3.3 Deployment

3.3.1 Deployment strategy

A deployment strategy based on current needs requires reliable, up-to-date information about the characteristics, needs and preferences both of teachers seeking deployment and schools seeking teaching staff. As noted above, the efficient use of well-designed TMIS or EMIS is the most effective way of managing this deployment strategy (for more information, see ILO, 2012: 14–16).

Two basic models of teacher deployment exist:

  • Centrally managed systems coordinated at the national or provincial/state/district level, which assign teachers to vacant posts; and
  • School-based systems, where schools advertise vacant posts and teachers apply for them directly. Schools may also use intermediaries such as teacher recruitment agencies.

The choice of the model will depend on how public services, including education, have historically been organized in a given country. Each model has advantages and disadvantages. One of the negative effects of national or subnational deployment models can be the allocation of teachers to areas where they do not speak the home language, with negative consequences both on their wellbeing and their ability to teach. However, school-based systems may exacerbate existing inequities in teacher deployment, advantaging well-to-do and urban schools.

In theory, centrally managed systems should provide for a more equitable deployment of teachers, in terms of matching the needs of schools with the profiles of teachers seeking a position. In reality, both models result in allocating the more desirable posts – those in (often urban) schools with good performance records – to more experienced, highly qualified teachers. Posts which are less desirable to teachers – for example, in schools in remote rural, ethnic minority or disadvantaged urban areas – tend to be offered to the least qualified or experienced teachers, who may be the least able to cope with them. These posts are also more likely to remain vacant and to experience high turnover rates. Whether teacher deployment is centrally managed or school-based, interaction and communication between the national and local authorities is essential to ensure appropriate quantitative and qualitative deployment of teachers at the local level. Within a school-based system, a national teacher policy may seek to promote greater equality among local areas, so that inequalities are not further accentuated by schools’ selection of teachers.

An effective deployment strategy must find ways of allocating teachers to appropriate posts, balancing the needs of schools and the well-being of teachers. Achieving this ‘fit’ is essential to allow teachers to perform well and ensure their commitment to the post. Developing a deployment strategy is a complex task, which should be linked to career structure, access to CPD and rewards and incentives. As such, it is a key aspect of a teacher policy, and includes financial implications that need to be costed. Financing a deployment strategy is part of the complex process of costing and identifying funding for a teacher policy described in Chapters 4 and 5.

3.2.12 Public-private partnerships in teacher education

3.3.2 Deployment to rural, remote and difficult urban areas