The proportion of teachers without a teaching licence in compulsory schools was 13-20% in 1998-2008. The proportion dropped after the financial crisis and was lowest in the autumn of 2012 at 4.1%. Since 2012 the proportion of teachers without a licence has increased year by year and was 8.6% of 5,140 teaching staff in the autumn of 2017. At that time there were 443 teachers teaching without a licence, an increase from 272 in the autumn of 2016.
The proportion of teachers without a licence was lowest in Reykjavík, 5.8%, and in the Northeast, 6.2%. The highest rate of teachers without a licence was in the Westfjords, 27.0%.
Licenced teachers are getting older
The average age of teaching personnel has increased since the year 2000. In the autumn of 2000 the average age of teaching personnel was 42.2 years, rising to 46.7 years in the autumn of 2017. During these years the average age of licenced teachers has increased by four years to 47.7 years. The average age of teachers without a teaching licence has been lower than the age of licenced teachers during this time and was 35.9 years in the autumn 2017.
Fewer male teachers and more female teachers than 20 years ago
Since the school year 1998-1999 the number of educational personnel has increased from roughly four thousund in the autumn 1998 to over five thousund in the autumn 2017. Male teachers were just over 900 in the autumn of 2017, a decrease from nearly 1,100 in the autumn 1998. At the same time the number of female teachers increased from almost three thousand to over 4,200 in the autumn of 2017.
The number of pupils in compulsory schools continues to increase
There have not been as many pupils in compulsory education in Iceland as in the autumn of 2017, 45,195. The number of pupils increased by 668 (1.5%) from the previous year.
A total of 169 compulsory schools were operating in Iceland in the autumn of 2017, one less than in the previous year. There were 12 private schools operating with little more than 1,100 pupils (five year old grade excluded). There were three special education schools operating with 172 pupils in attendance, a slight increase from the previous year.
The largest compulsory schools in the 2017-2018 schoolyear were located in municipalities close to Reykjavík. They were Hörðuvallaskóli with more than 900 pupils, and Varmárskóli and Hraunvallaskóli with more than 800 pupils. The smallest school was Finnbogastaðaskóli with two pupils in the autumn of 2017.
The number of pupils with a foreign mother tongue continues to increase
The number of pupils with a foreign mother tongue has increased year by year since Statistics Iceland started collecting these data. In the autumn of 2017, 4,470 pupils in Icelandic compulsory schools had a foreign mother tongue, or 9.9% of pupils, an increase of more than 300 pupils from the previous year. Some of these pupils also speak Icelandic as their mother tongue. The most common foreign mother tongue was Polish, spoken by nearly 1,600 pupils, almost 400 spoke Philippine languages, and more than two hundred spoke English, Thai or Lithuanian.
The number of pupils with foreign citizenship increased by more than 15% from 2016 and was almost 2,400 in the autumn of 2017.