How much are they paid teachers e school leaders in Italy and in the rest of world? The last one tells us OECD report published on 6 September last, Education at a glance 2021, of which also our director Alessandro Giuliani he reported. An issue that becomes extremely topical in light of the fact that we are awaiting the address deed that will guide the contract renewal for the teaching category. Act of address, however, which we think is linked to the next budget law, as our deputy director hypothesized Reginaldo Palermo.
The biggest gap in Italy and Great Britain
But let’s get to the data. From the OECD graph, the difference between the teacher-manager salary comparison in Italy and the average of other countries immediately jumps to the eye. In Italy, in fact, the remuneration of school managers is more than double that of teachers, whereas in other countries the managers are remunerated with a salary that is a quarter or a third higher than that of the teacher.
If in Italy for teachers we are around 36 thousand euros per year, the manager reaches 85 thousand. We find similar proportions in UK, where, compared to the 44 thousand euros of the remuneration of teachers, the managers exceed 103 thousand. In fact, the OECD document reads: The countries and economies with the highest reward for school heads compared to teachers are England (United Kingdom) (secondary school level) and Italy (primary and secondary school level), where the actual salaries of school heads are more than double those of teachers.
The gap in other countries is reduced. In the Netherlands, for example, teachers receive 65 thousand euros, while managers reach 91 thousand. In Ireland the 53 thousand euros of the teachers are compared to the 90 thousand of the managers. In Denmark the teachers receive 53 thousand euros, the managers 76 thousand. In Greece the comparison is 25 thousand with 36 thousand. In the Usa let’s compare the 50 thousand of teachers with the 87 thousand of managers. In Israel, we are 38,000 for teachers and 62,000 for managers. And so on…
Also in the OECD document: The lowest premiums, below 25%, are in Estonia (at primary and secondary level) e Latvia (primary and lower secondary). Other countries show a strong increase in the salaries of school heads relative to secondary level teachers, while there is a more moderate difference at primary level.
In other words, on average in OECD countries, the effective salaries of school heads are higher than those of teachers and the premium increases with educational levels.
In short, a variation that is affected by school grades. In 2020, the salaries of school heads were 51% higher than those of teachers at primary school level. The premium is 55% at the lower secondary school level and 53% at the upper secondary school level.
What does the OECD document take into consideration?
The OECD document takes into account teachers’ actual salaries, those from work-related payments, annual bonuses, achievement bonuses, extra vacation pay, sick leave and other additional payments that may represent a significant addition to basic salaries.
The actual average salaries – the report reads – they are influenced by the prevalence of bonuses and indemnities in the remuneration system. Years of experience and qualifications are evaluated in the effective average of salaries, as these two factors have a clear impact on wage levels.
School heads can be paid according to a specific salary range and can receive or not an allowance for school heads which adds to their basic salaries.
Or they can also be paid according to the teachers’ salary scale and receive a additional allowance per school head. The use of teacher salary bands may reflect the fact that school heads are initially teachers with additional responsibilities.
the sum due to school heads (which combine basic salaries with school head allowances) may vary according to criteria relating to the school to which the headmaster belongs: for example the size of the school, the number of students enrolled, the number of teachers. They can also vary according to the individual characteristics of the school heads themselves, such as the tasks they have to perform or their many years of experience.
To what do we owe the strong differences in Italy?
The OECD report notes that the gap between the remuneration of the teacher and that of the manager is higher in those countries where the teacher’s career does not benefit from possible advancements, as in Italy.
The career prospects of school heads and their salaries – we read in the report – they are also a sign of the career advancement paths available to teachers and the compensation they can expect in the long run. A real career progression of teachers, therefore, would probably allow the Italian situation to be brought back to the European average.
Comparison with other professions of the same educational level
A further particularly interesting comparison concerns the comparison with other professions of the same level. School heads, unlike teachers, generally earn more than even workers with a similar education. The salaries of school heads are at least 40% higher than those of workers with a similar level of education in England (UK) and New Zealand.
On the contrary, the critical issues in terms of teachers’ remuneration, especially in Italy, concern the comparison with other professions of the same level of education. The lack of career progression means that teachers in Italy, despite having a degree, maintain a lower salary than other graduates who manage to reach better salary positions over time during their career. The differences therefore manifest themselves at the beginning of the career, in the phase of entry into the profession, but they are considerably accentuated in the following years.