The average age of teaching personnel has been increasing since the year 2000. In 1998 the average age of teaching personnel was 41.7 years but it had increased to 46.0 years in the autumn of 2013. During these 15 years the average age of female teachers increased more rapidly, from 41.2 years in 1998 to 46.1 years in 2013. The average age of male teachers increased from 43.2 years to 45.4 years during the same period. The average age of teachers without a teaching licence has been lower than the age of licenced teachers during this period. In the autumn of 2013 the average age of licenced teachers was 46.2 while the average age of teachers without a teaching licence was 39.4 years.

Figure 1 depicts the age of teaching personnel divided into three age categories. There is a considerable decrease in the proportion of teaching personnel in the youngest age group, while their proportion in the oldest age group increased from 23.7% in 1998 to 38.6% in 2013.

 

Considerable increase in the number of staff supporting pupils since 1998
The data from 1998 indicate that the changes in the number of teachers during these 15 years have been relatively minor, as the number of teachers increased by 6.3%. When special education teachers are included, the number of teachers increased by 14.7% since 1998. On the other hand, there has been a considerable increase in the number of staff supporting pupils. The greatest increase is in the number of social pedagogues, 383%, and the number of assisting staff increased by 215%. When all personnel is considered there were 22.7% more staff members in compulsory schools in the autumn of 2013 than in 1998.

Fewer males among teaching personnel in compulsory schools
In the autumn of 1998 1,052 males taught in compulsory schools in Iceland, 26.0% of teaching personnel. The number of males among teaching staff has been slowly declining and in the autumn of 2013 they were 908, 19.0% of teaching staff. There have been more fluctuations in the number of female teachers (figure 2). There were 2,993 female teachers in 1998 but their number was greatest in 2008, 4,040.

 


More pupils in compulsory schools
In autumn 2013 there were 42,734 pupils in compulsory education in Iceland. The number of pupils increased by 414 (1.0%) from the previous school year after a continuous decline since 2003, when there were 44,809 pupils in compulsory education. In addition there were 111 pupils attending the 5 year old grade in compulsory schools.

The number of pupils with foreign citizenship and foreign mother tongue continues to increase
Since the autumn of 2006 the number of foreign pupils increased by 518. In the autumn of 2013 there were 1,498 foreign pupils in Icelandic compulsory schools. In 2006 these pupils were 2.2% of all pupils, but in the autumn of 2013 they were 3.5% of all pupils, never more. The most numerous were pupils with Polish (811) and Lithuanian (137) citizenship.

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 2013, 2,775 pupils in Icelandic compulsory schools had a foreign mother tongue (6.5%), an increase by 0.2 percentage points from the previous year.

 


Additional statistical data on pupils and staff in compulsory schools are available at the Statistics Iceland website.

Statistics