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Chapter 3. Strengthening the quality of the teaching profession


This chapter looks at how Saudi Arabia is improving the quality of teachers and teaching. Several factors have prevented Saudi Arabia from creating a dynamic and professional teacher workforce. First, it does not have a comprehensive set of teacher standards and established professional pathways for teachers. Second, teaching is seen as a secure, but not highly prestigious, profession, which affects how selective initial teacher preparation programmes can be and the rigour of teacher certification requirements. Finally, once in their posts, teachers are evaluated and supported by supervisors who are not always well positioned to fulfil either function. Many initiatives are underway to address this situation. Saudi Arabia is implementing its first ever teacher standards and professional pathways. Initial teacher preparation is being overhauled and will be offered at a post-graduate level. The country has created a new agency, the National Institute for Professional Education Development, to lead teacher development efforts. This chapter makes recommendations about how Saudi Arabia can use the new standards to identify the best teachers, distribute them to the neediest areas, and make initial teacher preparation more attractive and higher quality. This chapter further suggests that teacher appraisal, instead of being conducted by supervisors, should instead be led by the teacher’s principal, be continuous and be focused on supporting the teacher to improve.

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Main features of teacher policies in Saudi Arabia

The success of education reform in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) will depend greatly on the success of efforts to transform teaching and the teacher profession. Historically, teacher preparation in KSA was quick and in-service training struggled to meet demands. Teacher appraisal procedures incentivised teachers to adopt traditional, rote pedagogical practices that did not promote the development of important student skills.

Recently, KSA has undertaken several ambitious initiatives designed to improve the quality of teaching and the professional status of teachers. These include developing new Teacher Standards and Professional Pathways, creating a new, post-graduate initial teacher preparation (ITP) programme and reconfiguring the role of teacher supervisors. Efforts such as these help bring the country into line with international teacher policies and have the potential to develop a more skilled, motivated teacher workforce.

Teacher preparation, selection and career progression

This chapter analyses teacher policies in KSA according to key stages of a teacher’s career: selection into ITP programmes, completion of ITP, entering teaching and continuous professional growth. Throughout these stages, teacher standards act as a reference point for encouraging and rewarding excellence in teaching. Figure 3.1 illustrates this analytical framework.

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Figure 3.1. Teacher training, selection and career progression
Figure 3.1. Teacher training, selection and career progression

Source: Adapted from (OECD, 2019[1])


There are several distinct features of the Saudi Arabian teaching profession. Relative to the number of students in the country, the teaching workforce is quite large. The pupil-to-teacher ratio was only 11.7 at the primary level in 2016 and 11.0 at the secondary level in 2014. In comparison, OECD countries had an average pupil-to-teacher ratio of 13.4 at the primary level and 12.1 at the secondary level in 2015 (UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2019[2]). However, it is important to note that teacher data in KSA is misleading. Teachers in KSA are civil servants with permanent contracts and almost all persons working in education (e.g., teachers, principals and administrators) occupy the same status in the civil service system. As a result, not all 500 000 teachers in KSA’s data systems teach in classrooms. At least 10%, for example, are school managers or supervisors.

Further, KSA’s low pupil-to-teacher ratios do not necessarily translate to small class sizes. Not only does the classification of teachers distort these ratios, but classroom teachers in KSA are not always allocated efficiently. Small, rural schools might have pupil-to-teacher ratios far less than the national average, while teachers in large, urban schools struggle with overcrowded classrooms. For instance, despite the above pupil-to-teacher ratios, the average class size in public lower secondary schools in KSA in 2015 was 26, compared to 24 across OECD countries (World Bank & ETEC, 2016[3]).

Teacher demographics in KSA vary somewhat from international benchmarks. Because boys and girls attend separate schools, the number of female teachers is almost equal to the number of male teachers (52.0% of teachers were female in 2015, compared to 82.3% across OECD countries in the same year). The relatively high number of male teachers places pressure on the system to attract qualified male teaching candidates, who likely have opportunities in other professional fields.

Saudi Arabian teachers are also, on average, younger than teachers in other countries. Data from TALIS 2018 revealed that, in KSA, the average age of teachers of lower secondary students is less than 38, compared with the OECD average of over 44. The fact that teachers in KSA are comparatively young and hold permanent contracts contributes to the urgency of developing the teaching profession as current teachers are expected to stay in the profession for a long time.

Finally, the management of teachers in KSA is centralised, but fragmented. At the national-level, the Educational Training and Evaluation Commission (ETEC), an independent standards-setting and assessment organisation, is responsible for developing teacher standards, the Ministry of Education (MoE) oversees and supports teachers but the Ministry of Civil Service (recently merged with the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development) hires teachers. Both school principals and teacher supervisors from Directorates and Education Offices have appraisal and teacher professional development roles. In this context, teachers are not always certain about what guidelines to follow, who evaluates them and to whom they should turn for support.


Teacher standards refer to a set of criteria that defines what “good” teaching is and what is teachers are expected to do. They typically include a general profile of the skills teachers should possess, the responsibilities they will perform, and might identify specialised profiles for different types of teachers (e.g., according to different levels of teaching experience, grade levels or subjects taught). Standards are essential to aligning teacher policies as they represent a common reference point that anchors the overall understanding of teacher responsibilities and expected performance (OECD, 2013[4]).

There are currently no professional teacher standards in KSA (these were released in 2020, after the time of writing this report). Civil service regulations govern remuneration, benefits and other administrative matters. However, these regulations do not represent true professional standards of the teaching profession as they are not related to teacher practice or student learning. Instead, the main reference for teaching practice are the “grids” that teacher supervisors use to evaluate teachers as part of a well-established function of regular teacher appraisal (see below).

Initial teacher preparation

ITP refers to the education and training that teacher candidates receive before entering the profession (OECD, 2019[1]). It consists of selection mechanisms into education programmes, participation in the programmes themselves and formally entering into the profession. Entrance into the profession can typically require passing a licensing examination and successful completion of a probationary period, during which new teachers are given extra support to develop their teaching practice (Kitchen et al., 2019[5]).


Attracting talented students into ITP is challenging

In KSA, research suggests that teacher candidates are not always motivated to teach, nor are they particularly interested in education in general. Instead, they are attracted to the lifetime job security afforded by the career and the impression that being a teacher is not terribly strenuous (Alnadhi, 2014[6]). In TALIS 2018, teachers from Saudi Arabia had the highest correlation in the world between selecting teaching as a first career choice and being motivated to become a teacher because of job security. Moreover, the economic benefits of the teaching profession, though stable, are lower overall than careers in the private sector because teachers in KSA (including principals and supervisors) have a flat pay scale in which all salaries are equivalent and increase incrementally only with seniority. These circumstances contribute to the perception that teaching is not a high status profession, which affects the quality of persons who wish to enter it (Alnadhi, 2014[6]).

Entrance criteria into ITP are weak

The relatively low status of teaching is reflected in the student intake into ITP programmes. MoE was unable to share data about the qualifications of ITP students because tertiary student data is not collected centrally. However, conversations with individual ITP providers revealed that teacher candidates tend to have lower scores on the GAT and SAAT than students studying towards other degrees.

Several factors contribute to the relatively lower qualifications of ITP students. First, many ITP providers do not set entrance requirements, or set very broad ones (e.g., candidates must have good conduct and be in good health). In effect, any student who successfully completes upper secondary education and passes the university entrance examinations could enter these programs. This contrasts with practice in many OECD countries, such as Australia, Korea the Netherlands and Norway, where selection into ITP is competitive and candidates must exceed high thresholds on standardised tests, grade point average and/or subject-specific examinations offered by the ITP providers (OECD, 2019[1]). Second, the number of students that are admitted into ITP programmes is not co-ordinated with the teaching market’s demands. Information shared with the OECD review team indicated that, recently, roughly 400 000 ITP graduates applied to around 8 000 teaching positions. These circumstances suggest that there is an oversupply of teachers in Saudi Arabia and that entrance criteria into ITP can be strengthened without concern about having enough candidates to staff open positions (Binhwaimel and Alanadi, 2015[7]).

Progress through ITP

Educational requirements to become a teacher have been steadily rising

KSA has long set relatively high levels of educational attainment for entry into the teaching profession. A bachelor’s degree has been a long-standing requirement for new teachers in secondary schools and has been a requirement for new teachers in primary schools since 2011 (World Bank & ETEC, 2016[3]). As a result, almost 98% of lower secondary teachers hold at least a bachelor’s level degree.

Until 2017, there were two main routes into the teaching profession. A concurrent model, delivered through teachers’ colleges, provided a bachelor’s degree in education, which varied in design across faculties but required a minimum amount of coursework in education theory and methods. A consecutive model, delivered through faculties of education, required candidates to first obtain a bachelor’s degree and then complete a one-year, post-graduate, general education diploma that included coursework and a teaching practicum. These models were comparable to offerings in OECD countries (OECD, 2019[1]).

In 2017, the requirement to become a primary or secondary teacher was raised to two years of post-graduate education (early childhood education teachers remain eligible to teach with a specialised bachelor’s degree). Consequently, both the concurrent and consecutive models were discontinued. A consecutive, two-year, post-graduate degree in education is now being developed and will act as the primary gateway to the teaching profession, but has not been completed (see Main policy initiatives underway).

The quality of ITP programmes is highly variable and quality assurance relatively weak

In KSA, both consecutive and concurrent ITP models were linked to universities, most of which are public (Al-Zahrani, 2011[8]). Some universities are well resourced and considered leaders in the region, such as King Saud University and King Abdulaziz University. Others serve rural, isolated areas and have fewer resources at their disposal. ITP programmes offered by the most prestigious institutions are developed in consideration of the best international practices and some, like King Saud University’s, used to be recognised with the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). However, OECD interviews and research have revealed widespread concern with the quality of many other ITP programmes, and in particular with the former one-year diploma (Alharbi, 2011[9]). In TALIS 2018, just over 60% of teachers from Saudi Arabia reported that they felt well prepared in classroom practice, the fifth lowest share in the world.

Quality assurance of higher education institutions is performed by the National Centre for Academic Accreditation and Assessment (NCAAA), which has recently been merged with ETEC. While NCAAA has developed many advanced quality assurance procedures, such as an integrated electronic accreditation system, its capacity to guarantee and improve standards is ITP is relatively limited. NCAAA has recently updated its accreditation standards, but these remain generic and typically at the level of departments or faculties, rather than programme specific. For these reasons, the best programmes in the country still seek international accreditation.

Entrance into teaching

Beginner teachers are licensed through the Qifayat examination

Upon completing ITP, teacher candidates are required to pass a licensing exam, the Qifayat, in order to become beginner teachers. In place for 10 years, the Qifayat is a standardised test in both subject-matter knowledge and teaching competency and is administered by ETEC through the National Testing Agency (QIYAS). Candidates have to score 50% in both subject and teaching tests to pass. These licensing requirements do not currently apply to in-service teachers who started teaching before the examinations were in place.

In their current stage of development, the new Teacher Standards and Professional Pathways still require ITP graduates to pass the Qifayat exam to become licensed at the lowest level (Practitioner). Importantly, they also require that all in-service teachers be licensed through the examination, alongside other measures. There has been conversation about whether the examination should change due to the post-graduate level of the new ITP and, if so, how it should change. Nevertheless, no formal agreement has yet been reached to change the Qifayat.

Teachers are selected and placed according to academic performance and length of unemployment through the Jadarah system

Teachers who complete ITP and pass the Qifayat are selected and appointed to teaching posts through a system called Jadarah, which is managed by the Ministry of Civil Service. Jadarah ranks teachers based on three weighted measures: 40% grade point average in university, 40% the result on Qifayat and 20% the time teachers have been unemployed since completing ITP. If teachers have been unemployed for more than 10 years, they automatically receive a full 20 points in this category.

Every year, MoE calculates the number of available posts in schools and the Ministry of Civil Service advertises the positions and chooses qualified applicants through Jadarah. Vacant places are given first to in-service teachers applying to move and then for teachers who do not currently have a post, including newly certified teachers.

A probationary period provides teachers with an opportunity to demonstrate their competence

In KSA, all new teachers have a probation period of two years. The Directorate General of Educational Supervision in MoE is responsible for the evaluation criteria of all teachers (see discussion about teacher appraisal below). It has created a special evaluation form that is used by principals and teacher supervisors in appraising new teachers on probation.

A teacher who is on probation should be visited by his/her supervisor at least four times during the probationary period (though this rarely occurs because of limited capacity) to monitor their performance and identify professional development needs. After principals make the final appraisal of teachers on probation, those who do not meet requirements might be dismissed from the profession or placed in administrative positions.

In-service appraisal and teacher professional growth

After becoming a certified teacher, it is important that teachers continue to develop their competencies and that they be evaluated to determine in which areas further development is needed. This process occurs through regular appraisal, in which teachers receive continuous feedback on their professional practices, typically from their school principals, to support their professional growth. In cases where countries have different professional levels of teachers, an external appraisal for promotion is used to determine career advancement (OECD, 2013[10]). KSA has a well-established system for appraising in-service teachers which combines in one process both formative and summative functions, though the implementation of this practice can vary across institutions.


Regular appraisal is performed by principals and teacher supervisors according to processes established by MoE

Regular teacher appraisal is conducted every year. The process is guided by supervisory standards, currently on version six, created by the Directorate General of Educational Supervision. External supervisors appraise teachers using centrally produced grids that have been amended to introduce new concepts, such as formative assessment and active learning, but have not been fundamentally updated for over 20 years. Several areas of focus are covered by the grids, such as attendance, interaction with colleagues, teaching methods and student learning. Principals use a formal appraisal form to appraise teachers. These forms do not necessarily reflect what is contained in supervisors’ grids. While regular appraisal occurs annually, not all teachers are evaluated every year, depending upon the availability of the supervisors.

To help them complete the appraisal grids and forms, principals and teacher supervisors usually perform classroom observations and refer to teachers’ lesson plans, assessments and record books as supporting evidence. Teacher supervisors and principals also test students separately as a measure of teacher performance. Principals develop their own assessments for these purposes, while the assessments that teacher supervisors use are usually standardised in terms of design at the Directorate-level. The results of a teacher’s appraisal are delivered to the teacher in a report. Information from teachers’ appraisals are entered in NOOR, the educational database of MoE. Some Directorates and Education Offices aggregate the data in an attempt to measure teacher quality across schools. The OECD review team visited schools where teacher ratings by class and year were published and top ranking teachers rewarded.

The results of regular appraisal might not accurately reflect teacher capacity and performance

There is concern that the regular appraisal system does not accurately measure the performance of teachers. Ministry staff noted that over 90% of teachers receive over a 90% rating on their appraisals. This type of rating inflation makes the exercise meaningless and is reflective of the overall perception of appraisal as an administrative task rather than a means to inform professional growth. When asked to describe the purpose of regular appraisal, most teachers and teacher supervisors spoke about ratings rather than improving teaching practice.

Professional growth

Teachers in KSA do not participate in professional development as much as teachers from many other countries

In KSA, teachers engage in a low amount of professional development compared to international benchmarks. In the National Transformation Plan (NTP), an explicit goal is to increase the average number of annual development hours from 10 to 18 by 2020. The comparison figure in leading countries according to NTP is 100 hours for the year 2016 (Saudi Arabia government, n.d.[11]). These discrepancies can be partly explained by the fact that teachers in KSA do not have a mandatory number of professional development hours and that their workload is calculated solely based upon classroom instruction time (World Bank & ETEC, 2016[3]).

Teacher supervisors and local training centres are responsible for identifying and providing professional development

Teacher professional development in KSA is usually provided through local training centres. These are affiliated with Education Offices or Directorates, but are not necessarily located in the same building. Some large Education Offices and Directorates might have several training centres. Training centres are coordinated at a central level by the National Institute for Professional Education Development (NIPED) (see Main policy initiatives underway).

Teacher training needs are identified by teacher supervisors through regular appraisal. Teacher supervisors then communicate with the training centres to notify them of what types of training are needed. Training centres announce their professional development offerings at the beginning of each academic semester. Training from the training centres is offered free of charge and is delivered by designated trainers, who are often called training supervisors. While most training supervisors are former teachers, they receive very little preparation on how to develop other teachers.

In addition to delivering training on-site, trainers sometimes deliver training in schools or train specific teachers to become trainers in their own schools. In many Education Offices and Directorates, trainers and teacher supervisors foster professional learning communities in this way. Teacher supervisors identify a subject area need in a school and nominate a teacher from the school to become the designated lead for the professional learning community. The lead is then trained at the training centre and returns to his/her school to train other teachers.

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Main policy initiatives underway

The fact that the quality of teaching features prominently in Vision 2030 and NTP indicates that there is wide recognition at the top levels of government that improving teaching is essential to improving learning. Led by these strategic plans, several key policy initiatives have been introduced to develop teachers and strengthen teaching in KSA.

Teacher Standards and Professional Pathways will soon be introduced for the first time in KSA

Since 2015, ETEC has been developing the Teachers Standards and Professional Pathways, the first set of professional teacher standards in KSA (these were introduced in 2020, after the time of writing this report). In addition to defining good teaching, these standards establish a three-stage performance-based career structure for teachers - Practitioner, Advanced and Expert. To reach these levels, teachers would no longer be evaluated using the current supervisor grids. Instead, they would be appraised based on a review of evidence that includes classroom observations, lesson plan review and the creation of teaching portfolios.

Upon implementation of the new standards, all in-service teachers will have to take an examination. Teachers will be provided with diagnostic assessments, developed by ETEC, to help them prepare for their certification examination. Those who do not pass will be given six years to become qualified. Teachers who pass will be certified as Practitioner Teachers and, based on their score, some will be preliminarily considered to be Advanced or Expert Teachers. These teachers will be given four years to demonstrate that they have the competence to occupy their status. If they cannot, they will be moved down to the level below. All teachers will be expected to renew their status every five years.

A key reform of the new teacher standards is that it removes appraisal responsibilities from teacher supervisors. Instead, principals will be solely responsible for the regular appraisal of teachers. There will no longer be summative stakes attached to regular appraisal and it will be performed entirely for formative purposes. Current teacher supervisors would then become responsible for helping principals develop their teachers and improve their schools in general.

Appraisal for promotion, or evaluating teachers to move to higher levels of the professional pathways, would be conducted by a special group of assessors from ETEC. These persons would be hired on a freelance basis and not associated with a specific Education Office or Directorate. They would evaluate teachers’ performance against the standards and determine if teachers have demonstrated adequate competence to be promoted.

A new consecutive master’s programme for ITP is being developed

As mentioned previously, a post-graduate, master’s level ITP programme is being developed after the recent elimination of the simultaneous and consecutive models. Entrance into the post-graduate programme will be dependent upon successful completion of a bachelor’s degree in an academic field. The new ITP programme is expected to comprise three semesters of coursework and a one-semester teacher practicum that complements the coursework.

A new centre has been established to enhance the quality and supply of teacher training

While strengthening the pre-service education of teachers will help improve the instruction of future teachers, it will not help improve the instruction of current teachers. In-service training was historically provided by local training centres, but the quality of the training provided by these centres varied greatly (Alharbi, 2011[9]).

NIPED was established in 2016 to expand and enhance the provision of teacher professional development. NIPED currently has 30 staff and manages the operations of all training centres through the Education Offices and Directorates where they reside. Additionally, NIPED has developed several training initiatives of its own. It has created an online training portal that delivers distance training, is collaborating with Learning Forward to help promote skills-based learning and is working with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency to promote lesson plan study. NIPED also provides scholarships to teachers for further study and recently initiated a summer training programme that enrolled over 55 000 teachers (this time has typically not been used for development purposes in the past). A final key responsibility of NIPED is accrediting training programs created by third parties. NIPED is in the process of creating accreditation standards and, once complete, these standards will enable the expansion of high-quality training throughout KSA.

The Khebrat programme sends teachers abroad to learn about and bring back best practices

Among the initiatives managed by NIPED, the most significant is Khebrat. Participants in this programme travel internationally to view best practices so they can return to KSA and catalyse educational improvement. The programme aims to enrol 25 000 participants in five years and two cohorts have already completed their experiences. Teachers, principals, supervisors and counsellors are eligible to participate in Khebrat through a competitive selection process that includes a review of their appraisal results and their English competency. Upon returning, Khebrat participants are required develop a project that they implement in their schools. The scope of these projects vary greatly and the evaluation team was told that records of Khebrat participants’ activities upon returning to KSA are not comprehensive, meaning it’s unclear exactly what activities participants engage in and what their impacts are. A full evaluation of Khebrat has yet to be conducted.

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Teachers standards are continuously updated and aligned with international norms

The new teacher standards define the shared values and ideas of the teaching profession in KSA and explain what good teaching looks like in practice. The standards are structured around three core domains, which reflect most of the elements that are common in teacher standards internationally (Call, 2018[12]):

  1. 1. Professional Ethics and Responsibility (3 standards and 8 sub-standards) – teachers should respect national (Islamic) norms as well as professional ethics while pursuing continuous professional development and interacting actively with other teachers and society at large.

  2. 2. Professional Knowledge (4 standards and 16 sub-standards) – teachers should be competent in pedagogical content knowledge, possess literacy, numeracy and digital skills, understand students and their learning processes and know the curriculum and how to teach it.

  3. 3. Professional Practice (4 standards and 15 sub-standards) – teachers should be able to plan and enact effective lessons while creating a conducive learning environment and formatively assessing student learning.

The new standards lay the foundation for performance-based career that is associated with consequences in status, role and salary

Creating different levels of the teaching career (e.g., beginner and advanced teachers) features prominently in teacher standards internationally (Toledo, Révai and Guerriero, 2017[13]). Teachers can be more motivated to develop their knowledge and skills if improvements in performance are rewarded with higher status and increased salary. Establishing different levels of teaching can also encourage highly qualified teachers to stay in the profession, as they do not need to move to another role, such as principal, in order to receive a higher salary and increase in status. When higher levels of teaching are associated with new roles, such as mentorship, they can also help to generate system-wide improvements and support a culture of collaborative learning.

KSA’s new standards categorise teachers into three levels -Practitioner, Advanced and Expert. It is expected, though not formalised, that 5% of teachers will attain Expert Teacher status and 15% Advanced Teacher status. The standards further explain the expectations of each level and the requirements that need to be met to achieve promotion to more senior levels. Licensing and promotion decisions draw on multiple sources of evidence, which research shows is essential for evaluating the different dimensions of good teaching (OECD, 2013). For example, to become qualified at the Practitioner level, teachers are required to pass an examination, undergo classroom observations and undertake a specified number of hours of professional development. The evaluations of teachers aspiring to Advanced and Experts levels draw on broad portfolios of teacher-generated evidence, reflecting clear expectations for teachers to evolve to become autonomous professionals.

The standards also outline what is expected of teachers at the respective levels. Advanced and Expert Teachers are expected to assume leadership positions in their schools. They should initiate innovative practices, mentor more junior teachers and, in the case of Expert Teachers, perform action research. These senior levels also receive increases in salary, which has the potential to make the teaching profession more attractive.


New standards do not sufficiently emphasise pedagogical content knowledge

Teacher standards should send a clear message to teachers that what matters most is the quality of teaching. Internationally, this domain of expertise is known as pedagogical content knowledge, which refers to both the knowledge of a specific subject matter and the pedagogical knowledge needed to adapt the presentation of the subject to different profiles of learners (Guerriero, 2017[14]; Shulman, 1987[15]). Research shows that a teacher’s level of pedagogical content knowledge is a strong predictor of student achievement (Guerriero, 2017[14]).

In KSA’s new teacher standards, within the 16 sub-standards of professional knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge could be emphasised more. The standards focus on content or general knowledge and general pedagogy separately. Only one sub-standard focuses on the teaching of specific content. This is the “knowledge of content of specialisation and method of teaching” sub-standard, which is separated into content specialisation and teaching methods tailored to the specialisation. Other standards, while highly relevant, do not necessarily focus on the nexus of content knowledge and pedagogy.

While the standards reference values and ethics, expectations in these areas are unclear

In KSA, there is evidence that not all teachers are highly committed to their craft. As mentioned previously, many teachers enter the profession because they view it as a secure career. Furthermore, according to PIRLS 2016 data, principals of 37% of students in KSA primary schools reported that teacher absenteeism was a moderate or serious problem, compared to 12% across all participating countries (IEA, 2016[16]).The new teacher standards set out in its first standard that there must be respect for Islamic norms and professional ethics, which is a productive step towards encouraging more positive behaviour. However, unlike the majority of OECD countries and a growing number of non-member countries, KSA does not have a teacher code of conduct (there are general rules for conduct as part of being a civil servant, but these are not specific to teachers) (ETICO - IIEP UNESCO, n.d.[17]). Such a code would define a set of ethical values and expectations for professional conduct with the aim of fostering teacher commitment, upholding the positive image of the teaching profession, regulating teachers’ misbehaviour and protecting pupils from teachers’ misconduct (Poisson, 2013[18]; ETICO - UNESCO IIEP, n.d.[19]).

There is no standard for graduate teachers

Many OECD countries specify a standard for graduate teachers (Révai, 2018[20]). These are persons who have completed ITP and passed requirements to enter the profession (e.g., an examination), but have not yet been fully certified at a particular level of the teaching pathway. Although teaching in classrooms, they might still be in their probationary period or have not yet submitted the necessary evidence to become certified. In addition to helping to regulate the quality of beginner teachers, a graduate teacher standard also acts as a reference for ITP developers and providers so they understand what a teacher is expected to do upon completing an ITP programme.

The new teacher standards contain detailed information about the requirements to become a Practitioner, Advanced and Expert Teachers. Although a committee working on the ITP program have begun to outline the competencies expected from graduates there is at present no graduate teacher standard. Without such a standard, the developers of the new ITP programme do not have a reference to guide them in their work and ETEC does not have a reference point to use if they are asked to align the Qifayat to the new ITP programme.

Rolling-out new teacher standards without other professional standards could disrupt the supply of those professions

According to the civil service system of KSA, currently almost all employees in schools, Education Offices and Directorates share the same job status, that of teacher. If individuals have the relevant qualifications, they can transfer easily between positions as their civil service status is identical. This is particularly true for the position of classroom teacher as many individuals working in education, such as principals and supervisors, were once classroom teachers.

When the new teacher standards are introduced, they will make the classroom teacher position a more attractive career with greater professional prospects. While there are plans to develop professional standards for other positions, including principal and supervisor, they will not be released alongside the new teacher standards. This sequencing might incentivise principals and supervisors to relinquish their current positions in order to return to classroom teaching and take advantage of the benefits of the new teacher standards. These circumstances would place even greater strain on the already limited supply of qualified principals and supervisors.

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Initial teacher preparation



Raising the entry bar has the potential to improve the quality of beginning teachers

An ITP programme at the post-graduate level immediately raises the entry bar to the profession. While the curriculum and structure of the new ITP programme are still being developed, the fact that a post-graduate education is required to enter the profession signals to aspiring teachers a high level of intellectual competency and preparation are needed even to qualify to become a teacher. This would boost how society views teaching and teachers.

As a post-graduate programme, selection into ITP could also be designed to attract a different type of teacher candidate. For example, it could establish subject competency as a selection criteria for entry, which would ensure sufficient content knowledge of teacher candidates before entering ITP. ITP curricula would therefore concentrate on pedagogy and practice, which could greatly improve the readiness of future teachers. Programmes could also screen candidates to determine their commitment and motivation to become a teacher.

These measures would lessen the burden on faculties of education to provide a broad range of programmes to candidates with varying levels of readiness. This would enable the faculties to focus their bachelor-level efforts on developing fewer but more rigorous programmes, particularly in early years education.

Developing new entrance requirements creates the opportunity to better align the demand and supply of teachers

The OECD review team was told that, in previous years, roughly 400 000 individuals applied for around 8 000 teaching posts in KSA. This situation suggests that the supply of teachers is misaligned with national demand and that that the development of teachers has been inefficient. Public resources have been invested in producing a large quantity of teachers, most of whom end up unemployed, as opposed to a small number of high-quality teachers who are more likely to find employment in a limited market.

A higher threshold for entry into ITP represents an important measure to addressing this situation. Fewer, more highly qualified candidates will enter ITP, meaning fewer ITP programmes would be required and less resources needed to maintain ITP throughout the country. Teacher candidates would also be more likely to be employed through the Jadarah system because they would have a higher a Jadarah weighted score and compete with fewer candidates for the same posts. This situation would represent a much more efficient investment in teachers.

The current surplus of unemployed teachers is also caused by a large number of teachers who hold bachelor-level teaching qualifications that do not enable them to pursue work in other fields. Raising ITP to the post-graduate level would help address this issue because ITP programmes would first require candidates to hold bachelor degrees in other fields (e.g., mathematics or science). Teacher candidates would then have the flexibility to be employed in those fields if they do not complete ITP or cannot find employment as teachers.


Recruiting quality candidates into ITP will be challenging

Current and previous teacher candidates have not been the most competitive university students. Even after ITP is raised to the post-graduate level, there is no assurance that the most qualified candidates would apply. Part of the challenge is that there are currently few external benchmarks for assessing the readiness of teacher candidates before they enter ITP. This is not only true with respect to measuring subject-matter knowledge, but also candidates’ suitability to enter the profession (e.g., whether they have the proper temperament and motivation).

There is also a concern that the two-year post-graduate ITP requirement to enter teaching may inadvertently discourage the best and the brightest students, especially males, from entering teaching. For these individuals, the longer period of preparation would represent an opportunity cost in terms of foregone salary and they might be deterred from pursuing teaching as a result.

Manpower planning that could inform the provision of ITP has not been conducted

To align the supply and demand of teachers, MoE has to ascertain the number of students the universities would need to train to fulfil staffing requirements at schools. As mentioned, when the bar for entry into ITP is raised, the number of institutions that offer a post-graduate ITP would be expected to decrease, but the exact number, and how many students they should admit, would have to be aligned with market needs.

However, the oversupply of teachers in KSA suggests that enrolment into ITP has not been considered from a central, strategic perspective. MoE and education faculties do not work together to determine how many teachers should be recruited and trained given the employment needs of the country. These circumstances contribute not to the current surplus of teachers, but also risk that the wrong type of teachers could be recruited (i.e., according to education level or subject-matter expertise) from the wrong areas (i.e., selecting more teachers from urban areas when rural schools tend to be more understaffed).

Progress through ITP


Institutions focus on improving practical experiences

Practical experiences in ITP programmes are essential as they allow teachers to practice and improve upon their pedagogy. According to research, preparing teachers with an emphasis on practice - for instance through extending the practical experience or field placement for prospective teachers - has a strong influence on future student learning and teacher retention (Jenset, Klette and Hammerness, 2017[21]). Almost all the participants of the OECD’s study of ITP programmes mandate a practical experience as part of their teacher preparation. (OECD, 2019[1]).

In KSA, several leading institutions already focus on providing meaningful practical experiences. King Saud University’s College of Education, which sees itself as a torchbearer for the entire Middle East for teacher education, has re-framed its ITP to focus on pedagogical-content knowledge as well as developing more valuable practicum experiences through deeper collaborations with schools. Such national models of excellence provide a source of professional capital that could be leveraged to improve ITP programmes across the country.


ITP programmes lack an accreditation process that would help ensure their quality

A key concern about ITP programmes is the quality of instruction they offer, particularly in large countries like Saudi Arabia where ITP is offered by many different institutions of highly variable quality. One method of ensuring the quality of ITP is by accrediting teacher education programmes. Accreditation is a process in which an external body certifies that an ITP programme meets basic minimum standards that are determined nationally, such as adequately preparing teachers in classroom management, teaching methodologies, summative and formative assessment and teacher-conducted research (OECD, 2005[22]). Almost all countries that participated in the OECD’s ITP study have an accreditation system for their ITP programmes (OECD, 2019[1]).

In KSA, the quality of ITP programmes has been a continuous concern. Currently there are no central accreditation standards or guidelines for the new post-graduate ITP, nor any immediate plans to develop these. Moreover, the national accreditation agency, NCAAA, though part of ETEC, does not appear to be have been centrally involved in discussions related to the quality assurance of the new programmes. There are also no specifications with respect to how teacher candidates will be assessed and graded, even though a candidate’s GPA caries significant weight in the Jadarah scheme. Without such reference points, it will be very challenging to guarantee the quality of ITP programmes across a large tertiary sector with a broad range of institutional capacity and professional expertise.

Entrance into teaching


Key procedures for entering the teaching profession are standardised and understood

In KSA, procedures that govern entrance into teaching are well-established and understood. An exit examination (Qifayat) must be passed by candidates who finish ITP and the results on this test, along with a candidate’s grade point average during ITP and length of time searching for a position, are considered in a weighted selection system (Jadarah). Depending upon how many points an individual accumulates in Jadarah, he/she will be selected for a position, transferred to a different position or not selected or transferred at all. Current and new teachers are well aware of these procedures and know how to navigate these systems.

A probation period is in place and could help support new teachers

There is considerable evidence that some beginning teachers, no matter how well prepared and supported, struggle to cope with the realities of the profession when they first enter the classroom (Paniagua and Sánchez-Martí, 2018[23]). This can contribute to a high rate of new teachers leaving the job or continuing with low motivation and weak sense of self-efficacy. For these reasons, many countries require the satisfactory completion of a probationary period before full teaching certification or a permanent teaching post is awarded. (OECD, 2005[22]). This period can provide an opportunity for new teachers to assess whether teaching is the right career and to continuously develop their classroom skills.

MoE has in place a two-year probationary period for new teachers. During this time, teachers are in position to receive support and mentorship to improve their teaching. The new teacher standards also mention the probation period explicitly, noting that teachers should be nurtured and provided with specific support during this key moment in their career.


The Qifayat is not aligned with the new teacher standards or the post-graduate ITP requirement

Most countries with teacher standards use these to set the requirements for teacher licensing and certification (Darling-Hammond and Burns, 2017[24]). In Shanghai, for example, where there is an oversupply of teachers, officials have used the teacher standards to develop a three-part national certification examination that includes a written assessment on pedagogy and psychology, an interview about subject-matter instruction and a language proficiency test (Darling-Hammond and Burns, 2017[24]).

In KSA, the Qifayat was designed before the new teacher standards, and there do not appear to be any immediate plans to bring it into alignment with them. Similarly, there are no plans to align the Qifayat with the new post-graduate ITP requirement for teacher candidates, which means that the examination is not prepared to assess the higher-level skills that teachers should be expected to acquire through their more advanced education. Unless the Qifayat is aligned with new standards and requirements, the impact of the latter in terms of raising the skills of the profession will be diminished.

Teachers are identified as struggling by the Qifayat but do not receive structured support to improve their skills

A teacher’s result on the Qifayat is only one part of his/her selection and placement through Jadarah. Some teachers might not do well on the Qifayat, but still become licensed due to large weights in other Jadarah criteria, such as how long they have been waiting to become teachers.

Through teachers’ records on the Qifayat, the Education Offices and Directorates that employ them will know that these teachers have weaknesses in certain areas and were only appointed because of other reasons. However, there does not seem to be any efforts to target these teachers for specific types of training and support based upon their documented weaknesses.

First-in, first-out queue-based placement system can prevent the most qualified candidates from securing employment

One of the greatest challenges facing the Jadarah system is that it positively weights years of unemployment, thus prioritising applicants who have been in the system for a longer period of time. These circumstances, combined with the previously mentioned oversupply of teachers, help to produce a backlog of teacher candidates that disproportionately prevents younger teachers from finding suitable employment.

For example, despite indicating geographic preferences (up to 20 choices per applicant), newly hired teachers tend to be sent to remote, unappealing areas in the beginning of their assignments because all the desirable positions have been taken by those with greater seniority. Some young teachers, despite excellent qualifications, might find themselves in the back of a long queue and must wait several years before securing their first teaching post, which is likely to be an unattractive one. According to PIRLS 2016, almost 32% of teachers in rural schools (communities with fewer than 3 000 people) have five years of seniority or less, compared with 14% of teachers in schools situated in large communities (more 100 000 people).

Given this situation, highly qualified and motivated teachers might become frustrated and seek employment elsewhere. Furthermore, candidates who have been waiting a long time might not be up to date with current pedagogical knowledge and skills and they might lower the quality of teaching when they are eventually placed.

Teachers do not necessarily receive effective support during the probation period

An effective probationary period combines mentorship and professional development activities as part of an induction programme and provides formative feedback to ensure that teachers receive the support they need to develop their teaching practices during their first years on the job (OECD, 2014[25]). While a probation period exists in KSA, teachers do not always receive the support they need during this critical time. Beginning teachers do not receive a structured induction in their schools and rarely are they paired with a mentor teacher. Appraisal of probationary teachers is nearly identical to those of more experienced teachers and is performed by principals who often lack the capacity and authority to help their teachers develop (see Chapter 2).

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In-service appraisal and teacher professional growth



Independent appraisal for promotion is embedded into the new teacher standards

KSA’s new teacher standards provide the basis for a more balanced and coherent approach to teacher appraisal. First, they set the expectation that high stakes decisions - for licensing and promotion - be taken on the basis of a transparent, clearly defined process with a high degree of independence. The latter is reflected in the plan of ETEC and MoE to create a dedicated body of teacher assessors who will be responsible for making important judgements on teachers’ competence for promotion. Most OECD countries with a performance-based career structure have taken similar steps to introduce integrity into decisions around teacher promotion (OECD, 2013).

Professional learning and growth and portfolio-based appraisal are reflected in the new teacher standards

The new standards also establish a new approach to appraising teacher competence, which is anchored in the development of portfolios that contain evidence of teacher knowledge and skills. Research shows that portfolio-based appraisals, especially those that involve goal setting in relation to standards, can be particularly effective in encouraging teachers to reflect on their practice and their development (Attinello, Lare and Waters, 2006[26]; Elliott, 2015[27]; Hunzicker, 2011[28]). In New Zealand, teachers are expected to develop portfolios of evidence of their teaching as part of their regular appraisal. This evidence might include examples of assessment tools, recorded feedback from principals, other teachers and students, samples of research and documentation of professional development (Teaching Council, 2019[29]; Education Council New Zealand, n.d.[30]; School performance management New Zealand, n.d.[31]).

According to the new teacher standards, in order to become an Advanced Teacher, Practitioner Teachers must compile creative professional portfolios. These must contain evidence that teachers tried using innovative teaching and assessment strategies and that they shared these strategies with other teachers. To become an Expert Teacher, Advanced Teachers must create leadership professional portfolios. These must demonstrate that the candidates initiated innovative teaching and assessment methods with other teachers and facilitated collaboration between teachers. Once they become Expert Teachers, individuals are expected to promote the professional growth of others and by acting as mentors to junior teachers, including helping them complete their own portfolios. Such expectations provide the basis for an appraisal system that is more focused than it has been on the past on teachers as the main agents of their own development.

Teacher supervisors regularly appraise teachers to help them improve

Formative teacher appraisal aims to provide feedback to teachers to help them improve their practice. By identifying teachers’ strengths and weaknesses through appraisal, teachers and their principals can determine which possible professional development activities best meet the needs of individual teachers and those of the school (OECD, 2013[4]).

KSA has a well-established system of regular appraisal that follows a central framework and is carried out by teacher supervisors with the assistance of principals. Teacher supervisors are to work with the principal to appraise the teacher and give them advice on how to improve. Furthermore, most teacher supervisors were previously teachers, which provides them with important experience to draw upon when fulfilling their responsibilities.


Teacher supervisors work in difficult environments and cannot provide adequate support to teachers

There are several related concerns with respect to how teachers are appraised currently in KSA. The fact that regular teacher appraisal is led by external actors – teacher supervisors - weakens its formative value because it is hard for external persons to understand a teacher’s development needs and interests and because teachers are less likely to engage in an open discussion about school affairs with external agents. For these reasons, in most OECD countries the continuous appraisal of teachers is conducted internally by school leadership. While principals in KSA do play a role, both teachers and principals themselves perceive supervisors to be the primary appraisers. This also has implications for the extent to which principals feel they can direct improvement in their schools (see Chapter 2).

The reliance on external actors for regular teacher appraisal is also inefficient and very difficult to operate in a country as large as KSA. Interviews conducted by the OECD review team revealed that teacher supervisors can be overwhelmed by the volume of their responsibilities. For example, teacher supervisors in densely populated areas who have scientific backgrounds (less common than other backgrounds) can be responsible for well over 400 teachers. In rural areas, there might be fewer teachers per teacher supervisor, but the teacher supervisors may be required to travel greater distances. In both situations, it is difficult for teacher supervisors to provide meaningful support to all the teachers whom they supervise.

Another concern is the nature of the appraisal process. Efforts have been made to update the appraisal frameworks (“grids”) used by supervisors to focus more attention on effective classroom practices, such as formative assessment and active learning. Nevertheless, despite these measures, they primarily check for compliance with government requirements and are far removed from the modern vision of teaching expressed in the new teacher standards. The reliance by supervisors on the direct testing of students to form a judgement of teaching quality is also problematic. This activity can produce results that can be unfair and invalid for teachers and can disrupt the classroom learning environment (see Chapter 5). In fact, teachers themselves told the OECD review team that they do not always trust the ratings provided to them by their teacher supervisors.

There is a final tension with the existing teacher supervision system regarding support and accountability. Research shows that when used for both accountability and instructional improvement, performance appraisal can be a powerful tool for determining and enhancing the quality of teaching (Danielson and McGreal, 2000[32]). However, research also signals that it is important to distinguish clearly between these processes, highlighting that the developmental function of appraisal can be undermined unless separated from high stakes decisions relation to sanction and reward (OECD, 2013[4]). In KSA, while the ostensible purpose of teacher supervision is formative, several factors contribute to the perception that it is also a high stakes process. For example, supervisors are external to schools, engage in student testing, and provide teachers with ratings that are recorded in NOOR and can be widely accessed. Teacher supervisors themselves are also evaluated based upon the ratings they provide to teachers. These activities compel teachers and their supervisors to focus on the summative role of supervision instead of the formative functions.

New ETEC assessors might lack the capacity to appraise all teachers against the new standards

The new standards require that all in-service teachers be appraised against the standards. The quality of this process will be critical to the success of KSA’s efforts to transform teaching into a professional, performance-based career. ETEC intends to hire assessors to perform this task. However, there is a question about how the assessors will be trained to ensure that the integrity of the standards are maintained and that appraisal of teachers is done accurately, impartially and consistently. The current proposal is that the assessors will be trained and managed by ETEC, but perhaps deployed locally through Directorates. This configuration carries certain risks, especially in small communities with very close interpersonal relations, situations that have already produced problems in the existing supervision system.

It is also unclear if there are enough individuals with the relevant background needed to assess all teachers in KSA. ETEC told the OECD review team that it has identified 150 assessors thus far, which is clearly inadequate for a workforce of close to half a million. However, ETEC is having difficulty identifying more people with the necessary qualifications to become assessors.

Certifying an adequate number of Practitioner Teachers could prove challenging

Implementing new teacher standards, particularly those with different levels of teaching, can sometimes have the unintended consequence of making it too difficult for teachers to become certified at even the lowest level. In Georgia, the government had concerns similar to KSA’s with respect to having a teaching workforce whose practices were outdated and lacked motivation to adopt new approaches. In response, the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport unveiled a new Teacher Professional Development Scheme that required teachers to pass a certification examination, with the expectation that all teachers would be certified within five years. However, nearly a decade afterwards, the vast majority are still not certified and the government has come under pressure to lower or remove the certification requirements.

KSA might encounter a similar challenge in certifying in-service teachers to the Practitioner level. Many in-service teachers have not been educated to teach using the modern pedagogical methods envisioned by the new standards. These individuals might struggle to pass the examination or resist applying at all for certification, as has been the case with the majority of older teachers in Georgia. Nevertheless, in-service teachers might expect to be certified as Practitioner Teachers regardless, given their considerable experience. MoE will have to manage such expectations without compromising the integrity of the standards.

Expert and Advanced Teachers are unlikely to be distributed equitably throughout the country

Internationally, teacher quality tends not to be distributed randomly in a country. The most highly qualified teachers can usually be found more readily in urban areas than rural ones as these teachers are both attracted to and improved by the better resources available in cities (Ozoglu, 2015[33]). Consequently, students in rural areas who are already disadvantaged by their geography are more likely to have less experienced teachers, thus further exacerbating educational inequity (Haycock and Peske, 2006[34]).

In KSA, high-performing and experienced teachers already seek an urban school posting, which has resulted in a lack of highly skilled teachers in rural areas. These circumstances, combined with the rigorous requirements to become an Advanced or Expert Teacher, would likely contribute to a situation where more Expert and Advanced Teachers would be found in urban, well-resourced schools In fact, implementing the quotas (discussed to be 5% for Expert Teachers and 15% for Advanced Teachers, but not finalised) would likely result in some schools not having any Expert or Advanced Teachers. This which would limit the local capacity of some areas to develop teachers on probation and Practitioner Teachers and would contribute to the cycle of less experienced and competent teachers teaching in rural schools, where highly qualified teachers would be most needed.

Sustaining motivation for improvement in Practitioner Teachers will be more difficult if higher level positions become filled

In any organisation that attempts to differentiate staff, it is expected that there will be fewer senior-level staff and more junior-level staff (Ingvarson, 2018[35]). Once the senior-level positions are filled, junior-level staff will have less motivation to apply themselves as one substantial reward will no longer be available. Therefore, an important consideration in any stratified system is how to keep motivating junior-level teachers to develop themselves without formal promotion as an incentive.

Currently, in KSA, there are limited plans in place to sustain the motivation of Practitioner Teachers once senior-level positions are filled. This is a notable gap because teaching positions are viewed as comfortable and teachers tend to stay in their roles. Therefore, there is a risk that the Expert and Advanced Teacher quotas are filled with little turnover, leaving 80% of teachers without a clear trajectory for growth. These teachers might be less motivated to improve themselves professionally, which risks lower quality instruction and the potential for young, talented teachers to become disillusioned and leave the profession.

Professional growth


Professional development occurs through NIPED and Khebrat

Historically, the teacher professional development landscape in KSA has been fragmented. Local training centres executed their own plans, often with inadequate human resources and quality assurance. The recent creation of NIPED has the potential to address these issues by co-ordinating the provision of teacher development across the country so high quality training in the most critical areas becomes available to all teachers. In addition, NIPED can help address the current problem of an inadequate supply of trainers by accrediting third-party training providers.

The Khebrat programme, managed through NIPED, intends to create a cadre of excellent teachers who can catalyse positive changes in the system. Khebrat participants experience in-depth learning in high-performing systems abroad and are required to share their learning in their communities upon their return. The OECD review team met with several Khebrat participants who were clearly motivated by their experiences and eager to apply them in their school contexts. These teachers represent an important source of professional development knowledge and their expertise can be leveraged to improve the quality of teaching throughout KSA.

NIPED intends to develop professional learning communities to help improve teaching quality

NIPED is planning to use professional learning communities (PLCs) as a major vehicle for promoting professional growth. This is a significant and positive development as research shows that PLCs engage teachers in collaborative professional development activities and can be effective in improving teacher practice (OECD, 2016[36]). To embed PLCs, KSA uses a train-the-trainer approach in which supervisors from an Education Office or Directorate receive training from the MoE on how to train individual teachers to be coaches and leaders of the PLC in their school. These identified leaders then go to the local training centre for additional guidance.


Khebrat’s potential is not fully harnessed to raise quality of teaching nationwide

At its current state of implementation, it is difficult to determine if Khebrat has made a meaningful contribution to the quality of teaching in KSA, particularly in consideration of its costs. While teachers are supposed to implement a project in their schools when they return, it is unclear to what extent this occurs and how effective those projects are. In particular, there does not seem to be a co-ordinated effort to organise returned Khebrat teachers in order to co-ordinate the sharing of what they have learned.

A related concern is that Khebrat teachers lose seniority in the Jadarah system due to their time away from KSA. It is unclear how this will affect Khebrat teachers after the new teacher standards are implemented. What is technically considered a lack of experience due to the time they spend abroad could affect Khebrat teachers’ ability to become Advanced and Expert teachers. Without a senior-level status, these teachers might not feel empowered enough to share what they learned from their international experiences.

Training organisations are overwhelmed with demand and under-staffed

Local training centres are operating at maximum capacity and are encountering difficulties trying to increase capacity. The review team heard that the ideal ratio is one trainer for 600 teachers, but training centres are unable to meet this ratio. One training centre told the review team that it requested 14 additional trainers last year and only received one. For these reasons, training centres can sometimes only provide superficial training, even in highly needed areas. The train-the-trainer model for embedding PLCs, for example, relies on training centres to provide local guidance to trainers who were first trained centrally. With their capacity constraints, however, it is unclear just how much guidance the training centres can provide and how useful that guidance is. Similarly, the 30 staff currently working at NIPED seems inadequate to co-ordinate the training needs of the entire country. Even with 60 staff, which is NIPED’s goal, it would be difficult to fulfil NIPED’s accreditation and co-ordination functions, let alone the resource development that is also part of NIPED’s mandate.

After the new teacher standards are released, there will be even more pressure on training centres to provide relevant opportunities. Teachers will want to move up the career pathways and will depend on the training centres to support them. At their current operating capacity, it does not appear that the training centres will be able to accommodate this increased demand.

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Devise a formal implementation strategy for the new teacher standards

Creating the Teacher Standards and Professional Pathways is a tremendous accomplishment, but also one that affects several parts of the education system, in particular the training, management and appraisal of teachers. In implementing the new teacher standards, the roles of the parties who are responsible for these parts of the system will need to be clearly defined and aligned with the expectations of the new teacher standards. These roles include, in particular, those of MoE, ETEC and NIPED.

In KSA, there have been several conversations around how to implement the new teacher standards and what risks might arise when doing so. Nevertheless, there does not appear to be a clear implementation strategy that acts as a central, common reference point for all stakeholders who would be affected. It will be critical that KSA develops such a strategy to guide the implementation process and consistently communicate expectations. Highlighted below are specific areas of consideration that should be included in the implementation strategy.

Finalise and publish the new Teacher Standards and Professional Pathways with a clear communications plan

While there is some urgency to publish the new teacher standards soon, it is suggested that the recommendations made in this chapter be considered and integrated into the final version before they are published. In particular, the OECD review team recommends that a specific standard be developed for graduate teachers, which would be a key reference for quality assurance processes as well as for the revised Qifayat (see recommendation about aligning the Qifayat). Another suggestion is placing greater emphasis on pedagogical content knowledge, which is currently represented (though not explicitly mentioned) only in one part of one sub-standard.

The communications around publishing the new teacher standards will be extremely important. There are already many concerns and rumours circulating about what they entail and what their impact will be, likely because few teachers were directly involved in their creation. Therefore, it is critical that teachers be included in the finalisation of the standards and in their publishing. The communicative environment of KSA is well suited for national outreach, as exemplified by the highly successful campaign around Vision 2030. Social media is very popular and teachers already use it to communicate with each other and their supervisors. These experiences and tools can be leveraged to reach the 500 000 teachers currently in the system, and related stakeholders such as faculties of education. For instance, in communicative materials (e.g., brochures, commercials, online advertisements), the new teacher standards could be presented in alignment with Vision 2030 and as what teachers have requested for a long time. These materials could then be disseminated through social media.

Develop a Code of Conduct to accompany the new teacher standards

The OECD review team recommends that MoE develop a code of professional conduct for teachers alongside the new teacher standards. This code would identify the mission, vision and values of the teaching profession in the Saudi Arabian context and in-service teachers should be enlisted to help create it. Such collaborative engagement creates a buy-in and gives teachers a sense of ownership over the code of conduct. It should be used to help make decisions about which candidates are most suitable to enter ITP and become teachers in KSA (see recommendation about assessing the disposition of ITP applicants through an interview). Box 3.1 describes the teacher code of conduct from Scotland.

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Box 3.1. Teacher code of conduct from Scotland

The Code of Professionalism and Conduct defines the core principles and values for teachers in Scotland so both teachers and the public know how teachers are expected to behave. It includes five key principles:

  1. 1. Professionalism and maintaining trust in the profession,

  2. 2. Professional responsibilities towards pupils,

  3. 3. Professional competence,

  4. 4. Professionalism towards colleagues, parents and carers,

  5. 5. Equality and diversity.

Each of those principles includes a set of guidelines for teacher behaviour. For instance, the guideline “ “you must treat pupils equally, fairly, and with respect, in line with the law and without discrimination” is under the principle “Professional responsibilities towards pupils”.

The General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) has the responsibility to develop, adopt and update the Code of Professionalism and Conduct. Teachers are introduced to the code during Initial Teacher Education by the GTCS and during the induction scheme for new teachers.

Source: The General Teaching Council for Scotland (2012[37]), Code of Professionalism and Conduct. GTC Scotland.

Golubeva & Kaniņš (2017[38]). Codes of conduct for tecahers in Europe: a background study. Volume 4. ETINED Council of Europe Platform on Ethics, transparency and Integrity on Education.

Prioritise the certification of teachers at the Practitioner level

Teachers in KSA were trained at different times and taught to use different pedagogical approaches. An important first step in implementing the new standards will be to ensure that all practicing teachers have acquired basic minimum competencies as defined by the new standards and can achieve the status of Practitioner Teacher. To this end, MoE should require all teachers to become certified at the Practitioner level within a fixed timeframe.

At present, the new standards are expected to be rolled out over six years, which is desirable because it gives the impression of maintained momentum. However, the most important consideration is whether the timeframe allows for the development of adequate training capacity to prepare teachers for the certification process. A valuable lesson from Georgia is that if teachers are going to engage positively with the scheme, they need to feel adequately supported to have a fair chance of success.

NIPED and the current teacher supervisors will play a critical role in helping to achieve this goal. The teacher supervisors can be responsible for administering the initial diagnostic assessment to determine teachers’ readiness for certification. Based on the results of these assessments, supervisors can develop training plans for teachers to help them prepare to become certified. NIPED would be tasked with providing the relevant training modules to support teachers in the most needed areas. Once these procedures have occurred, MoE can make a more informed determination about how long in-service teachers should be given to reach Practitioner level.

Stagger the promotion of Advanced and Expert Teachers

How and when teachers are promoted to the newly created levels needs to be determined carefully. In Singapore, the status of Master Teacher represents the pinnacle of the teaching profession. This level of teacher, however, was announced in conjunction with Senior Teacher, which is the penultimate level of the teaching profession. Teachers were not allowed to be promoted directly to the Master level, but first had to be promoted to the Senior level. Only after there was a sufficient pool of Senior Teachers, and the transparency and rigour of the process were established, could teachers be promoted to Master Teacher.

The OECD review team learned that KSA plans to promote some teachers immediately to the Advanced (but not Expert) level. These are teachers who hold a master’s or PhD educational qualification, and those currently working as educational supervisors at the Directorate or ministerial level. For remaining teachers, promotion would first follow certification of teachers at the Practitioner level. The OECD review team supports this staggered strategy and further suggests that promotion to Advanced and Expert levels should not occur for teachers immediately following certification. Instead, it should only occur after first creating a sufficiently large pool of Practitioner Teachers. Similarly, Advanced Teachers should not be promoted to Expert Teachers until a large pool of Advanced Teachers has been established.

This staggered strategy serves two purposes. First, building a pool of Practitioner Teachers would enable ETEC to assess whether there is even an adequate number of qualified teachers to become Advanced Teachers (and Advanced Teachers to become Expert Teachers). It would be difficult to retract a promotion to Advanced level later if the quality of teachers is found to be lacking. Second, staggering promotion communicates that the integrity of the standards is important, which would build trust in the system and elevate the status of the teaching profession. Finally, the certification appraisal process requires time to be enhanced, and staggering promotion allows the process to be adjusted to meet the needs that arise (e.g., training enough assessors to be evaluators of teacher quality).

Continue to develop Practitioner Teachers

Inevitably, many Practitioner Teachers will not be qualified to become Advanced and Expert Teachers. It will be important that MoE continue to support these teachers so they remain motivated to improve. Therefore, the implementation strategy should include plans for the professional growth of the roughly 80% of teachers who do not become Advanced or Expert Teachers.

While there are no formal levels between Practitioner and Advanced Teachers, the OECD review team recommends that certain Practitioner Teachers can be given specialised roles within their schools. These might be, for example, serving as a resident expert in a certain instructional method or in using a specific tool. Other teachers from the same school would then consult with these teachers when they have questions in these areas. In schools without Advanced or Expert Teachers, the most respected Practitioner Teachers can also become middle-level school leadership. Such in-school differentiation would continue to motivate Practitioner Teachers to develop themselves even without formal promotion to the next level.

Develop a plan to manage out under-performing teachers from the system

Education systems need mechanisms to manage out under-performing teachers. This process not only removes less motivated teachers, but also creates space in the system for young, talented teachers who might not otherwise be able to find a suitable post. A common mechanism for phasing out teachers is known as a “golden handshake,” in which a set of financial and other incentives are offered to encourage under-performing teachers to leave the profession. While it is not a popular measure nor a long-term solution, in the short-term it can be an effective means of renewing the current teaching force (Macgregor, Peterson and Schuftan, 1998[39]). Such measures would also signal the commitment to preserve the integrity of teaching quality, which would help elevate the status of the profession. This practice has been exercised in England, where a scheme of severance packages has been effective in encouraging under-performing teachers to accept early retirement (Philipson, 2013[40]).

The introduction of the new teacher standards and Code of Conduct offers KSA an opportunity to ensure that only good teachers remain in the service. Non-performing teachers must be given ample opportunity to improve through training, coaching and mentoring. However, if they fail to improve, MoE and the Ministry of Civil Service ought to consider offering a “golden handshake” to ease these non-performing teachers out of teaching. In these cases, the new teacher standards and code of conduct can be used as critical reference points to justify non-performance. In Scotland, for example, breaches of the Code of Professionalism and Conduct (see Box 3.1) can lead to sanctions and dismissal of the teacher (Golubeva and Kaniņš, 2017[38]; The General Teaching Council for Scotland, 2012[37]).

Equitably distribute Advanced and Expert Teachers throughout the Kingdom and recertify them to maintain their expertise

As mentioned previously, it is likely that a disproportionate number of Advanced and Expert Teachers would be found in the urban areas of KSA, leaving many rural regions without such expertise. To address this concern, the new teacher standards could establish regional considerations when promoting Advanced and Expert Teachers, without compromising the rigour of the appraisal criteria for these top categories of teachers. For instance, if a cohort of potential Advanced Teachers has all been deemed to meet the requirements to become Advanced Teachers, but the 15% quota does not allow all of them to be certified as such, preference could be given to teachers whose Directorates or Education Offices currently lack Advanced Teachers.

Since Advanced and Expert Teachers occupy valuable and limited positions, it will be necessary to develop a process of recertification of all teachers to verify that senior-level teachers have maintained the necessary skills to perform their tasks. KSA currently plans to recertify teachers every five years. This is a positive development and mirrors policy in high-performing countries such as Singapore, where the 30% of teachers who reach senior levels are required to undergo continuous recertification. Teachers who do not continuously demonstrate the required competencies would be demoted, thus allowing giving young and talented teachers constant opportunities to become Advanced or Expert Teachers.

While KSA’s five-year recertification cycle appears reasonable, it might not be realistic in the national context. As discussed, there is a noted shortage of ETEC assessors and licensing teachers at the Practitioner level should be a priority. Therefore, it is recommended that recertification occur at a slower pace. Once more teachers reach the practitioner level and once ETEC has more assessors, the regularity with which recertification occurs can be revisited.

Encourage individuals from other professions to stay in their positions

In KSA, teachers, principals and supervisors all occupy the same status in the civil service system. There is a risk, therefore, that the implementation of the new teacher standards could draw principals and supervisors away from their current positions and back to classroom teaching to take advantage of the differentiated salary structures that are available to classroom teachers.

To avoid this situation, principals and supervisors should be provided with incentives to stay in their positions before the new teacher standards are implemented. Such incentives might include a responsibility allowance that would be comparable to the salary increase that an Advanced Teacher would receive. Victoria (Australia) provides principals and assistant principals with such a benefit, termed a “higher duties allowance”, in order to incentivise highly qualified individuals to pursue these positions (Victoria State Government, 2018[41])

In addition, there must also be assurances from MoE and ETEC that standards and professional pathways for other positions are being developed and will be released soon. The communication strategy around these documents need to take into consideration that current principals and supervisors will need to know now that the pathways are being developed and release appropriate information far in advance of releasing the actual pathways. These types of measures could convince promising principals and supervisors to stay in their current roles and develop their skills in anticipation of progressing along a pathway for their own profession in the future.



Use the subject-matter Qifayat test as a selection instrument

In KSA, the Qifayat teacher examinations are currently used to certify teachers in subject-matter expertise and pedagogy at the conclusion of ITP. With a new post-graduate ITP, however, there is a reasonable expectation that teachers will have obtained expertise in an academic subject prior to entering ITP. Therefore, the subject-matter Qifayat test, instead of being administered at the end of ITP, could instead be used as a selection mechanism into ITP, ensuring that teacher candidates have a sufficient amount of higher-level content knowledge to become teachers (see recommendation on aligning the Qifayat test). If potential candidates do not even pass the subject-matter examination, they would not be admitted into the ITP programme. Not having to remediate candidates’ subject-matter knowledge would enable education faculties to focus on developing teacher practice, which would be critical to improving overall teacher quality. Furthermore, having fewer but higher quality teacher candidates would, as discussed previously, represent a more efficient investment in teachers given the current oversupply.

Use the code of conduct as a reference for interviews as part of the selection process for ITP candidates

The goal of ITP is to select and train individuals to become successful teachers. This means that not only must teachers have the right skills to teach students, but they must also have the right motivation and temperament to work in the rigorous environment of the classroom. A licensing examination such as the Qifayat can assess teachers’ knowledge and skills, but is less able to assess their disposition.

The creation of a teacher code of conduct will create a reference for how teachers are expected to behave and conduct themselves. It can therefore be used to help select ITP candidates with the correct temperament to become successful teachers. When reviewing candidates for entry into ITP, it is recommended that an interview become a part of the process. The purpose of the interview will be to determine if a candidate’s character is appropriate, as defined by the code of conduct, to take on teaching responsibilities.

As the majority of teacher candidates would expect to be employed by MoE, it follows that the Ministry, along with education faculty staff, should be part of the panel that interviews the candidates. This process would help to ensure the employability of the ITP graduates, contributing to a more stable and motivated workforce.

Improve manpower planning to align the supply of teacher candidates with the demand

Manpower planning is essential to creating a sufficient (and not overabundant), high-quality teaching workforce that is well distributed across subjects and geographical areas. (OECD, 2019[1]). Manpower planning consists of analysing any oversupply and shortage in the current teaching workforce, forecasting future supply and demand based on data and determining the education and training needs of the workforce (Owen, Kos and Mckenzie, 2008[42]).

In KSA, there is an urgent need to forecast the demand for teachers and use those results to manage the supply. Many policies, such as the design of the new ITP framework, roll out of the new teacher standards and execution of golden handshakes, should be informed by this manpower planning exercise in order to avoid contributing to the current problem of an overall oversupply of teachers, but an undersupply in certain regions and fields of expertise. In the absence of such information, previous responses have been hasty and have potentially produced unintented consequences. For instance, a recent freeze in teacher hiring, while having temporarily stopped more teachers from entering an already saturated market, might be exacerbating existing teacher shortages in certain fields such as math and science. Experiences such as this further emphasise the need for a thorough review of the teacher labour market.

To undertake manpower planning, MoE must:

  • Understand the profile of its teaching force. How many teachers are there, how many are in the Jadarah pipeline and how have these figures changed over time? This exercise should also be differentiated according to age, gender, rural and urban locations and subjects taught. The data needed to produce these figures are available in NOOR and the review team was told that certain data points can be used to distinguish classroom teachers from other persons that occupy the same status in the civil service system.

  • Understand the movement of the teaching force. What is the attrition rate? Does it differ according to the aforementioned variables? What is the movement rate of teachers between schools, and does it differ according to any of the previous variables?

  • Consider the strategic direction of the country and MoE. If, for example, MoE would like to focus greater efforts on science, technology, engineering and mathematics instruction, there would be a greater need for teachers with this type of background and potentially less need for teachers with different backgrounds.

This planning must form the basis of strategic planning across different Ministries. For instance, if STEM education is a focus, the Ministry of Civil Service and the Ministry of Finance must agree to targeted hiring, the universities must devote more efforts to producing STEM graduates and the Qifayat must be aligned to evaluating potential STEM teachers. Several countries have succeeded in conducting such manpower planning Box 3.2 describes examples from Scotland, Australia and the Netherlands.

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Box 3.2. International examples of manpower planning to align the supply of teacher candidates with the demand

In Scotland, the Scottish Government carries out workforce planning every year in order to identify the number of new teachers required and communicate those results to the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), which sets student intake thresholds into ITP providers. The workforce planning exercise relies on a statistical model that is based on pupil projections and current pupil-teacher ratios. It is overseen by the Teacher Workforce Planning Advisory Group that is comprised of representatives of the General Teaching Council for Scotland, universities, local authorities, and teacher unions.

In Australia, the Australian Teacher Workforce Data (ATWD) strategy unifies and connects ITP data and teacher workforce data from across the country. The analysis of the data will allow the government to determine trends in teacher education, the teacher workforce and teacher supply in order to assist in future workforce planning and inform policy development.

In the Netherlands, the institute CentER data carries out annually labour market estimates on teacher supply and demand over a period of 10 to 15 years for the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. This Institute uses a forecasting model called MIRROR (Microsimulation Calculation Model Regional Education Estimates) to identify teacher needs at the regional and sub-national levels. The model uses both central and local data for different indicators such as the number of recent graduates from ITP, the age distribution of teachers and teacher qualifications. Those labour market estimates allow monitoring of supply and demand, forecasting teacher needs, assessing the effects of different scenarios on teacher recruitment, and assisting the development of recruitment strategies.

Source: The Scottish Parliament (2017[45]), Teacher Workforce Planning for Scotland's Schools.,%202017.pdf.

Eurydice (2018[46]), United Kingdom - Scotland Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education.

OECD (2019[1]), A Flying Start. OECD Publishing, Paris.

Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) (2017[47]), How does the ATWD work.

CentERdata (CentERdata, n.d.[48]), Education Labor Market Estimates. .

OECD (2005[24]), Teachers Matter: Attracting, Developing and Retaining Effective Teachers, Education and Training Policy. OECD Publishing, Paris. .

Introduce substantial reward and recognition schemes to increase the attractiveness of teaching

Countries with higher relative teacher salaries and where teaching has higher social status tend to attract better candidates into ITP (Park and Byun, 2015[43]). To encourage the best candidates to apply to ITPs, there must be concerted efforts on the part of MoE to elevate the attractiveness of teaching, in terms of salary and career development, to compete with other professions. This is partially addressed by the new pathways, though only the top 20% of the teachers will reach Advanced and Expert Teacher levels. Other suggestions, some discussed in greater detail in other chapters, are described below.

  • Offer more generous but more selective scholarships. Currently, tuition for ITP candidates is strongly subsidised, which helps many candidates finish ITP but does not necessarily make ITP more selective. To attract higher quality candidates, the number of ITP scholarships can be reduced, but they can be made more generous and only available to the best candidates as identified by selection criteria into ITP programmes (see recommendations about using the Qifayat subject-test and an interview as part of the selection process). These scholarships could help subsidise not only tuition, but also accommodations and transportation for students who might live far away form an ITP provider.

  • Reform Jadarah so promising young teachers can find more employment more easily (see recommendation about revising the Jadarah system).

  • Limit the schools where teachers can be allocated during their probationary period only to those that have Advanced and Expert Teachers and where conditions will not be too challenging for beginning teachers (see recommendation about not placing beginning teachers in difficult situations).

  • Introduce leadership development schemes for the most talented teachers (see recommendation about deploying teachers to other parts of the education system).

Beyond policy reforms, MoE could considering offering immediate incentives, such as recognising in the media the role of teachers in the development of KSA (Park and Byun, 2015[43])). Offering other benefits, such as housing, would further enhance the image of the teaching profession. Working environments are also important. MoE should make efforts to upgrade the infrastructure of schools with modern facilities to attract better candidates. These measures are especially important to take in rural areas in order to attract highly qualified teachers to teach in underserved schools (e.g., highly qualified teachers can be incentivised with salary increases or extra housing allowances if they work in designated needy schools).

Progress through ITP

Develop the ITP programme in accordance with internationally benchmarked practices

The OECD review team understands that the post-graduate ITP programme is still in a stage of development. As this development unfolds, it will be important to consider and integrate what research determines to be the essential components of effective ITPs. Recognised features of well-designed ITPs include (Darling-Hammond, 2006[44]; Darling-Hammond, 2006[45]):

  • Coherence, based on a common, clear vision of good teaching grounded in an understanding of learning, permeates all coursework and clinical experiences. In KSA, providers should be required to use the new teacher and curriculum standards as the core references for programme design.

  • A strong core curriculum, taught in the context of practice, grounded in knowledge of child and adolescent development, learning in social and cultural contexts, curriculum, assessment and subject-matter pedagogy. While many universities in KSA have staff that are well versed in developmental psychology and learning theories, they are largely disconnected from the contexts in which schools operate. Much closer co-operation between universities and the MoE will be needed to ensure that pedagogical theory is consistently related to classroom contexts – for example, how to use formative assessment methods in large classes, or provide motivational feedback to adolescent boys. Such cooperation could take the form of closer collaboration in developing the teacher practicum and selecting schools to participate in the practicum, as recommended below.

  • Extensive clinical experiences that are developed to support the ideas and practices presented in interwoven coursework are essential to successful ITP programmes. Many of the world’s high-performing teacher education providers adopt a university-based teacher education model characterised by about 50% classroom-based courses and 50% school-based experiences such as observations and practicum. Integrating these effectively will require a partnership between education faculties, MoE and schools. In particular, MoE, through its Directorates, should play an active role in identifying good teaching practicum schools with highly competent teachers (Advanced and Expert Teachers according to the new standards) acting as mentors.

  • Assessment based on professional standards that evaluates teaching using performance assessments and portfolios that support the development of ‘adaptive expertise’, the process whereby teacher candidates experiment during their practicums. At present, universities receive little guidance on how students should be assessed during ITP. In conjunction with the graduate standard that this review recommends, assessment guidelines should be developed, specifying the types of methods to be used along with the criteria and grading rubrics for awarding summative marks. Currently the GPA, which determines both graduation and placement through the Jadarah system, is highly unreliable.

Create a strategic partnership amongst MoE, ETEC and education faculties to create a valuable practicum experience for teacher candidates

Building high-quality ITP programmes with a strong emphasis on the development of teaching practice will demand close collaboration between a wide variety of stakeholders. In the Netherlands, the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science facilitates partnerships between ITP providers, school boards and individual schools, Consequently, almost half of ITP providers now collaborate with schools on course design and delivery (OECD, 2019[1]).

Already, several stakeholders (e.g., education faculties, MoE, ETEC) are co-operating on an ad hoc basis to influence the design of the new programmes. This review suggests that such collaboration be formalised in a permanent, strategic partnership that is charged with both developing and overseeing the delivery of ITP. The partnership could be steered by a small group of representatives of the main stakeholders. Education faculties should be represented by a balance of leading universities and smaller providers to ensure that considerations of capacity are taken into account. The group would be responsible for directing the timely development of key resources (programme and assessment guidelines, orientation for practicum schools and for mentors, and accreditation guidelines) and for making sure that all stakeholders are aware of and execute their responsibilities.

  • MoE’s role within this eco-system will be to share overarching policies that inform education faculties’ teacher education approaches, including the shaping of their programmes and research priorities. With respect to ITP, MoE should identify practicum schools with Expert and Advanced Teachers to guide student teachers. MoE should closely monitor the schools to make sure that teachers are provided with different opportunities during their practicum and that they are exposed to a broad spectrum of real teaching conditions.

  • ETEC should work with the education faculties to provide initial selection tools into ITP (e.g., the subject-matter component of the Qifayat). It will also help develop (through the recommended creation of a graduate teacher standard) assessment guidelines to make graduation from ITP meaningful.

  • NIPED should develop training to help Expert and Advanced Teachers mentor practicum teachers.

  • Education faculties should integrate the partners’ inputs into their ITP programmes and co-ordinate the efforts in enhancing the theory-practice nexus. They should communicate regularly with MoE and ETEC to maintain alignment between ITP programme offerings, the strategic direction of MoE and changes to the new teacher standards and national curriculum framework.

Begin accreditation of ITP programmes to promote programme rigour and hold universities accountable

One way to encourage ITP programmes to meet minimum quality standards and support improvement over time is through accreditation. Accreditation also provides a powerful lever for aligning teacher education programmes with national priorities and national teacher standards. In Australia, where accreditation is used as a central mechanism for quality assurance, ITP providers must demonstrate how their courses prepare candidates for the graduate teacher standard in order to be accredited.

This review recommends that KSA develop accreditation standards that are specific to ITP programmes and make it a requirement that all programmes be accredited within a set timeframe. While ITP programmes would still maintain significant autonomy to direct their activities as they see fit, an accreditation requirement would introduce a needed element of consistency across the country. This is a common requirement in many OECD countries, and in particular in those where there is a high degree of public subsidy for tertiary education. ETEC/NCAAA would be naturally positioned to lead this work, which might be carried out in partnership with an external international body, such as the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), formerly NCATE, or the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL).

As part of the accreditation process, universities should be required to provide data about their students, including their Qifayat scores and how many are gainfully employed within a specified amount of time after graduation. In addition to submitting this information for accreditation, universities should also be required to publish this information publically. This type of transparency on test and employment outcomes can help build trust in ITP programmes, raise the status of the highest performing ones and motivate lesser performing ones to improve.

Entrance into Teaching

Align Qifayat to the new teacher standards and curriculum standards, and increase its rigour to reflect the higher qualifications of teacher candidates

With the Qifayat, KSA has developed a strong instrument to help ensure that all new teachers meet minimum standards. This review recommends certain modifications to the Qifayat to reinforce its quality assurance function. First, as recommended above, the Qifayat’s subject-matter component should be administered earlier, as a screening tool for entry into post-graduate ITP programmes. Second, Qifayat’s teaching component should be retained as an examination that students who graduate successfully from ITP must take to be licensed for entry into the profession.

However, both parts of the examination must be reviewed and revised. They should be aligned with the new teacher standards (specifically the recommended graduate standard), the new curriculum standards (i.e., the subject-matter component should ask teachers to demonstrate the type of higher-level thinking that it expects students to demonstrate) and reflect the stronger skills that post-graduate candidates are expected to have. These adaptations are essential to reinforce the changes in expectations of new teachers that the new teacher standards and post-graduation requirement promote.

KSA might also consider if the content of its licensing examination should be differentiated for in-service teachers (who will have to take the examination after the new standards are implemented) and teacher candidates who just finished ITP. Since in-service teachers have acquired many years of teaching experience they can be expected show a deeper understanding of how to apply teaching concepts. Adapting the examination’s content would reflect the different expectations between Graduate and Practitioner Teachers as explained by the Graduate Teacher Standards, which this chapter recommends be created.

Revise Jadarah and use the new Qifayat to give placement priority to the most highly qualified candidates

Once certified by a more rigorous Qifayat, teacher candidates would enter the Jadarah system. The current weighting system of Jadarah discriminates against new ITP graduates by prioritising individuals who have been in the system longer. In many cases, even high scores on the Qifayat and excellent grades cannot overcome the extra weight given to seniority. Consequently, young, qualified teachers are unemployed or find themselves in the undesirable environments with little mentorship. To address these concerns, and give higher priority to the most qualified candidates, the following changes to the Jadarah are recommended:

  • Remove the weight for seniority. In the past, MoE has considered proposals to eliminate the weight given to unemployment time in Jadarah. These reforms have not been successful due to pressure from teachers. However, the new teacher standards create an opportunity to change the overall expectations of the teacher profession. Teachers are expected to benefit from the new professional pathways and increases in salary. In this environment, it is reasonable to expect them to be placed based on competency and not on years spent in the system.

  • Transfer the 20% weight previously given to seniority to teacher performance on the improved Qifayat. While the weight could be equally distributed between a candidate’s GPA and Qifayat score, the OECD review team recommends that it be entirely transferred to a candidate’s Qifayat score. Without accreditation standards and widely acknowledged variance in both ITP quality and assessment of students in ITP, a candidate’s GPA during ITP is a less reliable measure of ability.

  • Require that all teachers waiting for a position are re-licensed. When the new standards are introduced, KSA should require that all teachers in the Jadarah queue take the new Qifayat test. However, passing the Qifayat should not confer licensure for an indefinite period. Teachers who remain in the queue even after passing the Qifayat should be required to demonstrate their continued aptitude to teach by retaking the test within a given period – for example after 5 years. A similar practice exists in Australia, where teacher licensing is mandatory and must be renewed periodically (OECD, 2013[4]). To support this policy, MoE will need to make training courses available that would help teachers to meet the new standards.

  • Prioritise the placement of certain teachers according to need. Although there is a general oversupply of teachers in KSA, there is a shortage of teachers, particularly highly qualified ones, in certain regions and in certain fields. The previously recommended manpower planning exercise will reveal these shortages in greater detail. Jadarah can be used to address directly these identified shortages by prioritising the placement of candidates from those regions and in those fields. If, for instance, there is an urgent need for science teachers in one Directorate, then the most qualified science teacher candidate from that region should receive priority in Jadarah, even if his/her combined weight score is slightly lower than that of others’.

It was beyond the scope of this review to examine comprehensively the Jadarah system, as it is less related to the preparation and training of teachers. However, it is clear that other elements of the system require reform. The system has the strength of being objective and understood. Nevertheless, the fact that teacher placements are so heavily centralised creates considerable rigidity and inefficiency. It also encourages teachers to apply constantly for movement in order to take advantage of favourable circumstances one year that might vanish the next. Any changes to the placement of new teachers should be made alongside a thorough examination of the Jadarah system as a whole.

Make accommodations in teachers’ workloads so beginning teachers can receive mentoring and avoid placing them in situations that are overly challenging

The first two to three years of teaching are crucial in a teacher’s career. They determine not just if the teacher stays in the profession, but how the teacher perceives what is valued in the system. To help teachers during this period, mentorship from senior teachers is crucial. The new teacher standards in KSA already articulate the mentoring expectations of teachers during their probationary period. To be mentored, however, beginning teachers’ workload must be reduced so that they can engage in professional conversations and learning with Advanced and Expert Teachers. This would also imply a reduced workload for these Advanced and Expert Teachers. Currently, however, the standards do not mention that beginning teachers or teachers in mentoring positions would have reduced workloads. This accommodation needs to be made explicit for meaningful mentoring to occur.

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Box 3.3. Workload expectations for teachers on probation in Scotland and Singapore

In Scotland, teachers on probation are expected to teach in the classroom roughly 16 hours per week and carry out continuous professional development for around 7 hours per week. Compared to experienced teachers, their teaching load is reduced by approximately 20%. As part of their probation period, they are expected to:

  • Prepare a Professional Development Action Plan (PDAP), jointly determined with their mentor, at the beginning of the probation period, an Interim Professional Development Plan in the middle of probation period and a final profile report at the conclusion;

  • Participate in professional development activities according to their PDAP;

  • Compile an induction portfolio of professional development activities and update it throughout the induction period;

  • Meet weekly with their mentors to receive their support and advice;

  • Carry out classroom observations in experienced teachers’ classes,

  • Take part in formal assessment meetings to review progress and identify strengths and areas for development.

In Singapore, teachers on probation have a reduced teaching workload that represents about 80% of the teaching time of an experienced teacher. This allows for teachers on probation to engage in professional development activities and for other activities such as lesson planning, observation of other teachers’ practices in classrooms and mentoring. The in-service courses provided to beginning teachers in the framework of the beginning Teacher Induction Program address various topics such as pedagogies, classroom management and building relationships with students.

Source: Scotland Teacher’s Union (2017[46]), Induction Planner 2017 (Scotland). Scotland NASUWT The Teachers' Union.

ATL (2012[47]), Induction making it work for you: Our guide for probationer teachers in Scotland.

NCEE (2016[48]), Empowered educators: How high-performing systems shape teaching quality around the world. Singapore: a teaching model for the 21st Century. f

The mentorship provided by Advanced Teachers would naturally require that, in the future, beginning teachers be posted only to schools that have Advanced and Expert Teachers. In addition to this requirement, new teachers should not be allocated to difficult and challenging teaching environments. In challenging schools, beginning teachers, even with mentorship, would have to focus more on discipline and classroom management instead on focusing on teaching and learning. This would give beginning teachers the wrong impression of teaching and risk that they leave the profession.

In the interim period, as the new teacher standards are still being introduced, it will be important to strengthen the experience of current teachers during their probationary period. These temporary reforms do not have to be comprehensive, as they would no longer apply after the new teacher standards are introduced. Nevertheless, the OECD review team recommends that all schools required to nominate official mentors who would be responsible for supporting teachers in their school who are in their probationary period. The mentors should be given guidelines that explain what is expected of them and access to courses at their local training centre to help them support beginning teachers.

Externally validate the final probation decision

In most OECD countries with formal probation appraisal, a combination of evaluators internal and external to the school are involved in deciding whether the beginning teacher meets the requirements for full certification. The decision is typically made by an individual that is familiar with the trainee’s conduct, such as a principal or mentor, as well as an external evaluator (OECD, 2014[49]). The externality is important to maintain the independence of the decision and reliability of judgement across schools.

After the new teacher standards are implemented, teachers who complete their probationary period in KSA will be eligible to become Practitioner Teachers if their principals approve of their performance and if ETEC assessors determine that they meet the requirements outlined by the standards. In the meantime, however, teachers become fully certified based solely upon the probationary decision of their principals. Given the backgrounds of Saudi Arabian principals, many might not be qualified to evaluate the previous performance and future potential of teachers who are completing probation. The review team was even told that principals dislike the pressure of making this decision without external support.

The OECD review team recommends that, before the new teacher standards are implemented, a principal’s final probation decision be validated by the relevant teacher supervisors. The supervisors are more knowledgeable about pedagogy and can speak to the teacher’s instructional practice, while the principal could speak to the teacher’s behaviour and conduct. This requirement will be challenging for supervisors given their current capacity constraints, which is why it will be important to take measures to free up their time, such as encouraging more peer learning (see recommendations about professional growth) and reducing supervisors’ oversight responsibilities of high-performing schools.

In-service appraisal and teacher professional growth


Make a distinction between appraisal for licensing and promotion, and regular appraisal

Currently, teacher supervisors are responsible for summatively appraising the performance of teachers and developing teachers’ skills. According to the new teacher standards, an external group of teacher assessors will be identified and given appraisal for promotion responsibilities. It will be critical to distinguish clearly the role of these external assessors and, after implementation of the standards, the role of the principals and current teacher supervisors.

The OECD review team supports that external assessors be responsible for appraisal for promotion. That is, when Practitioner Teachers wish to become Advanced Teachers, and when Advanced Teachers wish to become Expert Teachers, they must undergo a process that involves a review, by external assessors, of portfolios that they create and other aspects of their performance.

Principals should be responsible for the regular appraisal of teachers. Unlike appraisal for promotion, regular appraisal occurs according to a pre-defined schedule and would not have summative consequences for teachers (i.e., they would not determine promotion). Instead, regular appraisal would designed to give teachers constructive information about their performance with the aim of helping them develop.

It is not recommended that the current teacher supervisors be part of the appraisal process. They are not external enough to provide impartial determination for appraisal for promotion and do not have enough school-level knowledge to provide meaningful regular appraisal of individual teachers. However, supervisors would play a vital role in helping teachers grow and improve as part of a broader reconfiguration of the supervisory functions in KSA that this review recommends (see Chapter 2).

Select and train respected educators to be competent and impartial assessors

The initial assessment of teachers in the new teacher standards must be fair and accurate to build trust in the new teacher standards. Therefore, it is critical that the initial batch of assessors, who will be responsible for appraisal for promotion, must have the expertise and experience to evaluate teachers properly, and the esteem of the teaching community such that their decisions are respected.

The review team was told that ETEC intends to employ freelance assessors, but are having difficulty identifying and recruiting enough qualified individuals. ETEC plans to introduce specific standards for assessors, which in the future should help develop and select individuals to carry out this role. In the shorter term, KSA could consider targeting Khebrat graduates for this role as they are currently underutilised and have had exposure to the type of teaching that the new teacher standards seek to encourage. In order to reinforce the training of assessors, ETEC might also consider partnering with international bodies, such as the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) in the USA, who could help design and deliver preparation courses in teacher evaluation and work directly with Saudi Arabian assessors to review their practice. This could serve to reinforce both the independence and integrity of the role and its status.

Redefine regular teacher appraisal as a process of professional reflection and growth and align appraisal procedures with this approach

With appraisal for promotion being conducted by assessors, regular appraisal of teachers would be conducted by principals with the aim of helping teachers grow and improve. This redefinition of regular appraisal will require that certain extant practices be stopped. For example, the current grid that is used by supervisors to rate teachers and the ratings themselves should be eliminated. They are too focused on simple compliance measures and do not accurately capture the activities that teachers engage in to improve student learning. In fact, they even have the effect of making teachers focus on measures that might not impact student learning, but do help them achieve higher ratings according to the grids, such as progression through the curriculum and use of certain materials. The fact that the overwhelming majority of teachers receive extremely high ratings from their external evaluations further testifies to the ineffectiveness of the grids. Teachers have identified how to orient their activities to receiving high ratings such that the ratings no longer have any meaning.

The testing of students as a proxy of appraising teacher quality should also stop. Research shows that a multitude of factors influences how students perform on assessments, in particular their socio-economic background and the previous education they have received. As such, the assessment results of a teacher’s students is a much stronger reflection of the intake of a teacher’s students than the performance of that teacher (OECD, 2013[4]). This type of exercise does not evaluate a teacher’s contribution to student learning and would only encourage teachers to “teach to the test,” thus actually distorting classroom instruction instead of supporting it.

Instead of using these tools, regular appraisal of teachers could be conducted through a simple three-phase annual process. First, teachers and principals should engage in performance planning during which annual targets are set in relation to the Teacher Standards and school goals. Teachers would then receive coaching not only from their principals, but also from available Advanced and Expert Teachers so their performance is continuously reviewed and they receive regular feedback. Principals would then deliver an evaluation of the teachers, which would be in the form of qualitative descriptors that are aligned with the new teacher standards and intended to help direct teachers’ future development. Box 3.4 describes effective formative appraisal practices found internationally.

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Box 3.4. What makes for an effective formative teacher appraisal

Effective formative appraisal aims to provide meaningful feedback to teachers and inform classroom practices. It is usually carried out by an evaluator(s) that is familiar with a teacher’s work and has the opportunity to observe their teaching. In most OECD countries, the regular appraisal of teachers is led by the school leadership team because they have a more accurate understanding of a teacher’s practice, based on multiple observations throughout the year. Since the leadership team is familiar to the teacher, this is also likely to create a more informal setting for appraisal to encourage open and honest feedback. In addition to classroom observations, evaluators might rely on teachers’ self-evaluation and teaching portfolios to inform the appraisal process (OECD, 2015[56]).

Appraisal results are used to create individual teacher development plans, which define the type of activities a teacher will undertake in order to improve specific areas of practice. According to research, such plans are most effective when they connect individual objectives with school priorities for teacher development, as this helps to foster teacher collaboration and peer learning (Matt Clifford et al., 2012[57]).

Source: Clifford et al. (2012[57]) Linking Teacher Evaluation to Professional Development: Focusing on Improving Teaching and Learning. National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality.

OECD (2015[56]), Education at a Glance 2015: OECD Indicators. OECD Publishing, Paris.

OECD (2013[4]), Synergies for Better Learning: An International Perspective on Evaluation and Assessment. OECD Publishing, Paris.

Train principals on helping teachers develop

In their current roles, principals are more concerned with administrative tasks rather than with helping teachers grow as professionals. After implementation of the new teacher standards, principals will have greater responsibility for formatively assessing teachers in order to help them develop. Principals will have to be trained and supported to perform this role and to use the new teacher standards as part of the process.

To aid principals, ETEC could provide them with diagnostic assessment tools to help assess teachers’ skills against the expectations of the new standards. These could be variations of the diagnostic assessments that ETEC is currently developing to help teachers prepare for certification. The assessments can be linked to the sub-standards and be further disaggregated by grade levels and subjects. These assessments would not have stakes, but would be used to identify teachers who are in need of professional development and then inform the design of the training they receive. This type of guidance would help principals accomplish what will become one of their primary goals after the new standards are implemented-develop their teachers so all of them achieve Practitioner Teacher status (see recommendation about devising an implementation strategy for the new standards). Box 3.5 identifies more tools and processes that are used internationally to conduct school-based formative assessment of teachers.

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Box 3.5. Research into school-based formative assessment of teachers

School-based assessment tools and classroom observations can be used to identify gaps in teachers’ knowledge and skills. The Framework for Teaching (Danielson, 2007[50]) or the comprehensive 41-element model (Marzano, 2012[51]) have been used internationally for this purpose. Marzano stresses that, to identify gaps and to improve teaching practice, an assessment system must:

  • Be comprehensive in its coverage as well as be specific in description of each aspect of the tool;

  • Have developmental scales;

  • Have rewards for growth.

However, it is not just the tools that support teacher improvement, it is the process. Danielson shares a practice where teachers are not passive objects of teacher assessment, but rather active agents involved in self-assessment, reflection as well as co-owners of the assessment process to improve their own skills and knowledge. There must be very clear definition on what is good teaching and it must be easily identifiable and accepted by teachers. Further, there must be space and time for professional conversations on how teachers can improve their practice.

Professional Growth

Use the results of the Qifayat and regular appraisal to inform the content and delivery of targeted professional development

NIPED is the most critical central entity in the professional development ecosystem of KSA. However, NIPED is already struggling to meet existing training demands and those demands will only grow when the new teacher standards are implemented.

To allocate the resources of NIPED and the training centres most efficiently, decisions about what training to provide and where it should be provided should be made based upon a careful review of the available evidence. This chapter has recommended that the competence-based component of the Qifayat be administered after candidates complete ITP and that diagnostic tools be used as part of teachers’ regular appraisal to identify skills gaps. The results produced by these two assessments can be used to inform decision-making about training offerings in order to avoid investing valuable resources in ineffective ways. Box 3.6 describes international benchmarks that should be considered when developing professional development opportunities.

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Box 3.6. International benchmarks for professional development

Several international benchmarks have been established to guide countries in selecting and accrediting training opportunities for teachers. Learning Forward, a non-profit international membership association that works to promote high-quality professional development, advocates that seven be followed by training coordinators. Selected benchmarks that are relevant to KSA are listed below:

  1. 4. The professional learning outcomes ought to be aligned with national teacher standards and expected learning outcomes.

  2. 5. The professional learning design must integrate learning theories, models and current research. Common features such as active engagement, modelling, reflection, metacognition, application, feedback, on-going support, and formative and summative assessment must be present and lead to changes in knowledge, skills, attitudes and teaching practice.

  3. 6. A number of these features require on-going support through face-to-face or online interaction in the implementation stage. One of the most powerful forms of learning is job-embedded where there on-site support. This would require the training providers to build the capacities of principals and experienced teachers to support other teachers in their schools.

Source: (Learning Forward, 2019[52]; Learning Forward, 2011[53])

In addition to the content of professional development, attention should be given to where support is delivered. It is recognised that isolated, rural areas are already lacking teaching capacity. Reviewing data to better understand teachers needs will further confirm this disparity and also identify what specific needs are most lacking in the least resourced areas of the country. Teachers from these areas will need the most capable trainers and the best resources in order to provide instruction that is comparable with areas that are inherently better resourced. In China, for instance, rural teachers are provided by the government with access to special training programmes specifically designed to improve their skills in their contexts (OECD, 2016[54]).

Use technology to expand access to training opportunities

Online professional development has the possibility of achieving greater and broader impact than face-to-face training, especially if it is coupled with quality facilitation (Borko, Jacobs and Koellner, 2010[55])). Teachers like that online learning portals give access to instant pedagogical and content knowledge through a format that can be highly interactive (Holmes, Signer and MacLeod, 2011[56]). A particular advantage of digital training is that it has the potential to show teachers practices that they cannot see through face-to-face training. Research has shown that teachers respond positively to viewing good teaching practices that they can adapt for their own classroom contexts (Victoria State Government, 2018[57]). In Singapore, teachers can access the “One Portal All Learners” portal where instructional videos, lesson plans and issue-based professional discussions are facilitated, providing just-in-time, bite-sized professional development (Bautista, Wong and Gopinathan, 2015[58]; Huat, n.d.[59]).

Given the size of KSA, NIPED should invest heavily in its digital learning portal to augment face-to-face learning. Its platform should be able to provide personalised professional learning with formative and summative assessments built in and online support from the Education Offices, Directorates and NIPED. With the manpower constraints in training centres and NIPED, the digital platform could stretch existing capacity and allow a limited number of trainers to reach more teachers.

Redefine the role of current teacher supervisors to provide professional development support after implementation of the new teacher standards

Chapter 2 recommends that the school supervisory standards be updated to reflect the solely formative role of the current teacher supervisors, who would become “professional learning supervisors”. These supervisors, as mentioned previously, will not be responsible for any appraisal of teachers, but will act solely to support the improvement of teaching and learning in schools.

Employing dedicated staff in a professional support role is an established practice in several school systems. In Singapore, each school has a school staff developer (Hairon and Dimmock, 2012[60]). This position acts as an on-site coach, a source of expertise for good teaching practice and a training facilitator for teachers. He/she customises training programmes for individual needs and in consideration of the school’s goals. School staff developers are often heads of departments to ensure that professional support is also aligned with subject-specific requirements.

Given their prior experience as teachers and their engagement with teachers as subject-specific supervisors, current teacher supervisors are well situated to become professional learning supervisors. In this role, they would provide professional development support to schools and teachers and help connect the new teacher standards and the overall goals of MoE to local teacher and school needs. Their specific responsibilities might include:

  • Maintain professional development plans for principals and teachers;

  • Visit schools to observe instructional practice and suggest growth steps for principals and teachers;

  • Co-ordinate activities among subject area specialists, principals, and NIPED;

  • Assist schools in articulating the availability of subject area materials and program needs.

Allocate more non-instructional time to professional development

Teachers thrive in school environments where they have sufficient time to plan, collaborate with colleagues and discuss student work and effective teaching strategies (Reeves, Emerick and Hirsch, 2006[61]). To enable this type of development to occur regularly, teachers must have time allocated specifically to engage in such activities. In Scotland, full-time teachers are required weekly to engage in up to 12.5 hours of scheduled, non-teaching work, which includes activities such as staff meetings, planning, professional review and development (SSTA, 2016[62]).

In KSA, a teacher’s workload is based on only the time spent in the classroom. Professional development or other non-instructional activities are not accounted for adequately and thus are not given sufficient priority. Within schools, there must be dedicated time - daily or weekly - for teachers to gather to learn and share ideas. Professional development, sharing and learning as well as action-research, which is in the new teacher standards for Advanced Teachers, must be viewed as part of teachers work and hence incorporated into their workload. As Advanced and Expert Teachers are expected to contribute more to school-level professional development their classroom instructional expectations will need to be reduced more than those of Practitioner Teachers (also as recommended above with respect to mentoring teachers on probation).

Develop teacher-leaders by deploying them in other parts of the education system to cross-fertilise ideas and encourage deeper professional learning

There is increasing international recognition about the importance of giving the most promising teachers opportunities to develop their leadership skills. This not only elevates the status of the profession, but also expands the impact that these teachers have on their colleagues and students (Curtis, 2013[63]). In Washington, DC, the most qualified teachers are encouraged to apply for the Leadership Initiative for Teachers. As part of this programme, participants are given leadership opportunities outside the classroom, including sitting on the Teacher Cabinet to provide monthly input on policy, direct curriculum initiatives and influence teacher recruitment and selection (District of Columbia Public Schools, n.d.[64]).

To promote deeper professional learning and fast track the development of promising teachers, MoE could consider offering placements for talented teachers in Education Offices, Directorates, education faculties, or education agencies like NIPED and ETEC. The duration of these placements could range from one to three years and would allow participating teachers to learn more about the education system from a different perspective. Some potential responsibilities that teachers could assume during their placements include:

  • At MoE, these teachers could provide vital, “on the ground” input for policy development that affects teachers. They would rejuvenate the current MoE staff with new members and bring new, relevant ideas from the field.

  • In the education faculties, especially with the launch of the post-graduate ITP, these teachers could be adjunct lecturers or teaching fellows that provide teacher candidates with practical insights on how learning theories are translated to teaching practice (see recommendation about creating a strategic partnership to improve ITP practicums). The teacher-leaders would gain professionally as they learn more about learning theories and education research methodologies, which could be applied in their schools when they return.

  • At ETEC and NIPED, these teachers could be additional resources for the effective and broad-based implementation of the new teacher standards as assessors and trainers, respectively. The teachers would gain knowledge and skills on performance evaluation as well as training design and delivery. These skills would be essential to have when these teachers become school leaders or supervisors as they assess, coach and train their own colleagues.

Review the impact of Khebrat and identify different ways to use the experience of returned Khebrat teachers

While Khebrat’s intent is positive and clear, a comprehensive review of its effects would be useful to determine how the programme can be made more impactful. Anecdotal evidence suggests that, upon returning to KSA, Khebrat teachers might share their experiences with teachers in their schools, but that their influence does not necessarily extend pass their immediate surroundings.

The review team suggests that Khebrat teachers can play a larger role within the education system in order to affect it more meaningfully. For instance, they can receive greater consideration to become Advanced or Expert Teachers. They can also be considered to become assessors who are responsible for appraisal for promotion. They would also be suitable candidates to become the aforementioned teacher-leaders and be posted temporarily elsewhere in the education system.

A final important consideration is how Khebrat graduates can be deployed in ways that would help to narrow inequities in education quality across KSA. It has been mentioned numerous times that capacity and resources are not distributed equally across the country. Khebrat participants represent the most talented teachers in the country and their skills and experiences should be allocated to the neediest areas. This can be accomplished through the initial selection of participants into Khebrat (e.g., prioritising applicants from under resourced areas) or placement into schools upon their return (e.g., purposefully allocating returned Khebrat teachers through the Jadarah system into under resourced areas). Importantly, the OECD review team recommends that an explicit purpose of Khebrat should be to diminish the educational inequities found between different regions. This purpose should be clearly advertised through brochures, commercials and social media to interested teachers and the public, which will help communicate that teaching in high-needs schools is a task that is not only demanding, but also associated with high status.


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