Paying for good quality teachers is more important than reducing class sizes or funding infrastructure, a new report has found.

The OECD report, Education at a Glance, found that the best performing education systems prioritise teacher salaries over other factors.

However, school systems across the world are currently cutting teacher pay, instead of simply increasing class sizes.

“Uncompetitive salaries will make it harder to attract the best candidates to the teaching profession, especially as the teaching workforce is ageing,” the OECD said.

The report also called on countries to tackle educational inequalities, especially in earlier years. Further, these differences can’t be addressed by lifelong learning programmes, it said.

“Lack of a quality education is the most powerful form of social exclusion and prevents people from benefitting from economic growth,”warned OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria.

It found that 83% of people with a university degree are employed, compared to 74% with a secondary school education and only 56% of people below that level.

The OECD warned of the “heavy financial burden” being placed on parents of young children. More than half of children attend private institutions for early-years education, it added.

The full report is available here

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