Teachers are the main resource of any education system and require specific management. Teacher management is a component of human resources management, defined as the search for the best possible match between human resources and the needs of an organisation, in terms of quantity and quality. Teacher management functions include recruitment, training and motivation of personnel, their deployment and the establishment of staffing norms, wage negotiations and organisation of pay, follow up and evaluation of performance, planning of future needs, the development of communication systems or yet again making opportunities available for personal and professional development.
Quantitative education development goals (for example, the goal of access to Education For All) can be achieved more effectively and efficiently if human resources, teachers in particular, are planned, allocated, used and managed with care. Teacher management also plays a key role in achieving the qualitative goals of the Education 2030 agenda, as underlined by the Incheon declaration. Teachers have a strong influence on the quality of education (see question 2) and their performance depends on personnel management in particular. For instance, poor management of teachers can lead to overcrowding of some classrooms and this, together with low salaries, has a very negative impact on teacher motivation. This can result in an increase in absenteeism and voluntary departures, directly affecting the quality of education and pupils’ results . Other aspects of teacher management, such as recruitment, training and promotion also impact the quality and effectiveness of any education system.
Another key role of teacher management concerns the control of public expenditure. In fact, teachers represent half or more of government civil service personnel and their salaries an average of 70% of a ministry of Education’s operating budget expenditure. Ineffective teacher management can as such be very costly. Besides, the question of the balance between the cost represented by teachers and their quality related in particular to the attractiveness of the profession and so to the salary offered, must be central to teacher management. This is especially crucial in developing countries that are continuing to face high additional needs for teachers.
Teacher management therefore affects the cost, allocation and utilisation of teachers as well as their motivation and performance. To address the many challenges encountered in developing countries, a global, coherent and forward-looking approach must be adopted. Effective teacher management, based on the adequate planning of staffing needs, viable recruitment, training, remuneration, deployment and career policies, an adequate monitoring and information system and appropriate rules, structures and procedures, is key to the effective operation of any education system and to the satisfaction of its personnel. Lastly, teacher management must be at the heart of any strategy of expansion and improvement of quality and equity of schooling offered and enable its implementation while controlling public spending.