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Education Trends 2000-2009
added: 2011-10-27

At primary level, the number of pupils per teacher varies significantly between Member States. In 2009 they ranged from around 10 pupils on average per teacher in Malta, Lithuania, Denmark and Poland to nearly 20 pupils per teacher in France and the United Kingdom. In the EU27, there were on average 15 pupils per teacher in 2009.

The number of pupils per teacher in primary education fell between 2000 and 2009 in eighteen of the 22 Member States for which data are available. The most significant falls were recorded in Malta (from 19 pupils per teacher in 2000 to 9 in 2009), Lithuania (from 17 to 10), Latvia (from 18 to 11) and Ireland (from 22 to 16). It is important to note that the decrease in this ratio does not necessarily mean that more teaching time is directly allocated to pupils.

Nearly half of primary teachers in Germany, Sweden and Italy are aged over 50

At primary level, teaching is dominated by women, with on average 86% of primary teachers in 2009 being women in the EU27. More than 95% of primary teachers were women in the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Lithuania and Hungary. Only in Denmark (69%), Spain and Luxembourg (both 74%) was the share below three quarters.

On average across the EU27 in 2009, 29% of primary teachers were aged over 50. The proportion of teachers in this age group was particularly high in Germany (49%), Sweden (48%) and Italy (45%). The lowest shares of teachers aged over 50 were recorded in Cyprus (3%), Poland (13%) and Slovenia (18%).

92% of children in pre-primary education in the EU27 in 2009

In the EU27 in 2009, 92% of children from 4 years old to the starting age of compulsory education participated in early childhood (pre-primary) education, compared with 86% in 2000. In 2009, 95% or more of children in this age group attended pre-primary education in eleven Member States, already meeting the 2020 education and training benchmark. In addition, significant progress towards the benchmark level was observed in Latvia (from 65% to 90%), Cyprus (from 65% to 86%), Lithuania (from 61% to 80%), Finland (from 55% to 72%), Romania (68% to 82%) and Poland (from 58% to 71%).

Source: Eurostat

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