In 2019, there were 2.0 million teachers (85% women, 15% men) and 24.5 million pupils at the primary education level in the EU Member States. Children usually enter primary school programmes (classified as ISCED level 1) between the ages of 5 and 7. These programmes are designed to give them a solid basic education in reading, writing and mathematics, along with an elementary understanding of other subjects such as history, geography, natural and social sciences, art and music.
In the EU, the average number of pupils per teacher at the primary level decreased slightly from 13.6 in 2018 to 13.5 in 2019. The lowest ratios were registered in Greece (8.7), Luxembourg (9.0), and Poland (9.6).
On the other end of the spectrum, Romania maintained the highest pupil-teacher ratio (19.4). France and Czechia followed with ratios of 18.8 and 18.7, respectively.
The pupil-teacher ratio is calculated by dividing the number of full-time equivalent pupils by the number of full-time equivalent teachers working at ISCED level 1. The pupil-teacher ratio should not be confused with average class size as it does not take into account special cases, like small size groups of pupils with special needs or specific subject areas, or the difference between the number of hours of teaching provided by teachers and the number of hours of instruction prescribed for pupils.