Closing the Teacher Gap

Researching the Challenges and Opportunities for International Teacher Recruitment and Retention

image of Closing the Teacher Gap

With a shortfall of 18 million teachers in the numbers required to meet the education Millennium Development Goals, research on the global teaching force becomes critical in informing planning and preparation for future learners.  Yet data about teachers across all regions of the Commonwealth is not yet reliable enough or adequate for truly effective planning and policy-making. Since 2006, the Commonwealth Secretariat has held a series of research symposia to explore aspects of this data gap in an attempt to help address the problem. This publication reports on the proceedings of the fourth symposium, held in conjunction with the US National Education Association, which looked particularly at international teacher mobility, recruitment and retention, and the significance of this research for the future of education, globally.



The Washington Statement on Teachers

Researchers, officials and representatives of regional and international organisations meeting for the Fourth Commonwealth Teachers’ Research Symposium hosted by the National Education Association (NEA) of the United States in Washington, DC, USA, and co-ordinated by the NEA and the Commonwealth Secretariat, agreed to the following, over a two-day period during which research and data were presented and shared with all participants: The evidence of high levels of teacher attrition in many countries globally has serious implications for the future of the teaching profession. Evidence-based research on teachers must be used to influence teacher policy and practice along with greater adherence to international standards on teachers, especially the ILO and UNESCO standards of 1966 and 1997. Traditional routes to teacher training and qualifications are not always sufficient to address attrition in the profession. Improved induction, mentoring, terms and conditions of employment and different modalities in teaching training must be explored.


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