Youngest and the best paid: Report shows teachers in UK earn one of the highest salaries

Teachers have the sixth highest salaries in the developing world

Teachers in England are among the best paid in the world, a new report revealed on Friday.

UK teachers earn on average £40 per hour, the sixth highest in the developed world, a report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) revealed.

The UK has a relatively young academic workforce, with 60 per cent of teachers in the classroom under the age of 40 and 31 per cent of teachers aged 30 and younger, the report also noted. This puts the UK in “stark contrast” with other countries, where the teaching population is much older.

In recent years, concerns have been raised in England over teacher recruitment, due to an increasing proportion of the teaching population nearing retirement age.

The OECD said: “The relatively young teaching force in the UK stands in stark contrast to the situation in many European countries where inflexible employment conditions coupled with declining youth populations have led to ageing teacher populations.”

The report shows that English teachers start their careers with higher than average salaries. But the researchers add that in England a teacher's salary at the top of the scale does not increase after 10 years' experience, so it eventually falls behind an OECD average of around £29,500.

On average, an English primary teacher's starting salary is around £19,600, compared with an average across OECD countries of around £18,700. After ten years this reaches around £28,700, much higher than the OECD average of almost £23,000.

The best paid teachers can be found in Luxembourg, where after 15 years they will find themselves earning £58,718 a year. The 810 hours spent in the classroom equates to an hourly pay of £72.49.

The OECD's wide-ranging annual study looks at every area of education, from early years through to university.

It highlighted that England's schoolchildren spend just under 8,000 hours of lesson time during their primary and first years of education, compared with the OECD average of 7,751. Virtually all of the time English pupils spend in the classroom is compulsory.

Andreas Schleicher, the OECD's Deputy Director for education and skills, said there is a link between the time pupils spend in the classroom and results. “Learning time actually does matter,” he suggested.

The study also reveals that private funding in the UK for higher education - such as money from tuition fees - almost quadrupled between 2000 and 2010.

Additional reporting by PA