Education news

North's primary school teachers older than average

The UK has one of the youngest teaching workforces among the world's leading economies, although staff in the north are older on average

PRIMARY school teachers in the north's classrooms are older than the UK average.

A new report found that Britain and Northern Ireland has one of the youngest teaching workforces among the world's leading economies.

Almost one in three primary teachers (31 per cent) are 30 or younger, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) latest Education at a Glance study indicates.

This is compared with 13 per cent on average across OECD countries.

In Northern Ireland, however, only 12 per cent of primary teachers are in their twenties.

Separate figures from the General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland show roughly that one third of primary staff are aged in their thirties while a similar proportion are 40-49.

There are more employed teachers aged 60 and over than there are aged 24 or younger in the north.

A gulf in pay between England and Northern Ireland may explain why there are more young teachers.

Last week, the British government announced plans to raise teacher starting salaries in England to £30,000 by September 2022.

Those starting out in the north earn £22,243 on point one of the main pay scale and will only take home £30,000 after five years.

The Department for Education in England said it wanted "the brightest and the best young talent to be drawn to the teaching profession".

"These young teachers bring vibrancy, new ideas and energy to the classroom, creating an inspiring learning environment for young people," a spokesman said.

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