New policy guide to improve the support for teacher and school leader careers in Europe

Recent work by the ET2020 Working Group Schools – with experts and ministry representatives from across Europe – aims to improve the support for teacher and school leader careers. With growing concerns about teacher recruitment and motivation, the work offers a number of ideas on how to make a positive difference.

Improving the working lives of teachers and school leaders across Europe

School education cannot exist without its highly competent and motivated teachers and school leaders: they are the ones responsible for learner development on a daily basis and it is for the learners that they are undertaking their professional roles. There is a need not only to continually recruit enough teachers and school leaders, but also to retain and nurture them as happy and ambitious professionals.

However, serious teacher shortages are being reported, and school education careers across Europe are still often seen as flat or one-dimensional, with few or no opportunities for progression. This raises a serious challenge both for schools and for education systems.

What is the ET2020 Working Group Schools?

The ET2020 Working Group Schools is made up of representatives from European education ministries and stakeholder organisations. Its mandate is to critically reflect on the governance of school education and how systems can address the serious challenges of quality and equity, in order to strive for better learning outcomes for all young people.

Teacher and school leader careers: creating opportunities and supporting progression

There are two main changes that the new Guide calls for:

  1. Broadening the understanding of career paths, in order to appreciate, reward and provide further development opportunities for the different roles that professionals can play in school education. This includes recognising teachers who also take on other roles outside of the classroom, or allowing them time to undertake projects or training.
  2. Reviewing the support – the guidance and training – that is available, so that it helps individuals to progress in a way that best suits them, and is complementary to the schools’ needs. This includes specific support for school heads, who are important actors in school education.

Recognising that career paths in school education can move and overlap in different ways:

career paths

Read about the work here.


Webinar (24.03.2020):