Italian schools will open in the next few days with the average age of the teaching staff one of the oldest in Europe. According to the trades union organistation UIL, of the 680,000 teachers working in state schools, 347,000 are over 50 years old and only four per cent of teachers are less than 30 years old. Anyone wishing to obtain a fixed teaching post in an Italian school is filling in with temporary posts for an average of eight years, after completing a university degree, before receiving a permanent appointment.