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Supporting schools with better human resource policies


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The staff working in schools are the most important resource for today’s education systems, both educationally and financially. This report aims to provide guidance for the design of human resource policies that strengthen, recognise and preserve the positive impact that teachers, school leaders and other school staff have on their students. It offers an in-depth analysis of how human resource policies can make the best use of available resources to create supportive working environments and build both individual and collective professional capacity in schools. This includes the design of entry requirements, career structures, salary schedules and working time arrangements to attract, retain and motivate high-quality staff; the effective and equitable matching of staff with schools through fair and transparent staff funding and recruitment; and informed investments in professional learning, from initial preparation to continuing development. Throughout its analysis, the report looks at implementation challenges and considers under which conditions human resource policy reforms are most likely to have the desired effects on schools and their staff. This report is the third in a series of thematic comparative reports bringing together findings from the OECD School Resources Review.

Published in: Education
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Supporting schools with better human resource policies

  1. 1. Supporting schools with better human resource policies Working and Learning Together: Rethinking human resource policies for schools Launch webinar, 14 November 2019 Andreas Schleicher, Director for Education and Skills, OECD
  2. 2. 2 School funding School infrastructure School staff Published June 2017 Published Oct. 2018 Part of the OECD School Resources Review A comprehensive look at the resourcing of schools
  3. 3. Working and Learning Together: Rethinking Human Resource Policies for Schools 3 What evidence is it based on? Summary of the state of the art in teacher and school leadership policy • Latest OECD data and systematic review of relevant academic research • New analysis of relevant data New features: Contextualised policy analysis based on • 18 national background reports • 12 in-depth OECD country reviews • 21 country responses to an explorative data collection on national policy frameworks • 19 country profiles on school staffing frameworks What does this report offer? A new perspective on human resource policies considering all adults working in and with schools • Teachers • School leaders • Support staff and others A particular focus on resource implications and implementation challenges A set of six policy approaches to support effective working environments in schools Published 14 Nov 2019
  4. 4. 4 Part of the OECD School Resources Review developed in partnership with 21 OECD review countries European Commission Other international organisations Social partners A network of external experts
  6. 6. Long-standing evidence that teachers have a profound impact on student learning • How to strengthen, recognize and preserve this contribution? Growing recognition of collective capacity as a key element of effective schools • How to support effective collaboration and distribution of responsibilities? People are the most important resource in schools Both individually and collectively (1) 6
  7. 7. School systems employ staff in a wide range of roles and the mix of staff in schools varies across countries, depending e.g. on: • Staff task profiles and responsibilities • Changing student needs • Inclusion policies • Learning time arrangements • School responsibilities / decentralisation 19 Country profiles offer rich comparative information on school staffing frameworks 7 People are the most important resource in schools Both individually and collectively (2)
  8. 8. Countries allocate significant proportions of their budgets to staff salaries Share of current expenditure spent on staff and other resources, 2016 Public and private institutions in primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education 8 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Other current expenditure Compensation of non-teaching staff Compensation of teachers Compensation of all staff (if breakdowns not available)% Source: OECD (2019, Working and Learning Together, Figure 1.4, based on Education at a Glance 2019 People are the most important resource in schools Also from a financial perspective (1)
  9. 9. Contribution of various factors to per-student salary costs of teachers, ISCED 1, 2017 In USD converted using Purchasing Power Parities (PPPs) for private consumption. 9 -4 000 -3 000 -2 000 -1 000 0 1 000 2 000 3 000 Contribution of theoretical class size Contribution of teaching time Contribution of instruction time Contribution of teachers' salary Difference of salary cost of teachers per student from OECD average USD Source: OECD (2019, Working and Learning Together, Figure 1.5, based on Education at a Glance 2019 People are the most important resource in schools Also from a financial perspective (2)
  10. 10. Human resource policies for schools = the regulations and principles of action that shape who school staff are and what they do, through their influence on careers, staff distribution and professional learning. Three persistent challenges in countries: • How to design attractive career structures and salary scales? • How to ensure all schools have the professionals they need? • How to encourage continuous professional learning? 10 What policies can support school systems in resolving key staffing challenges?
  11. 11. I regret that I decided to become a teacher I think that the teaching profession is valued in society I wonder whether it would have been better to choose another profession If I could decide again, I would still choose to work as a teacher The advantages of being a teacher clearly outweigh the disadvantages Persistent challenges Low perceived status of the profession Share of lower secondary teachers who "agree" or "strongly agree" with the following statements: 76.0 75.6 33.8 25.8 9.1 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 OECD average-31 % Source: TALIS 2018, Vol. I. Table I.4.34
  12. 12. Persistent challenges Shortages of teachers and leaders Source: PISA 2015, Vol. II, Table II.6.14 0.0 10.0 20.0 30.0 40.0 50.0 60.0 70.0 To some extent A lot Percentage of students in schools whose principal reported that the school's capacity to provide instruction is hindered by a lack of teaching staff
  13. 13. Persistent challenges Shortcomings in professional learning Source: TALIS 2018: Vol I, Tables I.5.1., I.5.7 and I.5.15. Percentage of teachers who took part in professional development activities / reported that they had a positive impact on their teaching practice 60 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 100 Participated in professional development activities Felt professional development had a positive impact on their teaching practices %
  14. 14. The study’s analytical framework emphasizes: professional agency, collective capacity, effective resourcing 14
  16. 16. 16 1. Design career structures with opportunities for professional growth 2. Establish salary scales that attract new entrants and reward growing expertise 3. Review the staff mix and working time arrangements 4. Ensure an effective and equitable distribution of school staff 5. Adopt a broad vision of initial preparation for teaching and school leadership 6. Support continuing professional learning and collaboration 6 Policy Approaches to Support Effective Working Environments in Schools
  18. 18. School systems need to consider both intrinsic and extrinsic motivations of adults working in schools Source: TALIS 2018, Vol. I , Fig I.4.1 Percentage of teachers who report that the following elements were of "moderate" or "high" importance in becoming a teacher 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Teaching allowed me to influence the development of children and young people Teaching allowed me to provide a contribution to society Teaching allowed me to benefit the socially disadvantaged Teaching was a secure job Teaching provided a reliable income The teaching schedule fit with responsibilities in my personal life Teaching offered a steady career path %
  19. 19. Lack of opportunities for professional growth for teachers • Teacher career structures are traditionally “flat” • Only 8/20 OECD review countries offer multi-stage career structures for teachers Strong emphasis on formal qualifications and experience in advancements • All but one OECD review country require a given level of seniority for career advancement and formal qualifications are a more wide-spread criterion than performance Potential for more articulated leadership career pathways • The majority of OECD review countries does not offer a well-defined career structure for school leaders 19 Traditional teaching careers provide few opportunities for professional growth and distributed leadership (1)
  20. 20. 20 Traditional teaching careers provide few opportunities for professional growth and distributed leadership (2) Single-stage career • Austria • Belgium • Chile • Colombia • Denmark • Iceland • Luxembourg • Portugal • Spain • Turkey • Uruguay Multi-stage career • Czech Republic • Estonia • Kazakhstan • Lithuania • Mexico • Slovak Republic • Slovenia • Sweden
  21. 21. Articulating vertical and horizontal career paths for teachers • Vertical promotions provide formal recognition and higher responsibilities – Examples: Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Slovenia • Horizontal diversification provides greater autonomy to specialize in particular roles – Examples: Austria, Chile, Uruguay • “Career lattice” structures combine vertical progression and horizontal specialisation – Examples: Singapore, Slovak Republic Career structures for school leaders can extend both ways and include • Middle leadership positions to allow more distributed forms of leadership • System leadership positions to share and spread good practice – Example: Denmark 21 Designing attractive and motivating career paths (1)
  22. 22. Singapore’s career structure 22 Designing attractive and motivating career paths (2)
  24. 24. Teachers' working hours (ISCED 2), 2018 24 Teachers’ work involves many, sometimes competing responsibilities 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Total working hours Teaching Lesson planning / preparation Collaboration / dialogue with peers Marking / correcting Administrative work Source: OECD (2019), Working and Learning Together, Figure 2.6, based on TALIS 2018
  25. 25. 25 Average proportion of time lower secondary principals report spending curriculum and teaching-related tasks and meetings, 2018 And large administrative workloads for principals can take time away from pedagogical leadership Source: TALIS 2018, Vol. I Fig I.2.11 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Korea Japan Kazakhstan Israel Chile Alberta(Canada) NewZealand Mexico Spain Italy UnitedStates France Lithuania SlovakRepublic England(UK) Slovenia OECDaverage-30 Colombia CzechRepublic Austria Hungary Belgium Flemish(Belgium) Estonia Turkey Latvia Finland Denmark Iceland Portugal Sweden Norway Netherlands % of working time 16%
  26. 26. The extent to which teachers and school leaders are supported by other staff varies considerably 26 0.1 0.2 0.5 0.3 0.6-0.9 0.7 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 2018 2013 Staff ratio Source: OECD (2019), Working and Learning Together, Figure 1.1, based on TALIS 2018 Change in pedagogical support staff (ISCED 2), 2013-2018 Number of pedagogical support staff per ten teachers
  27. 27. 27 Teachers' administrative work and support (ISCED 2), 2018 But hiring additional support staff might neither be sufficient nor necessary to ease teachers’ administrative burden Canada (Alberta) Chile Czech Republic Denmark UK (England) Estonia Finland Belgium (Fl.) France Iceland Israel Italy Japan Korea Latvia Mexico Netherlands Norway PortugalSlovak Republic Spain Sweden 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 Ratio of teachers to administrative or management personnel Hours spent on administrative tasks Source: OECD (2019), Working and Learning Together, Figure 2.7, based on TALIS 2018
  28. 28. Ensuring that teachers’ and school leaders’ working time reflects their range of tasks  Clarify task expectations for teachers and school leaders and help them prioritise among various and competing claims on their time  Provide employment contracts based on a workload system rather than or in addition to their teaching hours (example: Estonia)  Provide a good balance of autonomy and supports for school staff to work at school, collaborate and spend their time effectively (example: Colombia) Reviewing staff mix and working time arrangements
  29. 29. The presence of a wide range of staff has the potential to enable schools to better meet their individual students’ academic, social and emotional needs ‒ Examples: Portugal and Sweden Reviewing the mix of staff and the use of their time in schools  Invest in research to gain a better understanding of staffing needs and staff time use to inform future resource allocations (example: United States)  Explore regulations and funding mechanisms to steer decisions about the staff mix (example: Chile)  Redistribute leadership responsibilities within schools and systems (example: Kazakhstan)  Build human resource management capacity within schools Reviewing staff mix and working time arrangements
  31. 31. 31 Recruitment systems may work against novice teachers and channel them to the most difficult schools Distribution of novice teachers by concentration of students from socio-economically disadvantaged homes (ISCED 2), 2018 -15 -10 -5 0 5 10 15 Estonia Turkey Belgium(Fl.) France Alberta(Canada) UnitedStates Belgium Austria England(UK) Kazakhstan NewZealand Spain Mexico OECDaverage-31 Chile Hungary Sweden Japan Denmark Lithuania Portugal Italy Israel Colombia Percentagepointdifferencebetweenschools with“morethan”and“lessthanorequalto” 30%ofstudentsfromsocio-economically disadvantagedhomes Source: OECD (2019), Working and Learning Together, Figure 3.7, based on TALIS 2018 Less novice teachers in schools in low SES context More novice teachers in schools in low SES context
  32. 32. Ensuring an adequate supply of professionals and facilitating a good matching process  Collect data on skills needs, involve stakeholders, and ensure a good flow of information (examples: Ontario, Canada)  Develop long-term strategies and try out short-term solutions to teacher shortages (example: “Grow your Own” strategies)  Collaborate in the recruitment of staff, ensure fairness and transparency, and build school capacity for staff recruitment (example: Germany) Tackling inequities in the distribution of teachers and school leaders  Design and implement equitable and transparent funding systems  Make schools supportive places for staff to work with students  Review recruitment, allocation and transfer criteria  Design and evaluate financial incentive schemes  Prepare school leaders for effective staff assignments within schools Promoting the effective and equitable staffing of schools
  33. 33. Financial incentives can be effective, but work differently depending on context and require evaluation and monitoring
  35. 35. Supporting effective forms of professional learning remains a challenge (1) 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 Courses/seminars attended in person Reading professional literature Education conferences Peer and/or self-observation and coaching as part of a formal arrangement Participation in a professional development network Online courses/seminars Other types of professional development activities Percentage of teachers who participated in the following professional development activities TALIS average-48 Source: TALIS 2018, VOL I, Table I.5.7
  36. 36. Supporting effective forms of professional learning remains a challenge (2) Overemphasis on formal structures or roles
  37. 37. Developing leadership for inquiry, dialogue and learning should be a greater priority in a number of countries (1) 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 Promoting equity and diversity Knowledge and understanding of new developments in leadership research and theory Observing classroom instruction Knowledge and understanding of current national/local policies on education Designing the school curriculum Providing effective feedback Designing professional development for/with teachers Human resource management Financial management Using data for improving the quality of the school Developing collaboration among teachers % Principals' needs for professional development (ISCED 2), 2018 Source: OECD (2019), Working and Learning Together, Figure 4.9, based on TALIS 2018 Percentage of principals reporting a high level of need for professional development in the following areas (OECD average-30)
  38. 38. Developing leadership for inquiry, dialogue and learning should be a greater priority in a number of countries (2)
  39. 39. …also for middle leaders
  40. 40. Establishing a systematic approach to learning  Invest in high-quality, individualised coaching for teachers and leaders (example: Colombia)  Identify opportunities and support for school-based learning teams (example: Ontario, Canada; New Zealand)  Support schools to develop coherent adult learning goals that suit the community they serve  Invest in monitoring tools to permit schools to capture teaching and learning strategies that work, and those that do not Supporting formative staff appraisal  Invest in resources to train evaluators and distribute responsibilities to ensure sufficient time  Extend professional standards and appraisal systems to school leaders Supporting professional learning and growth
  41. 41. 41 Thank you for your attention! All publications of the School Resources Review can be found at: For further information:
  42. 42. Additional material 42
  43. 43. Staff compensation is not always commensurate with responsibilities, both for teachers… Teachers' salaries relative to earnings for tertiary-educated workers aged 25 to 64, 2011-2017 43 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 2 Primary education 2011 2017 Ratio Source: OECD (2019), Working and Learning Together, Figure 2.1, based on Education at a Glance 2019
  44. 44. Minimum and maximum statutory salaries for lower secondary teachers and school heads (ISCED 2), 2017 44 … and school leaders Source: OECD (2019), Working and Learning Together, Figure 2.4, based on Education at a Glance 2019 0 20000 40000 60000 80000 100000 120000 140000 160000 Salary range of teachers (most prevalent qualification) School head - Minimum School head - Maximum Equivalent USD converted using PPPs
  45. 45. Salary progression of lower secondary teachers, 2018 Annual statutory salaries of teachers in public institutions, in equivalent USD converted using PPPs 45 Balancing competitive starting salaries with attractive earnings progression 0 20 000 40 000 60 000 80 000 100 000 120 000 140 000 160 000 Starting salary/minimum qualifications Salary after 15 years of experience/most prevalent qualifications Salary at top of scale/maximum qualifications Equivalent USD converted using PPPs Source: OECD (2019), Working and Learning Together, Figure 2.2, based on Education at a Glance 2019