New study: teacher shortage: at least 81 teachers needed by 2030.000 teachers

The massive teacher shortage will continue to be one of the biggest problems in the education system, and hardly any state is exempt from it. According to a report released on 25. According to a study published on January 2022 on behalf of the education union VBE, the shortage of teachers in the coming years is much greater than in the calculations of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Lander in the Federal Republic of Germany (KMK). According to research by education researcher Klaus Klemm, by 2030 there will be a shortage of at least 81.000 teachers. In its forecast, the KMK has so far assumed only 14.000 missing teachers from. Many schools are already unable to meet their needs with trained specialists. This is shown by the current country overview of the German school portal on staffing for the start of the 2021/22 school year. Where is there a shortage of teachers, what measures are in place in the states, what needs to change?? The School portal has summarized the most important information on the subject of teacher shortages here.

School class in the classroom

The gap between the demand for teachers and the supply of trained specialists in the coming years is apparently much larger than previously assumed. This is the result of a study by educational researcher Klaus Klemm, which was commissioned by the German Education Association (Verband Bildung und Erziehung, VBE). According to Klemm’s calculations, there will be a shortage of at least 81 teachers by 2030.000 teachers. In its forecast, the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Lander in the Federal Republic of Germany (KMK) has so far only assumed 14.000 shortage of teachers. According to Klemm’s study, as many as 45,000 people would be infected as early as 2025.000 teachers would be missing by 2030, while the KMK expects a shortfall of 20.000 trained teachers. How does this large difference in the forecasts come about??

Klemm took a closer look at the KMK’s figures and checked their plausibility. The result: projections of student numbers through 2030 are understandable. The KMK expects a 9.2 percent increase. The KMK’s assumptions on teacher recruitment needs also – 362.690 hires by 2030 – are plausible according to Klemm, at least if one assumes that changes in the education system will be managed without additional personnel.

In the opinion of Klemm, however, the KMK’s model calculations for graduating student teachers are not comprehensible. The assumptions are neither covered by the development of student numbers nor by the expected number of school graduates. Even an exorbitantly high and hardly realizable increase in students in the teaching profession would not achieve a plus in fully trained teachers until the end of the twenties, according to Klemm. The shortage of specialists in the STEM sector will be particularly dramatic, he said. Newly trained teachers would be available for only about one-third of the positions to be filled by 2030.

The actual gap will probably be larger, because Klemm’s forecast assumes that all teaching graduates will also arrive in schools. And if one were to add additional requirements for reforms that have already been passed, such as all-day schooling at elementary schools, inclusion and support for schools in socially challenging locations, there would still be a 74.000 missing teachers in addition.

"The huge cheat sheet that the KMK’s overall calculation of the shortage of teachers must be described as makes one stunned," said Udo Beckmann, federal chairman of the VBE when the study was published. Policymakers must immediately and fully draw the urgently needed conclusions from the available findings and finally stop trying to make light of the actual demand for teachers. The VBE calls for the shortage of teachers to be alleviated by establishing multiprofessional teams. A six-month pre-qualification period must be ensured for lateral entrants, he said.

Only on 12. November 2021 the KMK had adjusted the pupil forecast until 2030. According to this, the number of students at general education schools will grow slightly faster than predicted in the 2019 forecast. Particularly at the primary level, 18 teachers are now needed.000 more students predicted than in the most recent projections. Secondary school enrollment is also growing at a slightly higher rate than previously anticipated.

Where the teacher shortage will be greatest in the 2021/22 school year?

For years, it has not been possible to fill all vacancies with trained specialists, and this school year 2021/22 will be no different.

The School portal has once again asked the federal states how they are managing to fill vacancies at schools for the new school year. The survey again shows a tense picture, especially since additional staff are needed due to the Corona pandemic, for example for students who voluntarily repeat a year, or for pregnant teachers who cannot be deployed in face-to-face classes.

For example, shortly before the start of the school year, Baden-Wurttemberg reported 13. September, there are still more than 600 vacancies at schools. In North Rhine-Westphalia, there were still around 3.600 teaching positions unfilled. Many federal states are once again relying on lateral entrants to equip schools, who are admitted to the teaching profession without having completed a teacher training program. The sad front-runner is probably Berlin, where around 60 percent of new hires this school year had to be covered by lateral entrants. The total number of lateral entrants nationwide is difficult to quantify because the definition varies among the states. Some Lander do not provide any information at all, as teachers without teaching qualifications first complete a traineeship, while others do not count temporary hires among new hires, and then there are also different figures in terms of positions and people hired. Nevertheless, the survey provides an overview of where the shortage is greatest and which countries have fewer problems with filling vacancies.

An overview of the figures for teacher staffing in 2021/22 in the states

About 5.400 positions were to be filled at schools in Baden-Wurttemberg for the 2021/22 school year. Of these, 9. September still 630 teacher positions unfilled. In order to cover the demand, Baden-Wurttemberg is also increasingly resorting to lateral entrants. Up to 1. September were 1.100 positions were filled on a temporary basis by people without a teaching career; last year, 685 positions were filled on a temporary basis via lateral entry. In addition, there are 51 positions this year that were temporarily filled by so-called "one-subject teachers". There are 230 lateral entrants at vocational schools.

According to the Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs, the shortage of teachers is concentrated in a few regions and school types and is leading to significant bottlenecks there. It primarily affects the teaching professions of elementary school and special education, and in some cases also lower secondary school. Regions affected are those in which there has already been a high demand in recent years, such as in the district of Tuttlingen or in the Alb-Donau district. There are also many vacancies in the Stuttgart region this year.

The state’s high schools have not been able to fully meet the demand in the fine arts and STEM subjects in parts of the state with undergraduate-trained teachers. To meet demand, people without teaching qualifications have also been hired on a temporary basis. Even at vocational schools, filling vacancies in certain shortage subjects (STEM, engineering, nursing, and social pedagogy) is not easy. In contrast, there is a surplus of applicants for grammar schools in subjects such as English, German, history and social studies

Both in inclusive education programs and at special education and counseling centers (SBBZ), a worsening of the shortage of special education teachers is becoming apparent.

To fill the vacancies in view of the shortage of teachers, the Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs is resorting to a whole package of measures. This year, high school teachers were again able to apply to elementary and lower secondary schools, where they receive a one-year in-service qualification. In addition, there were increases from part-time, the use of retirees or transfers.

The already very high replacement demand, which results from the declining retirements, but at the same time increasing parental leave and maternity replacements, will be increased by pandemic-related additional needs, says the education administration. The additional demand is due, for example, to students who voluntarily repeat the school year. As a result, it may be necessary to form additional classes, which will increase the need for teachers. At the end of August, only about 60 of the 125 additional positions made available for this purpose had been filled.

The 2021/22 school year started in Bavaria on 14. September started. To guarantee instruction, the ministry says Bavaria will hire just under 5.000 people have been recruited to permanent positions, of which around 1.250 additional teachers. In addition, there are about 800 positions for team teachers, who teach in the schools and are supported by the regular teachers who cannot be deployed in the classroom.

But the shortage of teachers is also noticeable in Bavaria. While direct lateral entry is not possible, applicants without a school-based teaching credential can obtain a teaching credential through a variety of special measures. This includes, above all, the second qualification of Gymnasium and Realschule teachers for elementary or middle school.

In addition, starting in the 2021/22 school year, applicants without a teaching degree can also be accepted directly into the preparatory service at middle schools. The prerequisite is a successfully completed course of study in the following subjects: German, German as a foreign language, English, computer science, biology, physics, chemistry or mathematics as a major subject.

In the "team teacher" model, which was newly created last year, applications can also be submitted by people with a university degree or comparable qualification in addition to fully trained teachers.

Making matters worse this year is the fact that pregnant teachers in Bavaria are not allowed to teach face-to-face classes during the Corona pandemic. In the past school year, the proportion of pregnant teachers was around two percent.

In Berlin, as in previous years, it is again particularly difficult to fill all vacancies at schools this year. 2.440 permanent teaching positions were to be filled for the 2021/22 school year, according to the Senate Education Administration. So far, 2.886 teachers are hired, but not all of them full-time. 1.526 of them were so-called career applicants. According to the Senate Education Department, 150 applicants were still in the hiring process at the start of the school year, and 80 positions were still unfilled. Irrespective of the vacancies that still exist, there was already a shortage of teachers at the beginning of the school year 1.360 new hires of lateral entrants to the teaching profession. The Education and Science Union expects that overall, 60 percent of new teachers hired this school year will be recruited from lateral entry.

Due to the shortage of qualified staff at Berlin schools, the SPD, the Greens and the Left Party want to reinstate civil servants as teachers in the future. The three parties agreed on this during their coalition negotiations. "We have spoken out clearly in favor of making teachers permanent," said SPD state chairwoman Franziska Giffey on Wednesday.

For the capital, it would be an extreme locational disadvantage if all the federal states except Berlin were to hire teachers with civil servant status. While such a step could not be the only one to combat the shortage of teachers. However, it must be prevented that 700 teachers continue to migrate to other states every year.

Berlin had abolished teacher tenure about two decades ago. According to Giffey, the plan is now to start this practice again from the 2023/24 school year. New teachers, as well as existing teachers who have not yet exceeded the current age limit of 45, are to receive a corresponding offer.

For the new school year 2021/22, all positions could be filled in Brandenburg. The share of lateral entrants in permanent hires has fallen slightly. Of the four state education authorities, 1.256 teachers hired for an unlimited period (as of 19.07.2021). This includes 256 lateral entrants to the teaching profession. That’s 21.3 percent, compared with 32.5 percent in 2020. In total, around 2 percent of all teachers will be teaching at Brandenburg schools in the 2021/22 school year.700 unlimited and fixed-term employed side entrants (13.1 percent of all teachers).

In addition, 790 teachers were hired on a temporary basis for the new school year, including 537 lateral entrants, who are usually initially hired on a temporary basis for 15 months and are then released from their contract after participating in the basic pedagogical qualification and a probationary period.

In Bremen and Bremerhaven, a total of 265 full-time teaching positions were filled for the new school year, including 29.5 positions with untrained teachers who are starting their traineeships at the schools.

In Hamburg, the number of students in the new school year increased by 4.100 increased. That’s why 510 additional teachers had to be hired for the start of school in 2021/22. In Hamburg, lateral entry is only possible into the teacher training program in selected subjects. According to the school authority, it has increased the number of trainee teacher positions from 570 to 810 in recent years. There are no figures yet on the proportion of lateral entrants to the teaching profession.

In Hesse, the school year began on 30. August, but hiring will drag on until the fall holidays. The Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs is therefore not yet in a position to make any final statements on the deployment of lateral entrants. However, it can be seen that in one place or another, lateral entrants will also be employed. But the shortage of trained specialists is less pronounced than it was a few years ago. Even though the demand for teachers at elementary, remedial and vocational schools remains high, particularly in the Rhine-Main region, the short-, medium- and long-term measures taken since 2017 to recruit teachers would already provide a gradual easing of the situation when viewed statewide. In particular, the programs for further qualification of teachers for use in other teaching positions, various lateral entry programs and the initial effects of the expansion of university places would contribute to an improved situation in the new school year.

In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, classes were held as planned at the start of the school year thanks to the hiring of 657 new teachers. 80 percent of the new hires had completed a teaching degree, 20 percent were lateral entrants. The need for additional teachers had been greater than predicted in spring. Education Minister Bettina Martin (SPD) cited the increased number of students and the repetition of grades as reasons for this. An additional 70 classes have been set up statewide due to Corona-related voluntary provisions alone.

The future red-red coalition wants to combat the shortage of teachers in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and improve teaching with a whole package of measures. But the details announced after the coalition round on education in Schwerin at the end of October prompted criticism. Of the 1.000 additional teaching positions, there are now fewer than 500 left, the CDU’s parliamentary group leader in the state parliament, Franz-Robert Liskow, noted on Sunday.

According to Simone Oldenburg, leader of the Left Party in the state parliament, the 1.000 announced positions 250, which already exist but are not currently filled. Accordingly, a further 280 also exist already limited until 2024. They should be made permanent. Another 270 positions are to be created due to rising student numbers.

According to an initial analysis by the teachers’ union GEW, the plans of the red-red coalition do not bring more time for teaching and for pedagogically accompanied learning as hoped. According to the state chairmen Annett Lindner and Maik Walm, 50 additional positions for substitute teachers and 150 for vocational school teachers would be created.

At the start of the 2021/2022 school year, Lower Saxony’s public general education schools will have just under 1.600 (1.576; as of 31.08.2021) new teachers take up their posts. Among the approximately 1.600 new teachers at general education schools also include 83 career changers, representing about five percent of the hires. In addition to the nearly 1.600 new teachers are students and retirees to the tune of around 100 full-time teaching units (VZLE) or. Lateral recruits hired on a temporary basis until the end of the six-month period. Another 160 full-time positions are available on a temporary basis as part of the catch-up program. Of these, 40 were still open at the start of the school year.

In the state parliament session on 10. On November 1, Minister of Education and Cultural Affairs Grant Hendrik Tonne named three major challenges: Additional needs for all-day education and inclusion; the difficulty of filling positions at certain types of schools and in certain regions; rising birth rates among teachers and associated parental leave.

As of the reporting date, schools in North Rhine-Westphalia had 21. June 2021 still 3.662 vacancies. The summer vacation ended here on 17. August. Since 2017, there have been four packages of measures to counter the teacher shortage:

Due to the measures "Seiteneinstieg Grundschule" (983), "Sek-II-Lehrkrafte in Grundschule" (684), "Sek-II-Lehrkrafte in Sek-I" (376), "Neuausrichtung Inklusion" (1.322) and "retirees" (541) could meanwhile be 3.906 additional hires or rehires had been made (as of 30.07.2021). With the measures "anticipatory positions" for the projected demand at grammar schools (1.163) and "fixed-term contracts without a fixed term" (293), this results in a total of 5.362 additional hires.

Around 1.400 new teachers had been hired for the start of the 2021/2022 school year in Rhineland-Palatinate, including vacancies that traditionally do not open at vocational schools until the 1. November 2021. In the previous year, a total of 1.100 positions filled.

As in previous years, thanks to its long-term training and recruitment policy, Rhineland-Palatinate is doing very well despite rising student numbers, according to the Ministry of Education. This school year, too, all positions can be filled by teachers with basic qualifications. However, the nationwide shortage of qualified teachers is particularly noticeable in the teaching professions of elementary school and special needs schools. At elementary schools, 35 positions are not expected to be filled with undergraduate teachers until the start of the second school semester in February 2022. Until then, qualified substitute teachers will be used.

In Saarland, according to the Ministry of Education, there is no shortage of teachers for the start of school in 2021/22. All positions could be filled. Lateral entrants, who are qualified on the job, were last hired in 2016. There were enough fully qualified applicants available for this school year. There are also currently no lateral entrants to the teacher training program in the general education sector. Only vocational schools offer lateral entry into the preparatory service.

For the new school year, Saxony has 1.184 new teachers recruited, with the proportion of lateral entrants at 15 percent, lower than in previous years. The 132 lateral entrants were already hired as of 1. May hired and have since received training to prepare them to start school. It is still difficult to recruit teachers for rural areas or for types of schools such as secondary schools.

Around 1.000 new teachers had to be recruited for the new school year. The state had even used headhunting agencies abroad to meet the demand. 128 lateral entry teachers graduated from 16. August to 9. September a four-week, mandatory compact course. The 2021/22 school year began in Saxony-Anhalt on 2. started in September.

The new state government in Saxony-Anhalt promises in the fight against the shortage of teachers: more part-time teachers, more student teachers should teach and the incentive system should also be improved.

Here were at the start of school on 2. August 98.7 percent of teaching positions filled. To a total of 1.640 full-time positions at general education schools could be filled (hiring date 1. August) 2.410 new teachers hired on a temporary and permanent basis. At the start of the school year, 252 positions were still being advertised. The most vacant positions were at special education centers (109), followed by elementary schools (77). Of 758 school management positions, 26 were still vacant. Lateral entrants are only accepted into the preparatory service (Referendariat) and therefore do not appear in the statistics for teacher vacancies.

On 26. On November 1, Education Minister Karin Prien (CDU) gave an overview of current teacher staffing levels: currently, there are 1.153 substitute teachers were used, which corresponds to 11.6 percent of the positions to be filled," Prien reported in the state parliament and emphasized that as many teachers with basic training as possible would be used. At the same time, she emphasized that "every substitute teacher helps to ensure the supply of teaching in our schools".

As one measure against the teacher shortage, she mentioned the expansion of university places and the gradual increase to A13 for all elementary school teachers as a starting salary. Starting this school year, elementary school teachers will receive 40 percent of the difference to A13 as an allowance. Au

Since the beginning of August 2020, according to data from the Ministry of Education, within just under 13 months, 1.506 teachers hired. Of these, 269 were lateral entrants without a teaching degree, which represents 17.9 percent of all new hires.

A number of positions remain unfilled at the beginning of the school year. The Thuringian Ministry of Education considers it unrealistic to fill all vacant teaching positions in the state by the end of the year. Currently, strong cohorts are retiring, leading to a particularly large need at schools, a spokesman for the Ministry of Education said in October . Previously, the newspaper "Thuringer Allgemeine" had reported that almost 400 teaching positions had been advertised by the state’s education authorities.

The ministry spokesman considered this level to be a realistic reflection of the current teacher shortage. Attempts are being made to absorb the retirements.

Time and again, a shortage of teachers in Thuringia has attracted attention in recent years. Now the next generation also seems to be falling away. Fewer young people in Thuringia were interested in studying to become teachers in October than in the previous year. Thuringia’s largest university in Jena recorded only 607 freshmen for regular schools and high schools in the winter semester. This represents a decline of around 28 percent (previous year: 854), as the Friedrich Schiller University announced on the basis of preliminary figures.

What is the KMK’s forecast for the teacher shortage in the coming years??

In the future, schools in Germany will continue to struggle with the shortage of teachers. This is shown by the updated pupil forecast up to 2030 of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Lander in the Federal Republic of Germany (KMK) of November 2021.

A direct comparison of the forecast figures for individual school types for the educational levels shows that across Germany for the primary level 18.000 more students are forecast in 2030 than in the previous projection (+0.6 percent). There are hardly any differences for the lower secondary level. In the general education sector, a shortage of 4,200 teachers per year is expected for the upper secondary level in 2030.000 more students, which corresponds to a difference of 0.4 percent. In the vocational schools, on the other hand, 33 percent of the positions are expected to be filled in 2030.000 fewer students will be taught than in the last projection from 2020 (-1.4%).

The adjusted model calculation for teacher requirements was announced for December 2021. According to current calculations, there will be a shortage of teachers at the lower secondary level in particular – i.e., above the elementary level – until 2030. According to the survey, math, chemistry, physics and music teachers are in particular demand. However, the gap in lower secondary education is forecast to at least narrow, from 4 now.770 to 1.300 teachers short in 2030.

In contrast, there will be a surplus of teachers at grammar schools. Here, the ministries of education and cultural affairs assume a nationwide "oversupply" averaging 2.200 teachers per year for the upper secondary level. Elementary school currently still have an average shortage of 1.700 teachers per year, but a trend reversal toward oversupply is expected from 2025 onward. However, many experts have doubts about this positive forecast for the elementary schools. In past years, the KMK’s model calculations were often off the mark.

In total, there are about 40.000 schools and vocational schools, 11 million students and more than 800.000 teachers. Changes in the birth rate and immigration are cited as the main causes of the teacher shortage. At the same time, many states are struggling with a high number of retirements because no new recruits were hired for too long in the past.

New study: teacher shortage: at least 81 teachers needed by 2030.000 teachers

Where is the teacher shortage greatest?

For years, the eastern German states in particular have had to rely on lateral entrants to a large extent. This was also shown by the query of the School portal from August 2020. In Berlin, for example, 40 percent of new hires were lateral entrants. In Brandenburg, 34 percent of positions were filled by teachers without a full teaching qualification. In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, this has so far affected 30 percent of new hires.

According to the ministry, for the first time Saxony-Anhalt has called in agencies for the tender round from mid-February to March 2021, which are specifically looking for teachers from abroad as well as lateral entrants. At present, about 100 applicants have come into the picture in this way. In some cases, degrees would have to be reviewed via the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs. Around 40 percent of applicants would come from abroad.

In some western German states, too, vacant teaching positions in shortage subjects for which there were no trained applicants were filled by lateral entrants – albeit to a lesser extent. In Lower Saxony, for example, that affected about 6 percent of new hires, and in Schleswig-Holstein, 11 percent. It should be noted that the terms "lateral entry" and "side entry" are defined very differently in the German states. The figures are therefore difficult to compare. As a rule, lateral entrants have a university degree but have not completed a teaching degree and are trained in pedagogy, for example, via postgraduate qualifications.

In which subjects are most teachers lacking??

Teachers at secondary schools are particularly often lacking in the STEM subjects (mathematics, computer science, natural sciences and technology). In a recent study conducted for the Telekom Foundation in January 2021, education researcher Klaus Klemm used the example of North Rhine-Westphalia to examine how the supply of and demand for teachers in STEM subjects at general education schools is developing. The result: Without countermeasures, schools will have only one-third of the necessary trained STEM teachers available in the 2030/31 school year. This result is once again significantly more negative than that of the previous study from 2014. Here, Klemm had still been able to predict a projected demand coverage rate of around two-thirds by 2025/26 after all. The reasons: According to the study, one in three STEM teachers will leave the teaching profession by 2030/31, primarily for age reasons. In addition, the number of students is growing strongly. Over the next ten years, Klemm calculates that NRW will need to increase the number of students at its schools by around 3.300 new STEM teachers to be hired. However, according to the current occupancy rates for teaching positions in these subjects, there will only be 1.100 of the graduates are.

In Rhineland-Palatinate, for example, the State Statistical Office reported on 12. July 2021, that only 17 of the approximately 1.200 teacher graduates in Rhineland-Palatinate in 2020 have taken the subject of computer science. In turn, only ten of them completed their second state examination in a teaching profession at a general education school.

The number of teachers with computer science as a subject in Rhineland-Palatinate has been declining for several years, according to the authority. In 2020, for example, around 680 teachers at general education schools had a teaching license for computer science. According to the State Statistical Office, this was the lowest figure since 2010. The number of these teachers had fallen by almost seven percent in the past ten years.

In December 2021, the KMK published joint recommendations that are intended to help change the image of shortage subjects such as mathematics and science in the eyes of high school graduates. This should increase the number of applicants for a teaching degree in these subjects. There are proposals for the fields of action "school", "media and advertising", "studies" and "teaching profession". For example, additional incentives are to be created for career entrants with shortage subjects and advertising measures in social media are to be intensified. High school graduates – should z. B. gain early insights into the work of teachers through their own teaching experiments, teaching opportunities in AGs, summer courses or elementary school projects. In addition, scholarship programs for student teachers in the shortage subjects are to be created or expanded. The recommendations also point to the good recruitment opportunities in the school system that prospective teachers will find in selected areas in the coming years.

What are the paths for lateral entry to schools?

lateral entrants have also studied a subject relevant to the teaching profession, but have not completed a teacher training program. Depending on the state, they attend an introductory course lasting several weeks, or sometimes just several days, before entering the teaching profession, and then they also receive in-service training. In addition, they are to receive special support in schools. In some federal states, lateral entry is only available in the preparatory service.

Here you can find information on lateral and lateral entry in the federal states:

  • Bavaria:Information on lateral entry
  • Baden-Wurttemberg:Requirements for lateral entry
  • Berlin:How the lateral entry works in Berlin
  • Brandenburg:Lateral entry into the teaching profession
  • Bremen:The alternative route to becoming a teacher
  • Hamburg:Lateral entry into the preparatory service
  • Hesse:Application procedure for lateral entry
  • Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania: A distinction is made between lateral entry and side entry
  • Lower Saxony:Requirements for lateral entry, direct entry into the teaching profession
  • North Rhine-Westphalia:Lateral entry in NRW
  • Rhineland-Palatinate:Professional suitability for lateral and lateral entry
  • Saarland: In Saarland, lateral entry is only available to a limited extent at vocational schools
  • Saxony:On the lateral entry
  • Saxony-Anhalt:Lateral entry into the teaching profession
  • Schleswig-Holstein:Lateral and lateral entry
  • Thuringia:Lateral entry into the teaching profession

You can find out more about the experiences of lateral entrants at schools and about concepts for successful mentoring at schools in the dossier "Quereinstieg im Praxischeck".

What is the salary for teachers?

To make working at elementary schools more attractive, many federal states have adjusted the salaries of elementary school teachers to those of teachers at secondary schools and grammar schools. Most recently, Thuringia had announced such an alignment: teachers for high schools, regular schools and elementary schools in Thuringia will thus receive the same salary since August 2021. Previously, elementary school teachers there were grouped as civil servants at grade A12, while grammar school and regular school teachers were paid at grade A13. In the future, the A13 grade is envisaged for all, in which the salary varies depending on professional experience between around 4.300 and 5.500 euros gross per month.

Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein had already decided to equalize salaries for elementary school teachers in the previous years. In Lower Saxony, there is a monthly allowance of 97 euros. Even for lower secondary teachers, not all states yet offer the same salary as for high school teachers. The German Education and Science Union (GEW) has published an inventory of the federal states on pay in October 2020. Simone Fleischmann, president of the Bavarian Teachers’ Association, also calls in her guest article for the School portal A uniform salary for teachers of all school types and more flexibility in teacher training.

Where is the starting salary for elementary school teachers the highest??

The online learning platform has compared the starting salary of elementary school teachers in the 2019/20 school year in the German states. According to the survey, the starting salary was highest in Berlin. The high starting salary is intended to compensate for this competitive disadvantage in the battle for qualified teachers. However, teachers in Berlin are expected to be civil servants again starting in 2023/24. In addition, working hours, tasks and compulsory hours can differ greatly in the federal states. Figures are gross salaries without allowances o.a.

  • Berlin: Elementary school – 5.458.94 euros (E13/level 5)
  • Saxony: Elementary school – 4.069.73 euros (A13/level 3)
  • Brandenburg: 4.060.07 euros (A13/level 4)
  • Hamburg: 3.725.43 euros (A12/level 1)
  • North Rhine-Westphalia: 3.654.32 euros (A12/level 4)
  • Bavaria: 3.633.24 euros (A12/level 3)
  • Lower Saxony: 3.606.56 euros (A12/level 4)
  • Schleswig-Holstein: 3.595.35 euros (A12/level 4)
  • Bremen: 3.593.75 euros (A12/level 4)
  • Thuringia: 3.467.36 euros (A12/level 3)
  • Saxony-Anhalt: 3.462.99 euros (A12/step 1)
  • Baden-Wurttemberg: 3.458.40 euros (A12/level 1)
  • Rhineland-Palatinate: 3.438,60 Euro (A12/level 3)
  • Saarland: 3.396.40 euros (A12/level 3)
  • Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania: 3.377.57 euros (A12/level 3)
  • Hesse: 3.373.22 euros (A12/level 1)

What allowances are there for teacher shortages in rural schools?

Schools in remote rural areas often have a particularly hard time finding staff. Many positions often remain unfilled for an entire school year or longer. The ministries of education are therefore increasingly offering allowances, relocation assistance and other incentives to attract teachers to work in remote or unpopular regions.

Brandenburg wants to attract student teachers to teach in schools that have a special need for fully trained teachers. To address this, the "Brandenburg Rural Teachers Scholarship" will be launched – for the first time in the winter semester 2021/22 with 25 scholarships of 600 euros as a pilot program. Currently, 53 schools across Brandenburg, in almost all types of schools (except high schools), have a special need for fully trained teachers, as more than 25 percent of these schools already teach lateral entrants. These schools are shown on an interactive map on the MBJS Internet.

The state parliament in Thuringia had also passed a new allowance system in March 2021 to motivate prospective teachers to work where the shortage of teachers is particularly pronounced.

The School portal had a closer look at the measures in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony-Anhalt, Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia in 2020. You can read more about the challenges facing schools in rural areas in the dossier "How schools in remote regions are holding their own".

How can refugee teachers be qualified??

In 2016, the University of Potsdam launched a qualification project for refugee teachers to enable them to enter the Brandenburg school system as professionals.

The target group is refugee academics who have successfully completed a teaching degree abroad and have already worked as a teacher at a school in their country of origin. The 18-month program offers, among other things, language courses for the acquisition of the language certificate C1, pedagogical seminars and a school internship.

The full-time qualification prepares students for a two-year position as an assistant teacher or pedagogical teaching aid. This should be followed by a further qualification analogous to lateral entry.

Many participants nevertheless fail because of the high barriers to entry. The School Portal has reported on this.

Why the training capacity for teachers is not enough?

Mark Rackles, ex-state secretary for education in Berlin, is convinced that the root of the teacher shortage lies in education. For years, states have been increasing capacity in universities, yet not enough trained teachers arrive at schools. In his study "Teacher Education 2021," he gets to the bottom of the causes. Many federal states are still not training teachers in line with demand. In addition, many student teachers are dropping out or changing their education. Nationwide, the number of university places has increased by 17 percent in recent years, while at the same time the number of graduates from the first phase of teacher training at universities has fallen.

For Rackles, the problem can only be solved transnationally. "You can’t look at 16 submarkets in isolation in training and then be surprised that the overall market isn’t coherent," he says in an interview with the School portal. "You’d need a body looking at it from the outside, detached from the logic of politics to talk down the deficits," Rackles continues.

Such an instance could soon be in action. In the fall of 2020, the Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs had decided to establish a "Standing Scientific Commission of the Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs". The mission of this institution is to advise countries on how to develop education and deal with its challenges. A search committee headed by educational researcher Manfred Prenzel made proposals for the composition of the expert panel, which were accepted by the KMK. The committee was constituted at the end of June 2021.

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