German School Barometer 2024

Every second teacher sees violence at their own school

What is the current situation in Germany's schools? What challenges are teachers facing? The German School Barometer – a representative longitudinal panel study – sheds light on the situation in German schools.


Michael Herm/Claudia Hagen
©Agentur Navos
April 24, 2024

The behavior of their students is currently the biggest challenge for teachers. This is one of the findings of the latest German School Barometer survey of teachers at German schools. Almost every second teacher sees a problem with psychological or physical violence among pupils at their own school. Schools in socially disadvantaged areas are particularly affected. According to the survey, violence at their own school significantly increases the risk of burnout and stress among teachers. More than one in three teachers feel emotionally exhausted several times a week, especially younger and female teachers as well as primary school teachers. 


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As a result, more than two thirds of teachers see social skills such as empathy and personal responsibility as the most important skills that schools need to teach children and young people today in order to prepare them for life. Almost another third consider the teaching of social values such as tolerance, respect and democratic skills to be relevant for the future. 

The growing heterogeneity of their student body also poses challenges for teachers. Teachers do not consider themselves well prepared for inclusive teaching and also feel overwhelmed by it in everyday school life. Half view inclusion rather critically. However, it is also clear that the better qualified teachers are for inclusive teaching, the more positive they are about inclusive education.


"We see the results as a snapshot of an ailing system." 

Quote fromDr. Dagmar Wolf, Head of Education at the Robert Bosch Stiftung

"Teachers have long had to compensate for the consequences of the massive teacher shortage and are constantly coping with new burdens. As a result, people starting their careers don't even want to enter the teaching profession or quickly want to leave it. Some because they cannot cope with the pressure, others because they repeatedly find themselves at their breaking point and cannot help children and young people as they had imagined. In the future, professional well-being will be extremely important for retaining teachers and making the profession more attractive to young people once again."

Read the results


Read the research report on the current German School Barometer with detailed results and recommendations for action (in German language).



Most urgent need for action at their own schools: Lack of staff and run-down school buildings

When asked about the most urgent need for action at their own school, respondents cited the shortage of staff in first place, closely followed by investment in dilapidated school buildings and in technical and digital equipment. Teachers at elementary school in particular see staff shortages as the biggest problem. 

However, the results also show that despite the challenges, the vast majority of teachers are satisfied with their job. What is alarming, however, is that one in four teachers:would leave the teaching profession if they had the opportunity to do so. 



Teachers receive hardly any feedback on their own work

For the first time, the German School Barometer also sheds light on further training in the German school system and compares the results with the international TALIS study (Teaching and Learning International Survey of the OECD, 2018). According to the study, training courses on pedagogical skills or individualized learning are attended significantly less frequently in Germany. Only just over a quarter receive direct feedback from colleagues at their own school. One in four teachers has not received any feedback on their own work in the last year.

Nevertheless, there is a great willingness among teachers to undergo further training: 65% have attended further training on digital media in the past year. Almost two thirds of teachers regularly use digital media in lessons, but they do not feel well prepared.


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"The overburdening of teachers in their daily work is also evident when it comes to training," says Wolf. "In Germany, we need a culture of shared learning in which high-quality training is complemented by mutual observation and a systematic feedback culture. This also includes exchanges among different schools. Compared to other countries, our teachers are still far too focused on themselves."

Learn more

German School Barometer

To the Project

The German School Barometer is a representative longitudinal panel study of general and vocational schools in Germany. The German School Barometer makes it possible to describe developments at an early stage by recording and examining the observations and assessments of people who help shape and experience schools on a daily basis. For the current edition, a total of 1,608 teachers at general and vocational schools in Germany were surveyed by the opinion research institute forsa between November 13 and December 3, 2023. The survey and the results report were designed in close collaboration with an interdisciplinary research team.

To the Project
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