The ratio of primary school students to teachers in Cyprus was at 12.3 in 2019, compared to an average of 13.5 across the European Union, according to the latest figures by Eurostat, the EU’s statistical service.
The lowest ratios were registered in Greece (8.7), Luxembourg (9.0), and Poland (9.6). Romania had the highest pupil-teacher ratio (19.4). France and Czechia followed with ratios of 18.8 and 18.7, respectively.
The average number of pupils per teacher at the primary level in the EU decreased slightly from 13.6 in 2018 to 13.5 in 2019. The pupil/ teacher ratio also decreased in Cyprus during the same time period, from 12.6 to 12.3. The ratio in Cyprus has been relatively stable since 2015, when it fell from 13.6 in 2014 to 12.2.
The pupil/ teacher ratio is calculated by dividing the number of full-time equivalent pupils by the number of full-time equivalent teachers working in primary education, defined by the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) as level 1.
Eurostat notes that 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.
Primary school programmes are defined in the ISCED as starting when the child is between the ages of 5 and 7, and 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.
According to Eurostat data, in 2019 there were 24.5 million pupils and 2.0 million teachers (85% women, 15% men) at the primary education level in the EU’s Member States.