Better educational policies for better immersion and progression in the teaching career

POLICY BRIEF on the landscapes of education systems: challenges and opportunities for a new approach to the teaching career

The LOOP project aims to contribute to the improvement of the teaching career by rethinking its structure and progression options as well as to empower teachers to know how to enhance their professional development.

The LOOP document published here contains an analysis of teaching careers in the different consortium countries (Portugal, Spain, Croatia, Italy, Germany, Greece and Slovenia), and a characterisation of formal and informal teacher induction practices as well as teacher mentoring programmes.

In most European countries, teachers experience great professional instability, face increasingly challenging audiences, complain about lack of resources and recognition, as well as excessive tasks, many of them of administrative nature. On the other hand, there is a small number of young teachers (under 30 constitute around 10% of the teaching population, on average in OECD countries) who express interest in the profession.

The Policy Brief outlines a set of recommendations, signed off by the LOOP Policy-Working Group, which is intended as a roadmap along a new structure for the teaching career. The ambition is to enable it to become a reference in the design of new educational policies and their permanent updating in a society characterised by constant dynamism. The Policy-Working Group, created within the framework of the project, is a body that guarantees the successive adaptation of LOOP’s results to the interests of its target groups. The majority of its members are public authorities, researchers and partners with strong experience in experimentation and evaluation of the impact of new educational policies.

In this first Policy Brief, a proposal is made to review the teaching careers in the different countries of the partnership, with a view to valuing them and effectively increasing their attractiveness at a time when there are serious difficulties in finding new teaching professionals.

One of the recommendations identified in this publication concerns the urgent provision of support to teachers who are at the beginning of their professional activities, through the possibility of applying for a structured induction programme, supported by more experienced peers, benefiting, for this, from specific training and a decrease of the working hours.

Thus, it is urgent to retain and motivate new professionals by reconsidering the support provided to teachers, through access to an induction programme supported by mentoring, provided by experienced teachers, from the same school or subject group. It is also recommended that these mentors are trained to adopt a collaborative and constructive attitude in different dimensions of the teaching professional activity, such as bureaucratic-administrative, affective-emotional, sociocultural and didactic-pedagogical.

Thus, it is understood that it is imperative to create new career opportunities, through the valorisation of pedagogical functions of special importance, including those that can be performed by teacher mentors, with benefits at the level of their progression and the right to a shorter working hours adapted to their functions.

Find the full report here: