3.4 Career structure/path

The existence of a career structure or path that allows for progression and development over a teacher’s career is crucial to attracting, motivating and retaining teachers, thereby helping to build a teaching force with the necessary knowledge, competencies and attitudes to enhance learning. Fostering career progression ensures that there are experienced and competent teachers who can mentor and train less-experienced teachers. A career structure also impacts on teacher retention, as teachers are motivated by the possibility of progression. While career paths may be seen as costly, they are less costly than providing training for teachers who leave soon after their initial appointment to a teaching post. A career path should provide meaningful rewards and incentives, both financial and non-financial, to motivate teachers to progress. As discussed above, progression along a career path is linked to access to meaningful CPD options. CPD must therefore be aligned to the different roles within the teacher career structure, so that teachers can access systematic professional development that supports their career development.

The career structure should be equitable and allow equal opportunities in career progression; this will be based on effective job classification and clear, transparent, equitable criteria for evolution and for promotions. Career structures should reflect the needs of the education system and the individual context: if, for example, an education system suffers from excessive teacher attrition or a shortage of teachers with the necessary profile to become mentors or school leaders, the career structure should be adapted to respond to these needs (ILO, 2012: 54).

3.3.5 Managing transfers

3.4.1 Diversified career development opportunities offering differentiated but equivalent paths