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Go Back to the List March 07, 2023
More than 50,000 unfilled teaching positions in German schools

Germany has a growing shortage of teachers, with two types of schools particularly affected, according to a new survey from the Germany-wide teachers union Verband Bildung und Erziehung (VBE).

Fifty-seven percent of the school administrators surveyed by VBE stated that at least one of the available positions at their school was currently vacant. 

Of the schools affected, a quarter said that six to ten percent of the positions were not filled. At a fifth of the schools, more than 15 percent of all positions were vacant. 

The teacher shortage was particularly drastic at elementary schools and special education schools. 

A large majority of the head teachers surveyed, or 84 percent, expect their school to be "severely" or "very severely" affected in the future.

Germany has long been experiencing a teacher shortage, with many younger people gravitating away from the profession due to its long hours, low pay and lack of flexibility. The general shortage of skilled workers in the country also means that there are fewer people qualified to teach.

The problem is made more pronounced by the rising number of schoolchildren due to more births and immigration, according to the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (KMK). There are currently almost 11 million schoolchildren in Germany.

READ ALSO: How Germany's teacher shortage is affecting schools

According to the VBE, an average of eleven percent of available positions are unfilled nationwide, with 1.6 vacancies per school. 

Measured against the total number of primary and secondary schools in Germany, which the Federal Statistical Office put at 32,206 for the past school year, this results in more than 51,000 unfilled teaching positions nationwide. 

The survey, published on Tuesday, was conducted in September and October last year among 1,308 school head teachers nationwide. 

According to KMK calculations, the gap between teacher demand and supply will average about 1,600 each year between 2021 and 2035. According to the teacher demand forecast, the KMK expects about 25,000 vacancies in 2035.

"In the reality of our schools, the gap is now already estimated to be twice as large as the KMK forecasts for 2035," said VBE Chairman Gerhard Brand.

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Written by Marijan Murat,
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