While France is alarmed right now about its problems in finding teachers, a senator report says the concern is even wider. “All European countries are facing increasing difficulties in recruiting teachers, suggesting a real‘ crisis of attractiveness ’for the teaching profession in the coming years”, The finance commission’s study focused on the so -called “Crisis of attractiveness of the teaching profession: what responses from European countries?” Delivered Thursday by Senator LR Gérard Longuet.
In France, the low salary of teachers, who are paid 1.1 smic at the start of their career while a bac + 5 is required from them, has always been cited as one of the main causes of frustration in this profession. However, according to the report, the shortage of teachers is also felt in countries where salaries are high. In Germany, for example, where the average annual salary is almost twice as high as that of European Union teachers (between 2,774 and 4,246 euros per month), 26,000 teachers could be short of elementary school teachers by 2025.
“Only Finland and the German-speaking community in Belgium have clearly stated that they have not encountered any difficulties related to the supply and demand of teachers”, note the report. Difficulties should not be a concern for the profession as a whole but often affect certain disciplines (especially the scientific) or geographical areas more strongly.
The highest paid math teachers?
Despite this tense European context, special rapporteur Gérard Longuet did not lessen the difficulties of France. Thus, over a long decade, the number of candidates for National Education competitions has increased from 50,000 to 30,000 per year. And more and more teachers are quitting, with the rate falling from 0.05% in 2008-2009 to 0.32% in 2020-2021. Among training teachers, i.e. those who are in their first year of practice, 3.2% closed the door on National Education in 2020-2021, against 1% ten years ago. “While these numbers remain low compared to the payroll of the Ministry of National Education, the special rapporteur nonetheless considers the regularity of the increase in resignations as an extremely worrying signal”, can we read
Now, what to do? If money isn’t everything, “The attractiveness of the profession must have a financial spring”, point Gerard Longuet. Who takes England as a model. There, new holders work in difficult regions and teach at least half the time a subject with stress sees their student debt paid off. And teachers of math, physics, chemistry and computer science are better paid than others.
Gérard Longuet defends the same approach in France, where mathematics teachers may be better paid than their history-geography counterparts, for example, the former has more job opportunities in the private sector than the latter. “If you want to have good math teachers, you have to have people who are happy to be math teachers,” he said. defend the senator. Similarly, a teacher in Paris earns and more than his colleague in Lozère, the cost of living is very different in these two territories.
Evaluate against increase
Such a difference in salary between civil servant teachers, who should benefit from the same situation, would give rise to a legal concern; the special rapporteur therefore proposes to offer such bonuses to contractual workers, which “it may be possible to address part of the shortage of qualified contract workers that has affected some academies, without creating a global response to the problem.”
He also suggested evaluating French teachers and indexing their teachers. “bonuses or other financial rewards” in these assessments. “Internal evaluation, by peers or at the head of the school, is required in 27 European education systems”, says the report. Faced with this incombustible subject, he added: “Consideration of teacher career assessment would not be possible without a number of protections, and especially the constant involvement of teachers in the construction of this assessment.”
In addition to the financial aspect, the report recommends additional support for new teachers in their first two or three years of practice, “especially through mentoring”. One way, perhaps to avoid early resignation. While this 100-page senatorial document addresses a variety of realities and ways of progress, it does not, however, provide solid answers. “This report is not complete, it has the merit of opening a debate”, defended his Gérard Longuet.