Germany sees rise in teachers without formal qualifications

DPA/The Local
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Germany sees rise in teachers without formal qualifications
A teacher of a 4th grade class in Stuttgart helps a pupill. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Marijan Murat

An increasing number of teachers are teaching at German schools without a recognised qualification, according to Germany’s Statistical Office on Wednesday.


In the 2021/22 school year, 8.6 percent of teachers at general education schools were lateral entrants - or those entering the profession without a recognised training course or degree - as reported by the Statistical Office in Wiesbaden.

According to the report, about 60,800 of the 709,000 teachers had not completed a recognised teaching profession examination (Lehramtsprüfung).

In the 2011/2012 school year, the proportion was 5.9 percent, according to the figures. At that time, about 39,300 of the total of 669,800 teachers at general education schools were lateral entrants. 

Why are fewer teachers receiving official training?

According to the Statistical Office, the increase is a consequence of the general shortage of teachers in Germany.

Many younger people are drifting away from the profession due to its long hours, low pay and lack of flexibility. The growing 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.



According to the statistics, a further 20.8 percent of the 124,000 teachers at vocational schools did not have a recognised teaching qualification in the 2021/22 school year.

"Despite the high demand for trained teachers, the number of teacher training graduates with a master's degree or state examination is declining," the Statistical Office explained. 

In the examination year 2022, around 28,700 student teachers would have passed their final examinations - more than ten percent fewer than ten years earlier.


lateral entrant - (der) Quereinsteiger

general education schools - (die) allgemeinbildende Schulen

teacher shortage - (der) Lehrkräftemangel

despite - trotz 

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