Chapter 3. Providing teachers and school leaders with secure, flexible and rewarding jobs

Working conditions are a broad set of work-related characteristics that determine the quality of a job. They include remuneration, working hours and contractual arrangements, the physical and social environment of the job, work intensity, career growth prospects, employee autonomy, participation in decision making, teamwork and trust. Good working conditions are important for workers, enterprises and societies. They are positively associated with health, well-being, skills development and productivity (Cazes, Hijzen and Saint-Martin, 2015[1]; Eurofound and International Labour Organization, 2019[2]). In the case of teachers, by contributing to their motivation, engagement and well-being, the quality of the working environment is also crucial to fostering effective learning environments (Bascia and Rottmann, 2011[3]; Gomendio, 2017[4]; Robalino Campos and Körner, 2005[5]; Viac and Fraser, 2020[6]).

Quality jobs go well beyond offering good salaries and career growth prospects. They also provide workers with a chance to fulfil their ambitions, by recognising their contribution to their communities and providing them with constructive feedback and opportunities for training and professional development (Cazes, Hijzen and Saint-Martin, 2015[1]). In many education systems across the world, teacher effectiveness is neither financially nor professionally rewarded, partly because it is difficult to measure (Crehan, 2016[7]). Carefully designed appraisal systems can help to improve recognition of teachers’ efforts and competencies, leading to more satisfied and motivated teachers (Crehan, 2016[7]; OECD, 2013[8]; Isoré, 2009[9]). This chapter discusses appraisal systems that aim to provide formal evaluations of teachers, with the goal of informing teachers’ professional development or decisions about their careers. Informal feedback received from colleagues, the school management team or other sources is discussed in Chapter 4.

This chapter focuses primarily on objective indicators of working conditions, elements of teachers’ occupational well-being (job security, time flexibility, evaluation processes) that can (at least in principle) be observed by a third party (Viac and Fraser, 2020[6]). It also explores teachers’ satisfaction with some of these objective conditions (salary and other terms of employment).

Finally, it describes how these indicators vary across teachers (e.g. by gender and age) and schools (e.g. in privately managed schools and in schools serving disadvantaged areas), and how they relate to various outcomes, for example, self-efficacy and turnover intentions. It is complementary to Chapter 2 of this report, which focuses on subjective indicators of working conditions, for example, teachers’ and principals’ appreciation of the prestige, satisfaction and well-being of their profession and their working environment.

Ensuring good working conditions in all schools for teachers and principals is important for their well-being and for the functioning of education systems. Good working conditions across schools help to:

  • Attract good candidates to the teaching profession: If working conditions are attractive, people of all ages are more motivated to enrol in teacher education programmes, to apply for registration/certification as teachers and to apply for teaching jobs. Attracting talented individuals to the teaching profession is a necessary condition to ensure teaching quality and is a pressing concern in many OECD countries (OECD, 2019[10]; OECD, 2005[11]).

  • Retain good teachers: Good working conditions improve teachers’ occupational well-being and their willingness to stay in the profession – especially in schools in disadvantaged areas, which experience the most severe retention problems (Viac and Fraser, 2020[6]). Keeping teachers in the profession is essential when facing a shortage of qualified teachers, a problem in many OECD countries (OECD, 2019[10]) (Table I.3.63). In addition, retaining teachers means giving them opportunities to improve their effectiveness with experience. Experience helps teachers to manage their complex jobs, potentially improving their ability to relate to their students and promote student learning (Berliner, 2001[12]; Ladd and Sorensen, 2017[13]; Melnick and Meister, 2008[14]).

  • Improve teachers’ motivation and self-efficacy: Good working conditions can make teachers feel that their contribution to the community is valued and can also reduce stress levels, especially if teachers have financial and job security and ways to combine their responsibilities within and outside the school. Well-being and motivation help teachers to perform their jobs effectively and contribute as much as possible to student learning (Leithwood and McAdie, 2010[15]).

  • Provide the right incentives for career and professional development: adequate evaluation of teachers’ strengths and weaknesses, connected with good opportunities for career advancement (or differentiation) and support for continuous professional development, help teachers to develop professionally and find jobs that make the best use of their interests, knowledge and skills (Crehan, 2016[7]; OECD, 2019[10]).

In most education systems, governments set the framework and provide the funding for the employment and career progression of most teachers and principals (OECD, 2019[10]). This gives governments the opportunity to shape working conditions in schools, but it also involves trade-offs. For example, staff compensation accounts for almost 80% of the total cost of education in primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education (OECD, 2019[16]). But commitments to increase the financial remuneration of teachers and principals and to secure it through permanent contracts can compete with the need to limit costs and ensure flexibility in government expenditure. As another example, teacher appraisal systems aim to stimulate professional development and make teachers accountable for their performance. However, the developmental function of appraisal benefits from a non-threatening context. It can be undermined when appraisals are too closely associated with high-stakes accountability (OECD, 2013, p. 333[8]).

Given the difficult balance governments must strike among their objectives, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to designing policies on teachers’ working conditions. When choosing among different arrangements, governments must take into consideration the context, strengths and weaknesses of their education systems. Recognising that, this chapter reviews international data on objective indicators of the working conditions of teachers and principals and their perceptions of them. The chapter begins by discussing job security, part-time work and work in multiple schools. It then turns to performance appraisal and its role in teachers’ career progression. The chapter also reviews teachers’ and school principals’ satisfaction with their salary and other working conditions. Other aspects of teachers’ working conditions are dealt with elsewhere in the report.1

The attractiveness of the teaching profession to current and potential teachers depends, in part, on the terms of employment they are offered (Béteille and Evans, 2019[17]; Gomendio, 2017[4]). Offering more attractive jobs helps to recruit talented new teachers and also to retain those who are currently in service. In turn, retaining teachers gives them opportunities to learn through experience, collaborate with other teachers and further their training. More experienced teachers tend to be better at managing their complex jobs and relating to their students (Berliner, 2001[12]; Ladd and Sorensen, 2017[13]; Melnick and Meister, 2008[14]). The available evidence shows that experienced teachers are, on average, more effective than novice teachers at promoting student learning (Abbiati, Argentin and Gerosa, 2017[18]; Kini and Podolsky, 2016[19]; Papay and Kraft, 2015[20]).

In addition to salary (on which TALIS collects no direct information), job security, part-time work and other employment arrangements (for example, working in multiple schools) affect the attractiveness of teaching jobs. Each of these characteristics has positive and negative aspects. Job security is desirable for teachers, but it reduces flexibility for governments and schools in the utilisation of their human resources (Bertoni et al., 2018[21]; Bruns, Filmer and Patrinos, 2011[22]). Part-time work allows teachers and principals to reduce their workload and spend more time with their family or on other activities. However, in some circumstances, part-time work (which can be voluntary or involuntary, e.g. due to a lack of full-time job opportunities) also carries a penalty in terms of career progression and earnings-related pensions (OECD, 2017[23]; OECD, 2010[24]). The possibility of working in multiple schools can give teachers the opportunity to work some additional hours and allow schools to share resources (Bertoni et al., 2018[21]; OECD, 2019[10]). However, it also increases the demands on teachers, potentially reducing time available for collaboration with other teachers and other valuable activities (OECD, 2019[10]).

This section discusses some of the trade-offs involved in the use of these terms of employment and presents descriptive evidence on their prevalence across TALIS countries and economies.

Fixed-term contracts are those with a specified duration. When fixed-term contracts expire, teachers can keep working for the same employer only if their contracts are renewed or extended. The possibility to employ staff on fixed-term contracts makes it easier for schools and education authorities to respond to changes in their organisational and teaching needs (Bertoni et al., 2018[21]; Bruns, Filmer and Patrinos, 2011[22]). Fixed-term employment also gives schools opportunities to evaluate novice teachers’ skills and fit with the school environment before giving them a permanent contract (OECD, 2019[10]).

By its nature, fixed-term employment involves some degree of insecurity and unpredictability, which may cause strain and prevent some employees from functioning optimally in their work environment (De Cuyper, De Witte and Van Emmerik, 2011[25]). Fixed-term teacher employment (when co-existing with different contractual arrangements) can create dual markets where teachers have different statutory rights, potentially reducing their opportunities and incentives to collaborate and develop professionally. In addition, job insecurity for teachers can translate into uncertainty for students, as they cannot know in advance which staff they will deal with in the near future (OECD, 2019[10]).

Fixed-term work arrangements can vary significantly and have different consequences on teachers and school systems. For example, fixed-term contracts differ in duration, providing different time horizons to teachers, ranging from a few months to several years. In addition, some fixed-term work relationships are a stepping stone to permanent employment, with no serious effect on worker strain or effectiveness, while others may offer no future prospects with the same employer (De Cuyper, De Witte and Van Emmerik, 2011[25]).

On average across OECD countries and economies in TALIS,2 82% of teachers have permanent contracts, 6% have fixed-term contracts for more than one year, and 12% have a fixed-term contract for one year or less (Figure II.3.1, Table II.3.1). However, there are large differences across countries and economies. In Denmark and Saudi Arabia, over 95% of teachers have permanent contracts. Other countries make wider use of short-term contracts. For example, in Georgia, Italy, Spain and the United States, at least 25% of teachers work on contracts of one year or less.3

The share of teachers reporting that they work on fixed-term contracts is strongly related to teachers’ age (Figure II.3.2, Table II.3.4). On average across OECD countries and economies in TALIS, the proportion of teachers employed on a fixed-term contract of any duration is 18%, but it is much higher among teachers under age 30 (48%). In Austria, Italy, Shanghai (China) and Spain, 80% or more of teachers under age 30 report that they have fixed-term contracts.

Within education systems, it can generally be expected that a larger proportion of young teachers than older teachers will be employed on fixed-term contracts. Young teachers are more likely to have recently joined the profession, so they could be on probationary periods or have concrete prospects of receiving a permanent contract in the near future. However, a very high proportion of young teachers on fixed-term contracts can be worrying. According to teacher unions around the world, teachers on fixed-term contracts tend to be less protected by pension schemes, less often awarded study leave, and less entitled to benefits and rights, including family benefits and annual holiday pay (Stromquist, 2018[26]). This risks making the teaching profession less attractive to young people, despite the widely affirmed goal of making teaching a “profession of first choice for young people”, in order to attract 69 million new teachers worldwide by 2030 (UNESCO, Director-General, ILO, UNICEF, Education International and UNDP, 2019[27]).

In about two-thirds of the TALIS countries and economies with available data, the share of teachers on fixed-term contracts in privately managed schools differs significantly from the share among teachers in publicly managed schools. On average across the OECD, the share of teachers on fixed-term contracts in privately managed schools is 9 percentage points higher than the share of teachers in publicly managed schools (Table II.3.5).

But there is a large variation across countries. For teachers working on fixed-term contracts, the difference between privately managed schools and publicly managed schools exceeds 40 percentage points in Singapore (+72 percentage points for teachers working in privately managed schools), Colombia (+66 percentage points), Turkey (+58 percentage points), Viet Nam (+49 percentage points) and Mexico (+49 percentage points). However, in Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires (hereafter CABA [Argentina]), the share of teachers in privately managed schools working on fixed-term contracts is 43 percentage points lower than the share of those in publicly managed schools (Table II.3.5).

The proportion of teachers reporting working on a fixed-term contract in schools with over 30% of students from socio-economically disadvantaged homes (according to principals – henceforth, “disadvantaged schools”) is not significantly different than in other schools, on average across the OECD. However, there are important differences across education systems. For example, in CABA (Argentina), the proportion of teachers on a fixed-term contract is 26 percentage points larger in schools with a higher concentration of students from socio-economically disadvantaged homes than in other schools, while in Colombia, it is 36 percentage points lower.

In ten TALIS countries and economies (half of those with available data), there has been no significant change in the share of teachers employed on permanent contracts between 2008 and 2018 (Table II.3.6). The share of teachers with permanent contracts decreased significantly in Mexico (-15 percentage points), Austria (-15 percentage points), Spain (-9 percentage points), Korea (-8 percentage points), Italy (-6 percentage points) and Malta (-4 percentage points). It increased significantly in Iceland (+9 percentage points), Slovenia (+8 percentage points), Portugal (+6 percentage points) and Brazil (+5 percentage points). In all these countries, with the exception of Portugal, the change in the share of teachers with permanent contracts corresponded with an opposite change in the share of teachers with contracts of less than one year.

From 2013 to 2018, the share of teachers working on permanent contracts increased significantly in four TALIS countries and economies, and it decreased significantly in five (Table II.3.6). With the exception of Korea and Mexico, this change has largely been attributable to an opposite change in the share of teachers working on contracts of less than one year,4 thereby illustrating the policy trade-offs made by education authorities. Some education systems, like the Flemish Community of Belgium, are taking policy action to improve job security among teachers in the coming years (Box II.3.1).

Part-time work is increasingly common among workers in OECD countries (OECD, 2017[23]; OECD, 2010[24]). It can help individuals to achieve work-life balance and personal well-being, and it encourages participation in the labour force among workers with pressing demands on their time due to family or other commitments. Many individuals, especially women, choose to work part-time and are satisfied to trade wages and career opportunities for working-time arrangements that are better aligned to their lives (OECD, 2019[29]; OECD, 2017[23]; OECD, 2010[24]).

However, part-time work often carries a penalty in terms of career progression and earnings-related pensions. In addition, working part-time can be involuntary, implying either that individuals work less than the desired amount of time or that their contracts reflect only a part of the time they actually spend on their jobs. Therefore, the over-representation of some demographic groups (for example, women) among part-time workers has some negative implications in terms of equity (OECD, 2019[29]; OECD, 2017[23]; OECD, 2010[24]). Since teachers often work in the public sector in a highly regulated environment, the association of part-time work with career progression, wages and pension rights may depend on the broader rules on working conditions that are in place (OECD, 2005[11]).

In a number of education systems, part-time work for teachers is associated with more flexibility in the utilisation of human resources and a higher ability for school principals to regulate costs and teaching supply (Bertoni et al., 2018[21]; OECD, 2019[10]). However, in some instances, teachers’ part-time work also requires additional administration to manage personnel and timetables, and it can constrain the availability of teachers if too few are willing to increase the number of work hours when needed (OECD, 2019[29]; Weldon, 2015[30]).

TALIS asks teachers to report their employment workload at their school and across all teaching employment combined. Teachers can report working full-time (more than 90% of full-time hours) or part-time (divided into three categories: “71-90% of full-time hours”; “50-70% of full-time hours”; and “less than 50% of full-time hours”). TALIS also asks principals to report if they are employed full-time ( “more than 90% of full-time hours”) as a principal and if they have teaching obligations.

On average across the OECD, 79% of teachers reported that they are employed full-time in 2018 (all teaching employments included). A much smaller proportion report that they are employed as teachers between 71% and 90% of full-time hours (10%), between 50% and 70% of full-time hours (7%), or less than 50% of full-time hours (4%). However, there are large differences across countries (Table II.3.7). In Brazil, Mexico, the Netherlands and Saudi Arabia, the majority of teachers report that they are employed part-time. The share of teachers who report being employed less than 50% of full-time hours across all teaching employment is particularly large in Mexico and Saudi Arabia (over 20%). In contrast, in the Netherlands, 53% of teachers report that they are employed between 50% and 90% of full-time hours, and the share of teachers reporting that they are employed for less than 50% of full-time hours is relatively small (6%).

Between 2013 and 2018, the proportion of teachers reporting that they are employed part-time has significantly increased in around one-half of the TALIS countries and economies with available data, and it has significantly decreased in two countries (Georgia and Sweden) (Figure II.3.3, Table II.3.10). Particularly large increases in the share of teachers reporting to be employed part-time have been observed in Chile (+12 percentage points), Portugal (+11 percentage points) and Spain (+10 percentage points), while a significant decrease has been observed only in Georgia (-8 percentage points) and Sweden (-4 percentage points).

Current projections of teacher shortages across countries assume that the share of part-time teachers is constant (Education for All Global Monitoring Report; UNESCO Education Sector, 2015[31]; UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2016[32]), an assumption that is not consistent with the evidence presented in this chapter. On the one hand, the trend towards a larger share of part-time teachers could mean that education systems will have to recruit more teachers to avoid the prospect of shortages. On the other hand, part-time is seen as a tool to increase labour force participation by enabling individuals to reconcile the demands of work and personal life (OECD, 2019[29]; OECD, 2017[23]; OECD, 2010[24]), so more options to work part-time could also encourage more teachers to join and stay in the profession.5

The prevalence of (self-reported) part-time work varies across education systems, as well as across groups of teachers (Figure II.3.4, Table II.3.11). In 2018, female teachers report working part-time more often than their male colleagues (a difference of 4 percentage points, on average across the OECD). The difference between women and men is 10 percentage points or larger in Alberta (Canada), Australia, Austria, Belgium and its Flemish Community, England (United Kingdom), the Netherlands, New Zealand and Norway. In contrast, in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, the proportion of men reporting that they work part-time is over 10 percentage points larger than for women. In addition, the proportion of teachers under age 30 who report that they are employed part-time is significantly higher than for teachers who are at least age 50 in 20 TALIS countries and economies, and significantly lower in 10 countries and economies with available data.

In 18 TALIS education systems with available data, part-time employment is significantly more frequent among teachers in privately managed schools than among their colleagues in publicly managed schools (Figure II.3.4, Table II.3.12). In Brazil and Norway, the difference between the shares of teachers working part-time in privately managed schools and publicly managed schools exceeds 20 percentage points. In contrast, in Georgia, Kazakhstan and Turkey, teachers in publicly managed schools are significantly more likely to report being employed on part-time contracts than their colleagues in privately managed schools. In some countries and economies, privately managed schools represent only a small fraction of all schools in the education system.6

Schools with over 30% of students from socio-economically disadvantaged homes do not have a significantly different share of part-time teachers than other schools in the large majority of countries and economies with available data. The only exceptions are Alberta (Canada), Austria, Denmark, England (United Kingdom) and France, where the proportion of teachers reporting to work part-time is between 3 and 10 percentage points lower in schools with a higher concentration of students from socio-economically disadvantaged homes than in other schools.

Some teachers may report that they work a substantial number of hours, despite stating that they are employed part-time. On average across OECD countries and economies in TALIS, 23% of teachers who report that they are employed with contracts of up to 70% of full-time hours at the school in which they were surveyed also report working 35 or more hours on tasks related to their job at the same school during the week prior to the survey. This proportion exceeds 40% in Chile, Colombia, Kazakhstan, Shanghai (China), Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and Viet Nam. This result could mean that many teachers in these education systems work more than their contract hours, that teachers’ work intensity is very different across weeks,7 or that standard working time for full-time teachers is well above 40 hours per week (Table II.3.13). The total statutory working time at school of full-time teachers in the public sector in general lower secondary education varies substantially across OECD education systems, from 1 178 hours per year in Israel to 1 800 or more in Chile, Colombia, Iceland, Japan and the United States – see Table D4.1b in Education at a Glance 2019 (OECD, 2019[16]). However, internationally comparable data on weekly statutory workloads are not available.

Part-time teachers tend to distribute their time across different tasks in a similar way to other teachers. On average across the OECD, part-time teachers spend 32 hours per week on all the tasks related to their job in their surveyed school, of which 17 hours are devoted to teaching (Table II.3.14). In other words, teachers spend slightly more than half (54%) of their working time teaching classes, a share very similar to that of all teachers (53%) – Table I.2.27, TALIS 2018 Results (Volume I) (OECD, 2019[33]).8 The distribution of part-time teachers’ time across non-teaching tasks is also very similar to that of all teachers, with “individual planning or preparation of lessons either at school or out of school” and “marking/correcting of student work” being the most time-consuming tasks.

Part-time employment is far less common for principals than for teachers. On average across the OECD, 96% of principals report that they are employed full-time (Table II.3.16). The proportion of part-time principals is below 25% in all TALIS countries and economies except for Alberta (Canada) (26%), Georgia (26%), Romania (32%) and CABA (Argentina) (51%). In Alberta (Canada) and Georgia, the relatively large share of part-time principals is due to a higher prevalence of part-time work among principals in schools in rural areas or villages (up to 3 000 inhabitants) and, to some extent, in towns (up to 100 000 inhabitants). In both Alberta (Canada) and Georgia, the proportion of part-time principals is below 10% in larger cities (Table II.3.19).

Even when principals are employed full-time, they may not dedicate themselves full-time to managing the school if they have teaching obligations. The presence of substantial teaching duties can increase the demands on principals’ schedules and their ability to devote themselves to school leadership. On average across the OECD, 31% of all principals report that they are employed full-time with some teaching obligations, and 2% report that they are employed part-time with some teaching obligations (Table II.3.16). The allocation of teaching assignments to principals is very common in some education systems and very rare in others. For example, over 90% of principals have teaching obligations in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic (where principals are legally obliged to teach), Israel, Romania and the Slovak Republic. In contrast, less than 5% of principals have teaching obligations in Belgium (including its Flemish and French Communities), Colombia, Croatia, Japan, Korea, Malta, Saudi Arabia, Sweden and the United States.

On average across the OECD, the proportion of principals with teaching obligations is particularly large in rural areas or villages (7 percentage points larger than in cities), in privately managed schools (12 percentage points larger than in publicly managed schools), and in schools with less than 500 students (8 percentage points larger than in other schools) (Tables II.3.20 and II.3.21). However, these averages mask a very heterogeneous pattern across education systems. For example, the difference between urban and rural areas in the proportion of school principals with teaching obligations ranges between -60 percentage points in New Zealand and +23 percentage points in Italy. The difference between privately managed schools and publicly managed schools ranges from -69 percentage points in Turkey to +70 percentage points in Italy.

The allocation of teaching assignments to principals may also reflect school leadership based on the concept of primus inter pares.9 This approach to leadership views the school as a professional community of teachers, where principals are viewed as experienced teachers carrying some additional administrative and managerial burden (Peetz, 2015[34]). In the Slovak Republic, for example, principals need to meet specific requirements in terms of their teaching experience and the number of hours they teach every week (Santiago et al., 2016[35]).

Between 2013 and 2018, the proportion of principals reporting that they work part-time has changed significantly only in Brazil (+7 percentage points) and the Flemish Community of Belgium (+3 percentage points) where the prevalence of part-time work among principals has increased (Table II.3.22). In contrast, the proportion of principals with teaching obligations has changed significantly in nine countries and economies with available data. A significant increase has been observed only in Israel (+22 percentage points) and Georgia (+15 percentage points), while substantial decreases have been observed in Latvia (-22 percentage points), Alberta and Denmark (both -18 percentage points), Finland (-12 percentage points) and Iceland (-11 percentage points).

Some teachers teach in multiple schools. In some education systems, this makes it possible for schools to share resources and gives teachers wishing to work additional hours an opportunity to do so (Bertoni et al., 2018[21]; OECD, 2019[10]). Working in multiple schools could also reflect opportunities for horizontal diversification in teaching careers, as teachers can take on specific responsibilities across schools in some education systems (e.g. coaching and mentoring roles) (OECD, 2019[10]). However, working in more than one school increases the demands on teachers and takes time from class preparation, building long-term relationships with colleagues outside the classroom, collaboration with other teachers and other valuable activities. In addition, teachers working in multiple schools may not do so voluntarily, but because they are in a less senior and more precarious position (OECD, 2019[10]). On average across the OECD, the proportion of teachers working in more than one school is half a percentage point larger among novice teachers with five years or less of work experience than among more experienced teachers. The proportion of novice teachers working in more than one school was 6 percentage points larger than among other teachers in Italy,10 and 11 percentage points larger in Romania (Table II.3.25).

In the majority of TALIS countries and economies, it is relatively rare for teachers to report working in more than one school (4% or less of teachers report that they do so in 2018) (Table II.3.23). However, in a few education systems, it is more common for teachers to report working in multiple schools. In Brazil, CABA (Argentina), Lithuania and Romania, over 15% of teachers work in more than one school. This being said, this work pattern is on the rise, and the proportion of teachers working in just one school has significantly decreased in about half of the 32 TALIS countries and economies with comparable data between 2013 and 2018, while it has significantly increased only in Brazil, Chile and France (Table II.3.24).

Teachers in rural areas, in publicly managed schools and in schools with a comparatively high concentration of students from socio-economically disavantaged homes, report working in multiple schools more ofen than other teachers do, on average across the OECD (Table II.3.26). However, this pattern does not hold for all education systems. For example, in schools with over 30% of socio-economically disadvantaged students (according to principals), the proportion of teachers working in multiple schools is significantly larger than in other schools in 10 countries and economies with available data, but it is significantly smaller in 5.

Teachers reporting that they work in multiple schools tend to have less job security than other teachers. On average across the OECD, the proportion of teachers reporting that they work on a fixed-term contract is 27% among teachers working in multiple schools, 10 percentage points larger than among teachers who report they work in only one school (Table II.3.27). The proportion of teachers reporting to work on a fixed-term contract is significantly larger among teachers working in multiple schools than among other teachers in around almost half of TALIS countries and economies, with a particularly large difference observed in Portugal (35 percentage points).

Investigating the relationship between contractual arrangements (such as part-time and temporary work) and work-related outcomes is fraught with methodological difficulties. Part-time and temporary workers may be different from other workers in terms of unobservable characteristics (for example, their work-related abilities and attitudes, or their personal and family situation) that affect their outcomes on the job and in the labour market (Bentancor and Robano, 2014[36]; Engellandt and Riphahn, 2005[37]). In addition, there could be reverse causality from outcomes to arrangements, for example, in the case of teachers motivated to reduce their working hours by a perceived high level of work-related stress.

Finally, any relationship between contractual arrangements and work-related outcomes is likely to be mediated or affected in unpredictable ways by a large number of other factors. For example, there are indications of lower involvement in some types of professional growth for teachers who report that they work on fixed-term and part-time contracts. Results from the TALIS 2013 survey show that fixed-term employment is associated with participating less in formal induction programmes and professional development activities and receiving less mentoring (OECD, 2014[38]). Similarly, results from TALIS 2018 show that part-time teachers tend to be less likely to participate in professional development – see Table I.5.46 in TALIS 2018 Results, Volume I (OECD, 2019[33]) and score lower on the index of professional collaboration (Chapter 4, Table II.4.10). This could, potentially, translate into different levels of teacher self-efficacy or well-being. Despite all these limitations, TALIS data allow for showing, across a large number of education systems, if teachers with different job security and working time feel differently on the job than other teachers, controlling for a number of teachers and school characteristics. This helps governments identify potential problems and opportunities related to the utilisation of temporary and part-time contracts, and can stimulate further research into these topics.

Regression analyses show that teachers who report working on contracts of less than one year tend to feel less confident in their teaching ability11 compared to those with permanent contracts, after controlling for teacher age, gender, work experience at the surveyed school and a variety of school factors (Figure II.3.5, Table II.3.28). In contrast, no significant relationship is found between working on a fixed-term contract of more than one year and teacher self-efficacy. Part-time work is also negatively related to teacher self-efficacy, on average across the OECD. Teachers working 70% or less of full-time hours and teachers working between 71% and 90% of full-time hours tend to be less confident in their teaching than teachers working full-time (the regression coefficients are of similar size and not significantly different from each other, on average across the OECD).12

Overall, short-term work and part-time work (jointly considered) are related with teacher self-efficacy in all education systems. Working on a fixed-term contract of less than one year, being employed for 70% or less of full-time hours and being employed for between 71% and 90% of full-time hours are each significantly and negatively associated with self-efficacy in about one-third of the education systems with available data (Figure II.3.5, Table II.3.28). In no education system is there a significant and positive association between any of these three variables and self-efficacy. In addition, in all countries and economies with available data, these three variables are, taken together, significantly associated with self-efficacy.13

While short-term work and part-time work tend to be detrimental to teacher self-efficacy, they display more positive associations with well-being indicators. On average across the OECD, the score on the workplace well-being and stress index of teachers reporting that they are employed for 70% or less of full-time hours is significantly lower than that of full-time teachers, after controlling for teacher age, gender, work experience at the surveyed school and a variety of school factors (Table II.3.29). The workplace well-being and stress index takes into account the extent to which teachers agree with four statements on stress and well-being: “I experience stress in my work”; “my job leaves me time for my personal life”; “my job negatively impacts my mental health”; and “my job negatively impacts my physical health” (OECD, 2019[39]). The significant, negative association observed in about one-third of education systems between this index and being employed for 70% or less of full-time hours means that teachers who report being employed for a smaller amount of hours tend to feel less stressed for work-related reasons. In contrast, being employed for between 71% and 90% of full-time hours, rather than more than 90% of full-time hours, is significantly associated with feeling stressed for work-related reasons only in Brazil and Japan (both negative associations) and the United Arab Emirates (positive association).

More surprising, at first glance, is the negative association across OECD countries between working on a fixed-term contract and the workplace well-being and stress index. This implies that, on average across the OECD, teachers with contracts of less than one year and teachers with fixed-term contracts of more than a year report feeling less stressed for work-related reasons than teachers on permanent contracts (Table II.3.29). This seems to contrast with the link between job security and well-being highlighted in the literature (Cazes, Hijzen and Saint-Martin, 2015[1]; Eurofound and International Labour Organization, 2019[2]). However, while existing theoretical frameworks consistently hypothesise a negative relationship between temporary work and job satisfaction and well-being, empirical results are more mixed (De Cuyper et al., 2008[40]; Wilkin, 2012[41]). In addition, from a conceptual point of view, Cazes et al. (2015[1]) emphasise that it is labour market security, rather than job security, that most affects workers’ well-being. If temporary teachers feel that it is easy to continue work or to find new employment after their contracts expire, they may not be affected negatively by the fixed-term nature of their contracts. Finally, Eurofound and the International Labour Organization (2019[2]) emphasise a large number of differences in the content of work between workers on fixed-term contracts and those on permanent contracts. These differences relate to factors that are measured in TALIS (e.g. work intensity) and others that are not (e.g. frequency of solving difficult problems at work). Many of these factors could, potentially, affect workplace well-being and stress, and they could be explored in future research as potential mediators in the relationship between teachers’ job security and workplace well-being and stress.

Teacher appraisal refers to the formal evaluation of teachers “to make a judgement and/or provide feedback about their competencies and performance” (OECD, 2013, p. 272[8]). Teacher appraisal can take many forms, ranging from centralised national appraisal systems with strictly regulated procedures to approaches developed autonomously within schools. The actors and methods involved differ widely across education systems, as do the consequences for teachers. Typical examples across education systems include appraisal for the completion of a probationary period, registration as a qualified teacher (e.g. through national exams or peer committees), regular performance appraisal (e.g. by the school principal) and reward schemes based on the identification of high-performing teachers (OECD, 2013[8]).

Teacher appraisal serves several important functions. It can be a tool for quality assurance, when aimed at ensuring that required standards are met or recommended practices followed (summative appraisal). Teacher appraisal can also provide an opportunity for teachers to reflect on their teaching practice and on their strengths and weaknesses and to identify areas for improvement (formative appraisal). Teacher appraisal can yield important information to support schools, teachers and external authorities in their decisions on career advancement and professional development (Isoré, 2009[9]; Papay, 2012[42]).

Existing literature points to teacher appraisal as an important building block of effective education systems. For example, from Hattie’s synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to educational interventions and student achievement – as cited in IEA, IEA DPC, Statistics Canada, OECD (2013[43]) – constructive appraisal of classroom teaching and learning emerges as the single most effective intervention for student performance. Among countries and economies that participated in TALIS 2013, a majority of teachers who received appraisal reported that these processes led to positive changes in their teaching practices (OECD, 2014[38]). However, many teachers also reported that feedback and appraisal had little impact on teaching and that it is not always the best teachers who receive the greatest recognition (OECD, 2014[38]). According to research findings, the success of teacher appraisal systems generally depends on certain conditions:

  • Principals, other evaluators, and teachers must invest an adequate amount of time in the various phases of the appraisal procedure (preparation and presentation of the evidence, meetings, follow-up) (Isoré, 2009[9]; Jensen and Reichl, 2011[44]).

  • Evaluators must possess the required expertise, in terms of both pedagogical knowledge and assessment techniques, and teachers must be prepared to react to and use the results of the assessment (Darling-Hammond, 2013[45]; OECD, 2013[8]).

  • Teacher appraisal systems must be experienced as valid and reliable by both evaluators and teachers (Lillejord and Børte, 2019[46]; Radinger, 2014[47]).

Formal teacher appraisal is not the only way for teachers to get the information they need to improve their teaching competencies and practices. For example, continuous professional development [TALIS 2018 Results (Volume I), Chapter 5], teacher induction [TALIS 2018 Results (Volume I), Chapter 4], collaborative professional learning and peer feedback [TALIS 2018 Results (Volume I), Chapter 4] can all contribute effectively to achieving this goal (OECD, 2019[33]). However, teacher appraisal is the only way to build a salary structure different from the single salary structure that is used in many education systems. In single salary structures, teachers get pay increases based on their educational attainment and teaching experience, irrespective of teaching quality. This pay system is easy to administer and rewards teachers in an equal and objective way (Protsik, 1996[48]), but it also has potentially negative effects on teacher motivation and performance (Crehan, 2016[7]; Hanushek, 2007[49]).

TALIS 2018 asks principals if each teacher in their school is formally appraised and with what frequency ( “never”; “less than once every two years”; “once every two years”; “once per year” or “twice or more per year”). Principals also report the method used for appraisals: “observation of classroom teaching”; “student survey responses related to teaching”; “assessments of teachers’ content knowledge”; “students’ external results (e.g. national test scores)”; “school-based and classroom-based results (e.g. performance results, project results, test scores)”; or “self-assessment of teachers’ work (e.g. presentation of a portfolio assessment, analysis of teaching using video)”. Principals also report on who conducts the appraisal (source of appraisal): “principal”; “other member (s) of the school management team”; “assigned mentors”; “other teachers (not part of the school management team)” or “external individuals or bodies”.14

Finally, in TALIS 2018, principals report the potential consequences of teacher appraisal: “measures to remedy any weaknesses in teaching are discussed with the teacher”; “a development/training plan is developed”; “material sanctions such as reduced annual increases in pay are imposed”; “a mentor is appointed to help the teacher improve his/her teaching”; “a change in a teacher’s work responsibilities (e.g. increase or decrease in his/her teaching load, administrative/managerial responsibilities or mentor responsibilities)”; “an increase in a teacher’s salary or a payment of a financial bonus”; “a change in the likelihood of a teacher’s career advancement”; or “dismissal or non-renewal of contract”. Principals are also asked how frequently such consequences occur in their school ( “never”; “sometimes”; “most of the time”; or “always”).

On average across the OECD, only a small proportion of teachers (7%) work in schools in which teachers are never appraised (Table II.3.30). However, in a few countries this proportion is substantially larger, as in Finland (41%), Italy (36%) and Spain (25%). Appraisals are most often conducted by the school principal or other members of the school management team. On average across the OECD in 2018, 64% of teachers work in schools where school principals appraise each teacher every year, and 51% work in schools with annual appraisals by other members of the school management team (Figure II.3.6, Table II.4.30). This is not surprising, as regular appraisal as part of performance management, typically organised at the school level, is the most common form of teacher appraisal across countries participating in the OECD Reviews of Evaluation and Assessment in Education (OECD, 2013[8]).

Appraisals by other sources are somewhat less common. Around 34% of teachers work in schools where annual appraisals are conducted by the teacher’s mentor, and a similar proportion (31%) work in schools where annual appraisals are carried out by other teachers (Figure II.3.6). Peer appraisal can be a useful tool for formative appraisal, because experienced teachers can draw on their general and specific teaching knowledge and expertise in the advice they give to colleagues. In addition, teachers are in a good position to understand the situation of their colleagues, and can target their advice accordingly (Goldstein, 2007[50]; Isoré, 2009[9]; OECD, 2013[8]). However, appraisal by mentors presents some challenges, due to their specific role. For example, beginning teachers may be more reluctant to admit areas of weakness to their mentors if those mentors have a role in formal appraisals (OECD, 2013[8]).

Finally, only around 20% of teachers work in schools where each teacher is appraised every year by external individuals or bodies (e.g. inspectors, municipal representatives or district/jurisdiction office personnel) (Figure II.3.6, Table II.3.30). Appraisal by external sources can be perceived as more objective and less judgemental than appraisal by the school management team or other colleagues who work in the same school. However, it must be stressed that appraisal by external sources can happen in a wide variety of forms involving very different individuals or bodies. This makes it difficult to draw general implications. For example, it can involve school districts implementing statistical evaluation models (Darling-Hammond, 2015[51]) or subject specialist teachers employed in a different education institution (McIntyre and Hobson, 2016[52]).

The presence of multiple perspectives makes teacher appraisal more robust and reliable (OECD, 2013[8]). On average across OECD countries, teachers work in schools where more than three of the five sources on which TALIS collects information are used for appraisal (Table II.3.30). Only in Italy and Finland (where there are no appraisals in many schools) is the average number of sources less than two. Shanghai (China) stands out particularly as it has one of the highest number of sources used for appraisal, and it is among the education systems with the largest proportion of teachers in schools where each teacher is appraised every year by the school principal, by other members of the school management team, by the teacher’s mentor and by other teachers.

Significant changes in the proportion of teachers in schools without appraisal procedures have been observed between 2013 and 2018 in all 4 countries where this proportion exceeded 20% at the beginning of this period: Finland (+15 percentage points), Spain (-12 percentage points), Iceland (-13 percentage points) and Italy (-34 percentage points). In addition, this proportion also increased significantly in Norway (+9 percentage points) and Japan (+5 percentage points) (Table II.3.33). In some education systems, there has been a trend towards more frequent use of peer appraisal. Between 2013 and 2018, the percentage of teachers in schools where teachers are formally appraised at least once per year by their mentor or other teachers has increased significantly in 8 education systems (it also decreased significantly in 3 education systems).

Teachers who are never appraised may lack an important channel for feedback, including impactful feedback. In addition, teacher self-efficacy may be harmed by the absence of feedback or of a feedback culture in the school (Chester and Beaudin, 1996[56]; Fackler and Malmberg, 2016[57]). Regression results on this variable are available for only 13 countries and economies,15 but they show that teachers working in schools without appraisal procedures score significantly lower in self-efficacy only in Belgium (Table II.3.36). In contrast, teachers working in schools without appraisal procedures are significantly less likely to report that the feedback they received in the 12 months prior to the survey had a positive impact on their teaching practices in Alberta (Canada), Austria, Bulgaria, Japan and Mexico (the coefficient for Bulgaria is significant but with the opposite sign, implying that they are more likely to report a positive impact of feedback) (Table II.3.37).

The information necessary to appraise teachers can be collected through a variety of methods, depending on the purposes of the appraisal. For example, if the main function of teacher appraisal is to inform career decisions and strengthen accountability, then it needs to be based on defensible and comparable sources of evidence. In contrast, if the main goal is to inform professional development and promote learning, then teacher self-evaluation can be a valuable tool. In any case, the use of multiple sources of evidence is essential to evaluating teachers accurately and fairly on the variety of tasks that make up their jobs (OECD, 2013[8]).

Across TALIS countries and economies, observation of classroom teaching is typically part of teacher appraisal procedures. In all education systems with available data, over 90% of teachers work in schools where this method is used for appraisal, except for Finland, Iceland, Portugal and Spain (schools where no appraisal takes place are excluded from this calculation) (Table II.3.38). The prevalence of observation of classroom teaching for formal appraisal is in line with its common utilisation as a basis for feedback (see Chapter 4). Classroom observation is an important element of formative appraisal, as it helps to ensure that individual teachers’ weaknesses and strengths are robustly addressed through subsequent professional development (OECD, 2013[8]). However, classroom observation ultimately relies on human judgement and can be subjective and prone to bias (to different extents, depending on how it is structured and carried out) (Papay, 2012[42]).

Students’ results are also commonly used for appraisal. On average across the OECD, 94% of teachers work in schools that use school-based and classroom-based results for appraisal (e.g. performance results, project results, test scores), and 93% work in schools that use students’ external results (e.g. national test scores) (again, schools without appraisal procedures are excluded from this calculation) (Table II.3.38). In Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Romania, the Russian Federation and Shanghai (China), all teachers work in schools using school-based and classroom-based results for appraisal. In Bulgaria, Latvia, Norway and Romania, all teachers work in schools where external results are used. As a source of information for appraisal, students’ school or external results present the advantage of being measurable and explicitly oriented towards student learning outcomes (the primary goal of teaching). However, teachers’ contributions to their students’ learning outcomes are never directly observable, and teachers’ evaluations based on students’ results depend on a number of sensitive statistical assumptions. Therefore, effective teacher appraisal systems making use of students’ results should be combined with other evaluation methods (Braun, 2005[58]; OECD, 2013[8]; Papay, 2012[42]).

Finally, on average across the OECD, a smaller but still substantial proportion of teachers work in schools where, in the process of teachers’ appraisal, use is made of student survey responses related to teaching (82%), assessments of teachers’ content knowledge (70%), or self-assessments of teachers’ work (68%) (Table II.3.38). Students’ perceptions of the learning environment, as elicited through carefully designed survey instruments, are generally reliable and predictive of student learning. In addition, they provide a unique and important perspective on classroom interaction, teacher behaviour and the learner experience. However, students are not trained in rating, so their responses may be affected by factors unrelated to student learning. Therefore, they are most useful when used in combination with other evaluation tools (Kane and Staiger, 2012[59]; Wagner et al., 2013[60]; Wallace, Kelcey and Ruzek, 2016[61]).

Given the strengths and weaknesses of the various evaluation methods, schools and education systems often choose to use a variety of methods in combination. On average across the OECD, teachers work in schools using five of the six different methods on which TALIS collects information (again, schools with no appraisal procedures are excluded from this calculation) (Table II.3.38). For example, in Latvia (where 5.8 methods are used, on average), all methods except assessment of teachers’ content knowledge are used in 100% of the schools that completed the survey. In contrast, Finland (where only 3.6 methods are used, on average) has the lowest proportion of teachers in schools where classroom observation is used for appraisal and also the lowest proportion of teachers in schools using assessments of teachers’ content knowledge and school-based and classroom-based results.

Teacher appraisal can be a tool to reflect on past work and develop professionally, as well as an accountability mechanism to ensure adequate teacher performance or compliance with standards (Lillejord and Børte, 2019[46]; OECD, 2013[8]; Papay, 2012[42]). To attain any of these goals, appraisal must lead to the right consequences. For example, consequences such as appointing a mentor to improve teaching or drafting a plan for professional development are well aligned with the formative function of appraisal. The goal of ensuring good performance and compliance with standards can be linked to performance incentives, such as wage increases, financial bonuses or even dismissal of a teacher (see the beginning of this section or Table II.3.42 for a full list of the consequences investigated in the TALIS survey).

If providing feedback is included in the functions of appraisal, then, by definition, a dynamic process must be involved in which the two parties exchange information to improve the accomplishment of work-related tasks (Baker et al., 2013[62]). Therefore, it is not surprising that almost all principals report that appraisal is “sometimes”, “most of the time” or “always” followed by a discussion with the teacher of measures to remedy any weaknesses in teaching (again, schools without appraisal procedures are excluded from this calculation). In 2018, on average across the OECD, 98% of teachers work in schools where these post-appraisal discussions take place (Table II.3.42). However, the proportion of teachers working in schools where appraisal is “always” followed by this consequence is much lower (28%, on average across the OECD) (Table II.3.45). In France and Japan, 5% or less of teachers work in schools where appraisal is “always” followed by a discussion with the teacher of measures to remedy any weaknesses in teaching.

The elaboration of a professional development or training plan is also a very common consequence of teacher appraisal. Schools where this occurs “sometimes”, “most of the time” or “always” account for 90% of all teachers, on average across the OECD (excluding schools where teacher appraisal does not take place) (Table II.3.42). This reflects the fact that teacher professional development is a stated aim of teacher appraisal in most OECD education systems (OECD, 2013[8]). Efforts across countries and schools to link appraisal and professional development are a positive sign, given the potentially positive impact of continuous professional development on teaching practices and student learning (Desimone, 2009[63]; Fischer et al., 2018[64]; Meissel, Parr and Timperley, 2016[65]; Villegas-Reimers, 2003[66]).

Mentoring is another potential consequence of teacher appraisal. In TALIS, mentoring is defined as “a support structure in schools where more experienced teachers support less experienced teachers”. Principals across the OECD generally report that mentoring is very important for supporting less experienced teachers and for improving teachers’ pedagogical competence and collaboration with colleagues (OECD, 2019, p. 144[33]). The impact of mentoring on teachers depends on its quality, as determined, for example, by the mentor’s school-specific knowledge (Rockoff, 2008[67]; Simmie et al., 2017[68]; Spooner-Lane, 2017[69]).

On average across the OECD, 71% of teachers work in schools where appraisal results, at least sometimes, in appointment of a mentor to help them improve their teaching, and the same proportion of teachers work in schools where appraisal sometimes results in a change in work responsibilities (again, schools without appraisal procedures are excluded from this calculation) (Table II.3.42). However, there are important differences across countries and economies. Schools where appraisal can result in a mentoring arrangement account for virtually all (99% or more) teachers in England (United Kingdom), Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Shanghai (China) and Singapore. As could be expected, these are also among the education systems where the largest proportions of teachers are involved in mentoring programmes. Across these five education systems, between 37% (England, United Kingdom) and 67% (Shanghai, China) of teachers with up to five years of teaching experience are assigned a mentor, and between 25% (the Netherlands) and 45% (Kazakhstan) of teachers with more than five years of teaching experience mentor other teachers – see Table I.4.64, OECD (2019[33]).

Teacher appraisal less often results in changes in teachers’ career prospects. Schools where teacher appraisal results, at least sometimes, in a change in the likelihood of career advancement account for 53% of teachers, on average across the OECD (again, schools without appraisal procedures are excluded from this calculation) (Table II.3.42). A similar proportion of teachers (51%) work in schools where appraisal sometimes results in dismissal or in non-renewal of a teacher’s contract.

Changes in compensation are the least recurrent consequence of teacher appraisal. On average across the OECD, 41% of teachers work in schools whose principals report that teacher appraisal results in an increase in a teacher’s salary or the payment of a financial bonus “sometimes”, “most of the time” or “always” (again, schools without appraisal procedures are excluded from this calculation). Schools where material sanctions (such as reduced annual increases in pay) are imposed, at least sometimes, as a result of teacher appraisal account for just 15% of teachers, on average across the OECD (Table II.3.42). Nonetheless, these consequences are fairly common in some education systems. Over 90% of teachers work in schools where appraisal sometimes results in an increase in a teacher’s salary or the payment of a financial bonus in the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, the Russian Federation and Shanghai (China). In Sweden, over 70% of teachers work in schools where material sanctions are imposed, at least sometimes, as a result of appraisal.

Given the different and often concurrent objectives of appraisal (e.g. rewarding well-performing teachers, ensuring that teaching standards are consistently applied, steering teacher careers and professional development), it can be expected that appraisal may result in different consequences. On average across TALIS countries and economies, teachers work in schools where appraisal results (at least sometimes, and excluding schools without appraisal procedures) in five of the eight different consequences on which TALIS collects information. This number ranges from 3.3 in Colombia, Portugal and Spain to 6.9 in England (United Kingdom).

Appraisal is more likely to result in certain consequences if the school management team has “significant responsibility”16 for those consequences (i.e. if the principal or other members of the school management team play an active role in relevant decision making). For example, as discussed in the previous paragraph, the proportion of teachers working in schools where teacher appraisal sometimes results in an increase in a teacher’s salary or the payment of a financial bonus is relatively small, on average across the OECD (41%). The proportion is even smaller (30%) in schools without “significant responsibility” over the determination of teachers’ salary increases, but it is larger in schools with such responsibility (55%) (Figure II.3.7, Table II.3.48). Similarly, 60% of teachers work in schools where appraisal sometimes results in dismissal or non-renewal of a teacher’s contract whenever the school has “significant responsibility” for dismissing or suspending teachers from employment. However, only 28% of teachers work in schools with such consequences in the case of schools without significant responsibility over those decisions (Table II.3.49).17 Responsibility for determining teachers’ salary increases and for dismissing or suspending teachers are key components of schools’ autonomy in budgeting and staffing (Chapter 5).

An increase in a teacher’s salary and dismissal or non-renewal of a teacher’s contract occur less often as a consequence of teacher appraisal in public schools than in private schools, on average across the OECD (Tables II.3.46 and II.3.47). This could be related to their lower level (compared to privately managed schools) of overall principals’ responsibilities, on average across the OECD (Table II.5.11, Chapter 5). In contrast, there is not a significant difference in the occurrence of these consequences of appraisal between schools with over 30% of students from socio-economically disadvantaged homes (according to principals) and other schools, on average across OECD countries and economies in TALIS. Nonetheless, significant and substantial differences are observed in some education systems. For example, the proportion of teachers for which appraisal results (at least sometimes) in dismissal or non-renewal of a contract is over 15 percentage points larger in schools with a higher concentration of socio-economically disadvantaged students than in other schools in Brazil, Bulgaria, CABA (Argentina), Chile, Colombia and Spain (it is 23 percentage points smaller in Sweden).

The consequences of teacher appraisal are changing across TALIS countries and economies. Between 2013 and 2018, except for Croatia, Finland and France, in all education systems with available data, there was a significant change in the occurrence across schools of at least one of the consequences discussed in this section (Table II.3.52). The areas that have seen most changes across TALIS participating countries and economies are the tying of appraisal results to financial rewards and career advancement decisions (Figure II.3.8). Overall, changes observed across TALIS participating countries and economies suggest a growing reliance upon financial and career advancement incentives and policy levers, as well as on support to teachers through mentoring, and a declining reliance upon changes in teachers’ work responsibilities or dismissals and non-renewal of contracts.

More specifically, the proportion of teachers working in schools where appraisal “sometimes”, “most of the time” or “always” results in an increase in a teacher’s salary or the payment of a financial bonus increased significantly in about half of the countries and economies with comparable data. Particularly large increases were observed in Italy (62 percentage points) and Sweden (33 percentage points), while significant negative changes were observed in Singapore (-21 percentage points) and Iceland (-7 percentage points) (excluding schools where teacher appraisal does not take place). Around half of TALIS countries and economies with available data experienced a significant change in the occurrence of teachers’ career advancement as a consequence of teacher appraisal, with a significant increase in 10 education systems and a decrease in 6. A significant increase in the reliance upon mentoring was observed in 5 countries and economies and the opposite pattern in 2 countries and economies with comparable data. The proportion of teachers working in schools where appraisal results, at least sometimes, in a change of teachers’ work responsibilities, has risen in 3 education systems but dropped in 5 others, and consequences in terms of dismissal or non-renewal of contracts rose in only one system but decreased in 5 others.18

The most important motivations for teachers to join the profession are related to the sense of fulfilment they derive from serving the public, for example, by influencing children’s development and contributing to society. However, TALIS 2018 data show that extrinsic motivations are also important motivating factors for teachers’ decisions to join the teaching profession. In particular, job security, reliability of income and the possibility to combine work with other responsibilities are reported by a large majority of teachers across the OECD as moderately or highly important factors for their decision to become a teacher – see Figure I.4.1, OECD (2019[33]). Salary and working conditions influence teacher decisions not only to join the profession, but also to stay (Bruns, Filmer and Patrinos, 2011[22]; OECD, 2019[10]).

Retaining teachers and principals is crucial to the success of an education system and its schools. Experienced teachers tend to be more effective than novice teachers (Abbiati, Argentin and Gerosa, 2017[18]; Kini and Podolsky, 2016[19]; Papay and Kraft, 2015[20]). Teaching is a complex job that involves many factors, including transmitting knowledge, attitudes and skills to students, maintaining relationships with diverse stakeholders, managing groups and complying with school procedures. Experienced teachers can be better at navigating these varied tasks, relationships and expectations (Berliner, 2001[12]; Melnick and Meister, 2008[14]) and, as a result, at improving a variety of student outcomes (Ladd and Sorensen, 2017[13]). School-specific teaching experience is especially valuable. Teachers’ expertise is domain-specific and context-dependent, and not all of it can be generalised to different school settings (Berliner, 2001[12]). A mentor’s school-specific experience also contributes to the effectiveness of mentoring (Rockoff, 2008[67]; Simmie et al., 2017[68]; Spooner-Lane, 2017[69]), indicating that this type of experience can benefit the school as a whole.

Schools and education systems need to offer attractive conditions to their staff, both in absolute terms and relative to other jobs requiring similar qualifications (OECD, 2019[10]). In addition, the available research finds that, in a variety of countries and economic sectors, employees’ satisfaction with their salaries also depends on the compensation structure, the related incentives and the mechanisms for the remuneration of performance implicit in appraisal systems (Boswell and Boudreau, 2000[70]; Chen et al., 2006[71]; Schay and Fisher, 2013[72]; Tomaževič, Seljak and Aristovnik, 2014[73]).

This section presents information on teachers’ and principals’ satisfaction with their salary and the other terms of their employment as collected through the TALIS survey. It also relates this information to available data from TALIS or other sources on salaries, working conditions, compensation systems and teacher turnover.

TALIS asks teachers and principals to report the extent to which they agree ( “strongly disagree”; “disagree”; “agree”; or “strongly agree”) with the statement that they are satisfied with the salary they receive for their work. On average across the OECD, 39% of teachers and 47% of principals “agree” or “strongly agree” that they are satisfied with their salary in 2018 (Tables II.3.56 and II.3.65).

While nearly half of principals (47%) report satisfaction with their salary across countries and economies participating in TALIS, the data also show significant variation across types of schools. On average across OECD countries and economies in TALIS, the proportion of principals who are satisfied with their salaries is 23 percentage points higher in privately managed schools (65%) than in publicly managed schools (42%) (Figure II.3.9, Table II.3.65). In Italy, 83% of principals report that they are satisfied with their salaries in privately managed schools and only 10% indicate so in publicly managed schools. The difference in principals’ satisfaction with their salary between privately managed schools and publicly managed schools also exceeds 40 percentage points in Denmark, Georgia, Japan, Portugal and the United States.

On average across OECD countries and economies in TALIS, the proportion of teachers reporting that they are satisfied with their salaries is also higher in privately managed schools than in publicly managed schools (by 6 percentage points), but to a lower extent than is the case for principals. In addition, in two countries (Denmark and the United Arab Emirates) the proportion of teachers who are satisfied with their salaries is significantly higher in publicly managed schools than in privately managed schools (Table II.3.58).

TALIS data also provide some evidence that satisfaction with salary tends to be lower in disadvantaged schools, both among teachers and among principals. The proportion of principals who are satisfied with their salaries is 9 percentage points lower among those who estimate that over 30% of students in their school come from socio-economically disadvantaged homes than among other principals, on average across the OECD (Table II.3.65). The proportion of teachers who are satisfied with their salaries in schools with over 30% of disadvantaged students (according to principals) is not significantly different than in other schools (Table II.3.58). However, after controlling for a range of teacher and school factors, teachers reporting a larger proportion of students from disadvantaged homes in their target class are significantly less likely to be satisfied with their salaries, compared to other teachers.

TALIS data on satisfaction with salaries can be compared with data on the statutory salaries of teachers and principals, available through other OECD data collections and reported in the publication Education at a Glance (OECD, 2019[16]). The analysis in this chapter makes use of the statutory annual gross salary (purchase-parity adjusted and excluding bonuses and allowances) of lower secondary full-time teachers and principals in general programmes in public institutions in 2018 (Tables II.3.63 and II.3.64).19

These salaries are based on the most prevalent qualifications (for teachers) or on the minimum qualifications (for principals) that are necessary for the job. These amounts refer to different points of the salary scale (starting salary and salary after 15 years of experience for teachers and maximum salary for principals). The ratio between these salary indicators and the gross average earnings of full-time, full-year workers with tertiary education in the 25-64 age group (OECD, 2019[16]) (Table D3.2a) has also been used, as a measure of the relative levels of school staff salaries.

Across education systems, teachers’ satisfaction with their salaries is strongly associated with the statutory salary earned by teachers in public institutions. Figure II.3.10 (Panel A – Tables II.3.57 and II.3.63) shows a strong positive correlation between the proportion of novice teachers (with 5 years or less of working experience as teachers) who are satisfied with their salaries in publicly managed schools and the statutory starting salaries for teachers in 2018 (the linear correlation coefficient is r=.62, based on 32 education systems with available data). For example, Austria, Denmark and Spain all have starting salaries exceeding USD 40 000 in purchasing power parity terms (among the highest levels observed in education systems with available data) and over 60% of novice teachers are satisfied with their salaries (among the highest proportions observed). In contrast, in Brazil, Hungary and the Slovak Republic, the annual average starting salary is well below USD 20 000, and less than 25% of novice teachers are satisfied with their salaries (among the lowest levels across TALIS countries and economies). There is also a strong positive correlation between the proportion of teachers with more than 5 years of teaching experience and the statutory salary of teachers with 15 years of experience in public institutions (Figure II.3.10, Panel B – the linear correlation coefficient is r=.67, based on 29 education systems with available data).

Figure II.3.10 also provides some evidence that education systems where the teacher salary structure is relatively flat (i.e. the ratio between statutory salaries after 15 years of experience and statutory starting salaries is relatively low) also tend to have a negative difference in teacher satisfaction between more experienced and novice teachers (the linear correlation coefficient between these two variables is r=.52, based on 32 education systems). More experienced teachers are, on average, significantly less satisfied with their salaries than novice teachers in publicly managed schools in all education systems where the ratio between statutory salaries for teachers with 15 years of experience and starting salaries is below 1.25 (except for Iceland and Denmark, where this difference is not significant). In contrast, among education systems where salaries after 15 years of experience are over 25% higher than starting salaries, the proportion of more experienced teachers who are satisfied with their salary is significantly larger than for novice teachers in Australia, Austria, England (United Kingdom), Israel and Korea and it is significantly lower only in Japan (Tables II.3.57 and II.3.63).

These results highlight the trade-offs faced by education systems in establishing salary scales for teachers. Teachers’ satisfaction with salaries is correlated not only with the level of teachers’ salaries across education systems, but also with the pay slopes. Flattening the salary scale could make more resources available to increase starting salaries, but that would be at the expense of salaries for more experienced teachers. Thus, doing this would help to attract new teachers, but it could also decrease motivation among more experienced teachers (OECD, 2019[10]).

However, these results should be taken with caution for two reasons. First, statutory salaries are a system-level measure that can mask substantial variation across teachers with similar levels of experience in publicly managed institutions (OECD, 2019[16]). Second, for some education systems, the information on statutory salaries reflects regulations that apply to teachers currently starting their job, but it may not apply to teachers who started many years ago – see OECD (2019[16]), Annex 3. For example, salary scales in Austria used to be considerably steeper than the OECD average (OECD, 2019[10]), with large salary differences between novice and senior teachers. A reform implemented in 2015 compressed the salary scale, increasing starting salaries and limiting them at the top end (Nusche et al., 2016[74]). This is reflected in data on statutory salaries, but not in the TALIS data, which show that teachers with more than five years of experience in publicly managed schools in Austria are among those most satisfied with their salary (Figure II.3.10).

If teachers are mainly concerned with earning a salary that ensures a good standard of living, then the salary level in a country or economy can be expected to be associated with the average satisfaction with salary in that country/economy. However, people generally do not only care about absolute levels of income, but also about income relative to others (Cheung and Lucas, 2016[75]; Clark, Frijters and Shields, 2008[76]). Therefore, the average satisfaction of teachers with their salary in a country/economy could be expected to depend on the salary of a comparison group (e.g. similarly educated workers). However, there is no correlation across countries and economies between salary satisfaction for teachers with over 5 years of teaching experience and the statutory salary for teachers with 15 years of experience relative to other workers with tertiary education (the linear correlation coefficient is r=-0.00, based on 25 education systems with available data) (Tables II.3.63 and II.3.58). This indicates that, across the countries and economies with available data, there is not strong evidence that teachers’ average relative salary is associated with their average satisfaction with salary.20

The proportion of principals in publicly managed schools who are satisfied with their salaries is correlated across education systems with the maximum statutory salary of principals in public institutions at the lower secondary level (the linear correlation coefficient is r=0.47, based on 26 education systems). The correlation between principals’ satisfaction with salary and their maximum statutory salary relative to tertiary educated workers is weaker (the linear correlation coefficient is r=0.25, based on 24 education systems) (Tables II.3.64 and II.3.65).

TALIS asks teachers and principals not only about their satisfaction with salary, but also about the extent to which, apart from their salaries, they are satisfied with the terms of their teaching contract or employment (e.g. benefits, work schedule). On average across the OECD, 66% of teachers “agree” or “strongly agree” that, apart from their salaries, they are satisfied with their terms of employment. This indicates that teachers tend to be much more satisfied with their general terms of employment than with their salaries (39%) (Table II.3.56). In 2018, the proportion of teachers who are satisfied with the other terms of their teaching contract or employment exceeds 80% in Alberta (Canada), Austria, Colombia, Estonia, Georgia and Latvia, and is 40% or lower in Denmark, Hungary, Japan and Portugal (Table II.3.59).

Like teachers, on average across the OECD, school principals are also more satisfied with the other terms of employment (66% “agree” or “strongly agree” that they are satisfied) than with their salaries (47%) (Tables II.3.65 and II.3.66). Over 80% of principals are satisfied with their terms of employment in Colombia, England (United Kingdom), Estonia, Latvia, the Netherlands, Singapore and the United States.

Across education systems, there is not a strong relationship between the proportion of teachers who are satisfied with their salaries and those who are satisfied with the other terms of their teaching contract or employment (the linear correlation coefficient is r=.25). In Denmark, for example, 68% of teachers are satisfied with their salaries (one of the largest values across TALIS countries and economies), but only 37% are satisfied with the other terms of their teaching contract or employment (one of the lowest values). In contrast, in Lithuania only 11% of teachers are satisfied with their salaries, but 77% are satisfied with the other terms of their teaching contract or employment. The relationship between satisfaction with salary and satisfaction with other terms of employment is stronger for principals (the linear correlation coefficient is r=.55) (Tables II.3.58, II.3.60, II.3.65 and II.3.66).

Education systems with a large share of teachers who are satisfied with their terms of employment also tend to have a high share of principals satisfied with these terms (the linear correlation coefficient is r=.59). For example, in Portugal 29% of teachers and 40% principals are satisfied with their terms of employment, among the lowest proportions across TALIS countries and economies for both teachers and principals. In contrast, in Alberta (Canada), Colombia, Estonia and Latvia, at least 80% of teachers and principals are satisfied with their terms of employment, among the highest proportions across TALIS countries and economies (Tables II.3.60 and II.3.66).21

Teachers’ satisfaction with the terms of their teaching contract or employment could be affected by a variety of factors. For example, it could be directly affected by part-time or fixed-term work, given that these are important terms of teachers’ employment. In light of the positive and negative aspects of part-time work discussed in the previous section (OECD, 2019[29]; OECD, 2017[23]; OECD, 2010[24]) and the mixed empirical results on the association between temporary work and job satisfaction (Wilkin, 2012[41]), it is difficult to establish a firm expectation on the direction of this relationship.

Teachers’ satisfaction with their terms of employment could also be related to other benefits and conditions of their job. For example, it could be affected by the support teachers receive for continuous professional development including material support, such as reimbursements, provision of materials and salary increases – see Chapter 5 of TALIS 2018 Results (Volume I) (OECD, 2019[33]). These forms of support could affect satisfaction with the terms of employment both because opportunities for professional development are an important part of working conditions (Viac and Fraser, 2020[6]), and also because material support for training and professional development is a part of employee benefit packages (Daley, 2008[77]; Thibault Landry, Schweyer and Whillans, 2017[78]).22 In addition, teachers’ satisfaction with their terms of employment could also be related to the opportunities teachers have to shape their work environment through participation in school governance. (See Chapters 4 and 5 for a more detailed discussion of teachers’ participation in school governance.)

Logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine how teachers’ propensity to report being satisfied with their terms of employment is related to working on fixed-term contracts (either less than one year or of longer duration) or working part-time (between 71% and 90% of full-time hours or less than that). In addition, among the independent variables included were: 1) the number of forms of support for continuous professional development that teachers report receiving in the 12 months prior to the survey;23 and 2) an indicator of teacher participation in school governance.24 Finally, the total number of reported working hours in the week prior to the survey and a set of teacher and school characteristics were included as control variables (Table II.3.69).

No consistent pattern is observed across education systems on the relationship between fixed-term and part-time work and teachers’ satisfaction with their terms of employment. For example, working on a short-term contract of less than one year is significantly associated with teachers’ satisfaction with their terms of employment in a few education systems, either negatively (Austria, Kazakhstan) or positively (Bulgaria and the Czech Republic). As another example, in three TALIS countries and economies, teachers employed for between 71% and 90% of full-time hours are significantly more satisfied with their terms of employment than teachers employed full-time, and significantly less satisfied in five (Table II.3.69).

In contrast, the support available for teachers’ participation in continuous professional development is positively and significantly related to teachers’ satisfaction with their terms of employment in about four-fifths of the countries and economies with available data (Figure II.3.11, Table II.3.69). In addition, participation in school governance is positively related with teachers’ satisfaction with their terms of employment in all education systems with available data, except for Alberta (Canada) and South Africa. Finally, total reported working hours are significantly and negatively associated with teachers’ satisfaction with their terms of employment in about two-thirds of the education systems with available data. These results indicates that teachers’ satisfaction with their terms of employment is more strongly associated with the support they receive for continuous professional development and governance than with specific contractual arrangements, such as fixed-term and part-time work.

Retaining teachers is important to limiting teacher shortages but also to maintaining and improving teaching quality, as both general and school-specific teaching experience are found, in the literature, to be positively associated with student learning (Abbiati, Argentin and Gerosa, 2017[18]; Kini and Podolsky, 2016[19]; Ladd and Sorensen, 2017[13]; Papay and Kraft, 2015[20]). Improving teachers’ salaries and terms of employment can be used by governments as a policy tool with the aim of retaining teachers.

On average across the OECD, teachers’ satisfaction with their salaries is significantly and negatively associated with the desire to change to another school and with the intention to leave teaching within the next five years (Tables II.3.75 and II.3.76), after controlling for a variety of teacher and school characteristics. This suggests that teachers who are satisfied with their salaries are more likely than others to want to continue working as teachers, and also to do so in the same school. In addition, in the large majority of OECD countries, teachers who are satisfied with their terms of employment are less likely to express the desire to change to another school (Table II.3.75 and Figure II.3.12) and to express the intention to continue working as teachers only for the next five years (Table II.3.76).

Across OECD education systems, there are concerns that the schools that most need experienced staff (i.e. those that operate in the most difficult social contexts) are also those that have the most difficulty recruiting and retaining staff (OECD, 2018[79]). In many countries, teachers are more likely to spend their first years of teaching in schools with higher concentrations of students from socio-economically disadvantaged homes – see Figure I.4.9, OECD (2019[33]). Even if teachers working in disadvantaged schools are not more likely than other teachers to report that they intend to leave teaching within the next five years, they are more likely to state that they desire to change to another school (see Chapter 2, Tables II.2.20 and II.2.66). Teachers often start their careers in disadvantaged schools before moving to other schools when they reach a higher level of seniority (OECD, 2019[10]).

On average across the OECD, teachers in disadvantaged schools have almost one year less teaching experience in their current school than teachers in other schools. In Alberta (Canada), the Flemish Community of Belgium, France and Viet Nam, teachers in schools with many students from socio-economically disadvantaged homes have two years or less experience than other teachers (Table II.3.71). In addition, on average across the OECD, principals in schools where over 30% of students come from socio-economically disadvantaged homes have 1.2 years less experience working as principals in their current school, compared to other principals (Table II.3.72).

Some staff mobility is an important and desirable feature of school systems. Across OECD countries, it is relatively common for teachers to have changed schools at least once during their career. Teaching experience at the current school is equal to overall teaching experience for only 19% of teachers with at least ten years of teaching experience (implying that the other teachers have changed schools at least once in their career) (Table II.3.73).25 Teacher mobility between schools can be instrumental in finding the right match between teachers and schools. Evidence from the United States shows that teachers who are less effective in raising student achievement are more likely to leave a school. It also shows that, on average, teachers’ effectiveness improves after transferring to a different school (Boyd et al., 2011[80]; Hanushek and Rivkin, 2010[81]; Jackson, Rockoff and Staiger, 2014[82]). These findings suggest that teacher mobility may have a positive impact on teacher effectiveness.

However, the positive role that staff mobility can play in education systems must be combined with the need to ensure that disadvantaged schools do not lose too many of their good teachers to other schools. One policy option to limit the loss of teaching experience in schools serving disadvantaged communities due to teacher turnover is to improve the salaries and other terms of employment of their staff. Some education systems have introduced financial compensation schemes to incentivise teachers to stay in disadvantaged schools or in schools with a shortage of teachers, but such initiatives have met with different rates of success. For example, teachers responded positively to financial incentives in North Carolina (United States) and Norway, while no difference was observed in France, perhaps because the incentives were small (Clotfelter et al., 2008[83]; Falch, 2011[84]; Prost, 2013[85]) (the French policy programme has evolved considerably since then [Box II.3.6]). Higher salaries have been found to be negatively correlated with teacher turnover across schools in Sweden (Karbownik, 2014[86]).

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Notes

← 1. Teachers’ use of time is discussed in Chapter 2 of the first volume of TALIS 2018, the prestige of the profession in Chapter 2 of this volume, teachers’ co-operation in Chapter 4 of this volume, and their participation in decision making in Chapter 5 of this volume.

← 2. The OECD average corresponds to the arithmetic mean of the estimates of the OECD countries and economies that participate in TALIS, with adjudicated data.

← 3. Within selected in-scope schools, substitute, emergency or occasional teachers were excluded from the sample. Therefore, the proportion of teachers on fixed-term contracts may be underestimated for some education systems.

← 4. For both 2008-2018 and 2013-2018, except for Korea and Mexico, the ratio between the change in the share of teachers with a fixed-term contract of less than one year and the change in the share of permanently employed teachers is equal to -0.67 or less.

← 5. Across TALIS countries and economies, there is only mild evidence that part-time work is related to teacher shortages. Across TALIS countries and economies, there is a positive relationship between the share of part-time teachers (Table II.3.11) and the percentage of principals reporting that a shortage of qualified teachers hinders the school’s capacity to provide quality instruction “quite a bit” or “a lot” – Table I.3.63 in TALIS 2018 Results, Volume I (OECD, 2019[33]) (the linear correlation coefficient is r=.27, based on 47 education systems with available data). In addition, some qualitative evidence from the Netherlands suggests that the relatively large share of part-time teachers in this country may already be making it difficult to provide enough teachers to meet the demand (OECD, 2019[29]).

← 6. On average across the OECD, 19% of schools are privately managed. The estimated proportion of privately managed schools is smaller than 5% in Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Iceland, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, New Zealand, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia and Viet Nam (see Annex B).

← 7. Teachers are asked to report the hours they work for a particular week, and not an average across the year. Therefore, if the workload changes over the weeks, a certain proportion of teachers in any given week can be found working an unusually large number of hours.

← 8. The sum of hours spent on different tasks may not be equal to the number of total working hours, because teachers were asked about these elements separately. Therefore, the share of total working time teachers spend on each of the reported activities should be interpreted with great care.

← 9. Another possible factor leading some school principals to take on teaching duties could be a shortage of teachers. However, across TALIS countries and economies, there is no relationship between the share of principals with teaching obligations (Table II.3.20) and the percentage of principals reporting that a shortage of qualified teachers hinders the school’s capacity to provide quality instruction “quite a bit” or “a lot” – see Table I.3.63, OECD (2019[33]). The linear correlation coefficient between the two variables is r=-.06 (based on 47 education systems with available data).

← 10. In France and Italy, the basis for accessing the teaching profession is through a national exam that grants teachers the status of civil servant. Once they become civil servants, teachers are allowed to request transfers. Senior teachers have a higher chance of having their requests accepted. Therefore, junior teachers tend to start in schools that do not match their preferences (for geographic or professional reasons) and must wait to be transferred to schools that do (for geographic or professional reasons) (Barbieri, Rossetti and Sestito, 2011[92]; Prost, 2013[85]). Another interesting example of teacher allocation is Uruguay (a country participating in the OECD School Resources Review), where teachers are allocated to schools through a centralised system based on their preferences and on their rank in a public competition and registry. As a result, teachers with a low ranking are more likely to have their teaching hours split between different schools (Santiago et al., 2016[93]).

← 11. In TALIS 2018, teacher self-efficacy is measured through an index that takes into account teachers’ self-reports of what they can do in their teaching (e.g. “calm a student who is disruptive or noisy”; “vary instructional strategies in my classroom”; and “motivate students who show low interest in school work”) (OECD, 2019[39]).

← 12. Based on a t test of the difference between the two coefficients.

← 13. Based on an F test for joint significance of the three coefficients.

← 14. Information on formal teacher appraisal is collected only through the TALIS principal questionnaire. The TALIS teacher questionnaire collected information on feedback in general (including informal feedback), which is reported in Chapter 4. Questions on formal appraisal (in the principal questionnaire) and feedback (in the teacher questionnaire) follow a similar structure, in particular concerning the breakdowns between different sources of and methods for feedback/appraisal. However, there are some important differences in the ways questions are asked that motivate some of the differences in the reporting of information across Chapters 3 and 4. First, principals report on appraisal procedures at the school level, so the information on appraisals cannot be linked directly to the teachers (for example, observation of classroom teaching may be used for appraisal in a school, but that does not mean that every teacher is observed). Second, there are some differences in wording of the available breakdowns. For example, information on feedback is collected for the principal and other members of the school management team combined. In contrast, information on appraisals is available separately for the principal and for other members of the school management team. Also, the teacher questionnaire makes explicit reference to the students taught by the responding teachers in the description of some feedback methods (e.g. “external results of students I teach”), but not in others (e.g. “school and classroom-based results”).

← 15. The estimate of this variable’s coefficient is not reliable for most countries and economies because of the small number of teachers in the sample whose school principals report that their teachers are never formally appraised by any source of appraisal. This is related to the relatively small proportion of teachers in this category (which is 2% or less in the majority of TALIS countries and economies – Table II.3.30).

← 16. The use of the word “significant” does not refer to the statistical properties of the results, but to the wording used in the questionnaire to phrase the question to principals.

← 17. The analysis has also been performed on the restricted sample of publicly managed schools. The results go in the same direction, on average across TALIS countries and economies. However, data are available for a much smaller number of education systems when privately managed schools are excluded (Tables II.3.50 and II.3.51).

← 18. The trend data in Figure II.3.8 exclude teachers in schools without appraisal procedures. For the purpose of comparison, Table II.3.53 includes these teachers. The overall pattern of the results across countries and economies remains unchanged. However, some noticeable differences in some of the trend indicators are observed in those education systems where the proportion of teachers in schools without appraisal procedures increased substantially (for example Finland, Iceland, Italy and Spain).

← 19. Consistent results are obtained when using the average actual salaries of teachers – Tables D3.2a and D3.4 in OECD (2019[16]) – instead of the statutory salaries, with the difference that it is not possible to carry out the analysis by work experience when using the average actual salaries.

← 20. Workers with tertiary education could still have a different level of education attainment from that of teachers (for example, if the majority of tertiary educated workers have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent as their highest degree, while most teachers have a master’s or equivalent). The analysis can also be run using teachers’ salaries relative to an adjusted average of workers’ salaries that takes this problem into account (Table II.3.64), although with a substantial loss of observations. This variable is also weakly correlated with teachers’ satisfaction with salary (the linear correlation coefficient is r=.19, based on 15 countries and economies with available data).

← 21. There is also a strong association across countries between the proportion of teachers and principals satisfied with their salary (the linear correlation coefficient is r=.72 – Tables II.3.66 and II.3.60).

← 22. Teachers expressed their agreement to the statement “Apart from my salary, I am satisfied with the terms of my teaching contract/employment (e.g. benefits, work schedule)”. Factors influencing this satisfaction could include those that teachers perceive as “benefits” or “work schedule” but also any other factor that, beyond these examples offered in the questions, teachers perceive as part of their “terms” of employment. While some forms of support for continuous professional development listed in the TALIS survey are clearly related to the benefit package (e.g. “Monetary supplements for activities outside working hours”), it is less clear if teachers would perceive others as such (e.g. “Release from teaching duties for activities during regular working hours”).

← 23. Teachers could report receiving any of eight forms of support for continuous professional development: “reimbursement or payment of costs”; “monetary supplements for activities outside of the working hours”; “increased salary”; “release from teaching duties for activities during regular working hours”; “non-monetary support for activities outside working hours”; “material needed for the activities”; “non-monetary rewards”; and “non-monetary professional benefits”.

← 24. The latter indicator is a binary categorical variable equal to 1 if teachers “agree” or “strongly agree” with at least one of two statements on participation in school governance ( “this school provides staff with opportunities to actively participate in school decisions” and “this school encourages staff to lead new initiatives”).

← 25. Teachers are not asked directly whether they have changed schools at least once during their teaching career. Instead, the proportion of teachers who changed schools is assumed to be at least equal to the proportion of teachers reporting that the number of years they have worked as a teacher in their current school is strictly smaller than the total number of years they have worked as teachers. A small fraction (2.3%) of the observations in the TALIS sample have been excluded from this calculation because they reported that the number of years they have worked as a teacher in their current school is strictly larger than the total number of years they have worked as teachers.

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