THE salaries of Scottish teachers have declined in comparison to their international colleagues, according to new figures.

A major report on education systems around the world found the value of pay for secondary staff in Scotland has declined by five per cent since 2005.

The report, by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), said: "In contrast to the general trend across OECD countries, teachers’ statutory salaries in England and Scotland fell in real terms between 2005 and 2017, by about 10 per cent in England and about five per cent in Scotland."

The OECD figures show an average salary in primary schools around the developed world are £42,000, while teachers in secondary get an average of £45,000. In Scotland, teachers at the top of the scale in both primary and secondary are paid £36,500.

The figures come as teaching unions threaten strike action in a battle to secure a pay rise of ten per cent. Teachers have been offered three per cent, although a new offer would see those at the bottom and top of the pay scales receive more.

Union leaders argue teachers’ pay has decreased significantly since the McCrone Agreement of 2001, which followed an independent committee of inquiry which reviewed the profession’s pay and conditions.

The OECD report also concluded that the pay of Scottish teachers is relatively low when compared to other graduate professions.

Larry Flanagan, general secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland teaching union, said the international comparisons confirmed Scotland’s teachers work some of the longest hours of any OECD country - with a high percentage of time spent in front of the class.

Scottish teachers spend 860 hours a year teaching in secondary school compared to an OECD average of 700 hours.

Mr Flanagan said: "Coupled with the country’s continuing slide down international comparisons on pay, where Scotland’s teachers have endured a real-terms pay cut over the past decade, this highlights the damaging combination of soaring workload and declining pay facing Scotland’s teachers.

"This has created a situation where teaching is no longer a desirable career for many graduates, with serious implications for teacher recruitment and retention and for education provision in many parts of the country."