3.1.1 Evidence-informed recruitment and retention strategies

A teacher recruitment and retention strategy should be viewed as a necessary complement to the national education programme or plan (see Chapter 2, Table 2.1), whether the strategy itself is national or decentralized/ local. It should take into account, in equal measure:

  • Quantitative needs – sufficient numbers for all classrooms, schools or learning groups at all levels of education (including ECE), geographic areas and subjects
  • Qualitative concerns – all teachers should be well- qualified, skilled and effective classroom practitioners, in as much as teacher education capacity and funding permit
  • Current and projected future needs, for example the time span of an education plan and the teacher preparation and recruitment cycle.

A recruitment strategy should take into consideration the following factors (both current and projected):Footnote 8

  • Teacher attrition rates (teachers leaving the profession and due to retire)
  • Changes in birth rates and demographic trends: for example, changes in infant mortality rates and migration rates
  • Class sizes and PTRs
  • Impact of global education goals on school enrolment
  • Impact of the current expansion of ECE on the need for ECE teachers and on primary enrolment rates
  • Impact of increased enrolments and completion rates at lower education levels (pre-primary and primary) on the demand for, and enrolments in, higher education levels (primary and secondary)
  • Urban/rural needs, particularly rural
  • Gender profiles (the need to improve gender balance by recruiting more males in most countries/regions and more females in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia in particular). :

Planning a recruitment strategy requires access to information:

  • National data on the existing teaching force: education sector human resource information systems (also known as TMIS or EMIS) provide integrated, teacher- level information about teacher profiles, education and careers, as well as allow the monitoring of teacher recruitment, deployment, retention and education, teacher supply and shortages in key subject areas. These information systems also allow planners and policy-makers to see disaggregated data (in terms of age, gender, the urban/rural divide, etc.) about the teaching force. Where such systems do not currently exist, introducing them is an important first step towards developing a coherent teacher policy (ILO, 2012: 14–16; see also Chapter 2, Section 2.2.5 and Chapter 4, Section 4.4.4).
  • Macro-level data, such as that produced by UNESCO- UIS (see Chapter 2, Section 2.3).

3.1 Teacher recruitment and retention

3.1.2 Attracting and retaining teachers