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Statement by Minister of State Michelle Müntefering on the decision by the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany to grant pension reserves to local teachers at German schools abroad

16.10.2020 - Press release

Minister of State Müntefering issued the following statement today (16 October) on the decision by the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany to grant pension reserves to local teachers at German schools abroad:

I am pleased that efforts have been successful to further improve the conditions for teachers at German schools abroad, thanks to an important reform measure that has now been adopted for the 140 German schools abroad.

This makes working at one of our schools abroad far more attractive for teachers in Germany. They are urgently needed there, because they serve as authentic, multifaceted ambassadors for Germany’s image abroad. We are also more than ever in need of teachers who, upon returning from schools abroad, can put their experiences to good use by serving as cultural multipliers here in Germany.

Background information:

Seconded teachers who are normally employed at schools of the Länder but work at a German school abroad under a local staff contract – known as local teachers – will receive better contractual terms effective immediately, because they will now accumulate pension entitlements for the time they work at a German school abroad. This means their entitlements will now be on a par with those of teachers who are seconded by the Federal Office of Administration - Central Agency for Schools Abroad. The additional benefits were enabled by the payment of a pension reserve. The Federal and Länder Governments will each bear half of the respective cost.

This reform was jointly negotiated by the Federal Foreign Office and the Länder. It has now been approved by the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany. Local teachers can apply to receive these benefits, which will be granted retroactively as of 1 August 2020.

In recent years, local teachers have become increasingly important for Germany’s schools abroad. They now form an ever larger share of teaching staff compared to teachers who have been placed at the school by the Central Agency. This reform makes taking up a local teacher position significantly more attractive. The measure should not only generate more interest among teachers in Germany to work as a local teacher abroad, but will also encourage those who do go abroad to stay longer, because the years that they teach there will not go unaccounted for in their pensions. Both aspects will enhance the quality of our schools abroad, because this to a large extent depends on employing a sufficient number of experienced teachers from Germany.

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