eurydice and Eurostat, as they offer a picture of what occurs in practice in schools and classrooms.

Sources and Coverage

Five sources of information have thus been used for the report, namely mostly information supplied by the Eurydice Network, data from Eurostat and data taken from the contextual questionnaires of the international surveys TALIS 2008, PISA 2009 and TIMSS 2011.

This Key Data on Teachers and School Leaders in Europe report covers 32 European countries (37 education systems), i.e. all those involved in the Eurydice Network under the European Union’s Lifelong Learning Programme (2007-2013) (with the exception of Serbia and Switzerland). Eurostat, TALIS, PISA and TIMSS data are given only for the countries taking part in the Lifelong Learning Programme.

Eurydice information gathering

The Eurydice indicators supply information derived primarily from legislation, national regulations and other official education documents. This information is gathered by the National Units in the Eurydice Network, on the basis of common definitions. Where the matter examined is of the responsibility of local authorities or individual institutions and therefore is not governed by central-level regulation, this is clearly stated in the Figure.

On the whole, this information is generally of a qualitative nature. A few indicators offer quantitative information (such as teachers’ retirement age, working time and salaries).

Statistical data collection by Eurostat

All the information provided in this report (for Figures D1, D11, D12, D13, D15 and F8) was obtained from the Eurostat database in July 2012 and the reference year is 2010.

All Eurostat statistical data are available at:

The joint UOE (UNESCO/OECD/EUROSTAT) questionnaires are used by the three organisations to collect internationally comparable data on key aspects of education systems on an annual basis using administrative sources.

For the description of PISA 2009, TALIS 2008 and TIMSS 2011, please refer to the glossary at the end of the report.


Questionnaires were prepared by the Eurydice Unit within the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) jointly with National Units in the Network. The Eurydice Unit within the EACEA also exploited the findings of the context-oriented questionnaires in the TALIS 2008, PISA 2009 and TIMSS 2011 surveys.

All analytical content based on qualitative and quantitative data in the report was drafted by the Eurydice Unit within the EACEA. The Eurydice Network undertook the checking of the content of the entire report.

The six indicators on the salaries of teachers and school heads have been taken from the document Teachers’ and School Heads’ Salaries and Allowances in Europe, published in October 2012 on the Eurydice website. No new data collection has been made for these indicators. Further information on the impact of the financial crisis on teachers’ and school heads’ salaries and allowances can be found in the document Funding of Education in Europe 2000-2012: The Impact of the Economic Crisis.

The Eurydice Unit within EACEA is responsible for the final publication and layout of the report. It is also responsible for all work entailed in preparing maps, diagrams and other graphic material. Finally, the summary entitled ‘Main Findings’ at the beginning of the report is the sole responsibility of the Eurydice Unit within the EACEA.

Conventions and Presentation of Content

Values associated with each quantitative indicator are presented in a table below the diagram concerned. Each figure is accompanied by an explanatory note and country specific notes directly underneath it. The explanatory note contains all details concerning terminology and conceptual aspects, needed for a proper understanding of the indicator and the figure. The country specific notes provide information that should be taken into account for the correct interpretation of the figure for particular countries.

Country name codes, statistical codes and the abbreviations and acronyms used are set out at the beginning of the report. The glossary of terms and statistical tools employed are included at the end of the report.

A list of all figures in the report is also included at the end of the publication indicating the source and the educational levels covered (ISCED 0, ISCED 1-3). This version of Key Data on Teachers and School Leaders in Europe is also available in electronic form on the Eurydice website.

All those who have contributed in any way to this collective undertaking are listed at the end of the report.


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