The European Commission has published the 8th Education and Training Monitor, which was presented by European Commissioner for Education Tibor Navracsics at the 2nd European Education Summit. The report reveals that (pre-)primary and tertiary education are getting more funding, while secondary schools face cuts. Approximately a third of the EU’s 5.7 million teachers are 50 or older.

As usual, this year’s Education and Training Monitor puts an emphasis on EU member states’ achievements in line with the Education and Training 2020 Framework and shows measures taken to address education-related issues as part of the European Semester process.

The 2019 Monitor puts an emphasis on teachers’ career development, training, salaries and appraisal. According to the survey, only 18% of lower secondary school teachers in the EU consider their profession as valued by society.

During the 2nd Educational Summit, Commissioner Tibor Navracsics presented the main findings of the Monitor:

  • 5.7 million people work as teachers in primary and secondary education in the EU
  • 32.8% of primary school teachers and 39% of secondary school teachers were at least 50 years old in 2017
  • 37.8% of teachers are qualified to teach disabled students
  • 23.5% of teachers are qualified to teach in multicultural classrooms
  • 24.2% of teachers are qualified to teach in classes of disadvantaged students

This year’s edition shows the progress that has been made since the establishment of the Education and Training 2020 framework in 2009, but still approximately 20% of 15 year old pupils across Europe are at risk of educational poverty.
According to the Monitor, EU Member States invested 4.6% of their GDP in their education systems, a decrease from 4.9% in 2014. Public investment in secondary and post-secondary education decreased (-1.3%, between 2016 and 2017) while there were increases for pre-primary and primary education (+1.4%) and tertiary education (+1.7%).

Presenting the Monitor at the 2nd EU Education Summit, Commissioner Tibor Navracsics emphasised the need to respect and better value teachers in our society. In response, our President Christine Blower took the floor to remind Commissioner Navracsics that giving teachers prestige does not put food on the table. She said it is understandable that defining pay levels is a national competence, but EU financial policies still have an impact on teachers’ salaries and pensions. These must be improved, so it is important to keep in mind the effect of EU policies.

Read the full Education and Training Monitor here.