Ireland ranks in last place in OECD for financial investment in education

Ireland ranks last out of 36 established countries for investment in education as a procedure of our nationwide wealth or gross domestic product (GDP), according to most current OECD data.

Economic experts state the presence of multinationals misshapes our GDP figures, however education unions state the figures validate the degree of under-investment in our schools.

The annual Education At A Look 2021 report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Advancement reveals spending on education– varying from main to greater and more education– in Ireland represent 3.3 per cent of our GDP in 2018.

This compares to an EU average of 4.4 percent and is considerably behind top-performers such as Norway on 6.6 per cent.

Ireland performs much better when financial investment on education is measured as a percentage of overall public costs.

Education represented 12.6 percent of public spending in 2018, higher than the OECD average of 11 percent and the EU average of 9.5 per cent.


The wages of school staff represent the largest single expense in education.

Between 2005 and 2020, the wages of teachers with 15 years of experience increased by 2 to 3 percent at primary and secondary levels across OECD nations.

In Ireland, nevertheless, teachers’ salaries increased by 16 to 17 percent over the very same time period.

Average incomes for instructors across the OECD were– after conversion to US dollars– $45, 687 (EUR38,683) at primary and $51, 749 at 2nd level.

In Ireland, they were substantially greater at $59204 for main and $61,652 for 2nd level.

They dragged nations such as Germany which had some of the greatest typical incomes at both main– EUR76,997– and 2nd level– EUR89,816

Teachers in Ireland are required to teach for longer than their coworkers in OECD countries.

Teachers here are required to teach 909 hours each year at primary level, 704 hours at 2nd level.

This contrasts with an OECD average of 791 hours at primary and 685 hours at second level in2020


School conclusion

Information also shows Ireland has among the highest rates of school completion among OECD countries.

The average proportion of 15-19 year olds registered in education throughout the OECD is 84 per cent

The share is the highest in Ireland, Belgium and Slovenia where enrolment rates reached 94 percent.

Ireland also has less kids from lower socio-economic groups performing at the lowest level in standardised tests– 16 percent compared to the OECD average of 29 percent.

A favorable outcome is likewise shown in data that shows the difference between native-born and foreign born youths who are not in education or training.

In Ireland, the different is 2 per centage points compared to the OECD average of 5 per cent.

However, Ireland continues to have reasonably big class sizes at primary level. Newest figures reveal typical main class sizes in Ireland are 24 – the highest in the EU – compared to an OECD average of 21 and an EU average of 19.

At 3rd level, the ratio of students to teaching personnel has actually increased from 20:1 to 23:1 this year, higher than the OECD and European averages of 15:1.


The spread of Covid-19 continued to hamper access to in-person education in many nations around the globe in2021


By mid-May of this year, all OECD nations had actually experienced durations of full school closure because the start of 2020.

The number of days when schools were fully closed due to the pandemic varies substantially in between countries and tended to increase with the level of education.

Ireland, however, was an exception. In Ireland, pre-schools were fully closed for an average of 72 days in between January 2020 and May 2021, while main schools closed for a minimum of 96 days and secondary for 72 days.

In contrast, across the OECD, pre-schools closed for approximately 55 days, primary for 78 days and secondary for 101 days usually.


In reaction to the figures, the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) president Eamon Dennehy said it was clear than an ongoing failure to invest in our schools will have long-term social and financial repercussions.

” If we take GDP as a procedure of national wealth, it is undesirable that a rich country like Ireland remains at the bottom of the international rankings,” he said.

” The pandemic has significantly highlighted how important schools are to children, households and neighborhoods. It has likewise demonstrated that big classes, insufficient staffing, insufficient lodging and ventilation are weakening the capability of schools to supply a safe environment for quality education.”

Educators’ Union of Ireland (TUI) president Martin Marjoram stated the figures revealed that our education system was “chronically and disgracefully underfunded”.

” With a range of present and future challenges, an adequately-funded education system should be viewed as main to the country’s future, and Government needs to urgently dedicate to redressing the damage of years of cutbacks and neglect,” he stated.

The Irish National Educators’ Organisation said data which verified that Ireland’s “supersized classes” at primary level stay the largest in the EU were a “national embarassment”.

INTO general secretary John Boyle said the union was campaigning for further reductions in class sizes in the forthcoming budget.

” It is time for federal government’s action to match the rhetoric of the pandemic months, and for swift actions to be taken to buy our primary and unique schools as a national priority,” he said.

Aontas, the nationwide adult knowing organisation, stated the report exposed “plain inequalities” connected to adults’ education levels and their profits.

It said 41 percent of grownups in Ireland without a Leaving Cert qualification made at or below half of typical profits in 2019 compared to an OECD average of 27 percent.

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Post Author: Izabella Jaworska

Izabella Jaworska 56 Southend Avenue BLACKHEATH IP19 7ZU 070 7077 0588