Andreas Schleicher, the OECD’s deputy director, said teachers in England enjoyed “good” salaries at “the high end of the scale”.
British teachers are paid higher salaries despite working fewer hours than their counterparts in other countries.
The average salary for a primary teacher in the OECD countries was £24,690 in 2011, compared to £28,660 in England.
Primary school teachers in England are among the youngest in the world but they still earn almost £4,000 more on average than their counterparts across the rest of the OECD
However think-tank’s latest study of education shows that teachers in English primary schools spent less time in class than their peers elsewhere. England’s primary teachers delivered 684 hours of lessons in 2011, significantly below the OECD average of 786 hours.
In the USA teachers spent 1,097 hours in front of their classes in 2011. English primary teachers’ starting salaries were also relatively generous, at around £19,600, compared with an OECD average of £18,700.
Teachers in Spain and Korea are paid more, staff in English schools receive “pretty close to what an average worker” with a university degree would earn..’ – Andreas Schleicher
The report also states that a massive 60 per cent of the UK’s primary teaching workforce are under the age of 40. This makes teachers in the UK significantly younger than average.
Lee Thomas, head of Meadowlane Primary School in Cardiff, said young teachers bring with them enthusiasm and new ideas.
“They create an energy that can help older members of staff as well… things are changing and you have to be able to move with the pace,” he said.
“It’s a lot different to when we were in school. Children are given a lot more freedom to think and learn independently. The best thing about bringing youngsters into the classroom is their energy – they are keen to do things and change things.”
Mr Thomas said the fact younger teachers train in new technologies during college helps when they enter the workforce itself.