2.1 Teacher Workforce Planning

In this section: - How to plan the teaching workforce in schools - Rules on deployment - The importance of workforce planning

Rules: Teacher Workforce Planning

Includes rules on: Teacher workforce planningDeploymentTeachers in remote areas and Attraction and retention.

Teacher workforce planning in Sierra Leone


Teachers in Remote Areas

Attraction & Retention


Process: How to forecast and report the demand for teachers at school level

At the end of each school year, school leaders must estimate the need for teachers at their schools for the next school year and for the following five years. The exercise applies many of the same criteria as national workforce forecasting (see below).

At school level it is a matter of simply counting: Who is expected to retire and when? Who will be promoted to a higher position and when? What is the expected increase or decrease in pupil population? How often on average (based on experience from previous years) will a teacher transfer to another school or leave the service? Etc.

The school leader must supply information on recruitment needs at their school to their TSC-DO by using a regular calculation based on the below criteria. The TSC-DO will aggregate the results at district level and submit it to TSC-HQ, which will then use information from all districts to forecast the need for recruiting teachers on a national scale.

To forecast school workforce demand, school leaders should apply the following criteria:


Further reading: What is teacher workforce planning and why is it important?


One of the teaching service´s main responsibilities is to ensure that every class and grade in every school throughout the country is sufficiently staffed by qualified teachers who can deliver the scheduled lessons according to the curriculum and expected standards. When this is not possible, due to teacher illness or another unexpected incident, the school leader must ensure a temporary replacement.

Therefore, the teaching service at national, district and school level must assess teacher demand for the coming school year and for the next five years to ensure:

Workforce planning is essential to avoid being taken by surprise by major increases or decreases in demand resulting from changes to policies or regulations, teacher-student ratios, demographics or the number of children of school age.

When deploying teachers, the teaching service must aim to ensure an even distribution of qualified teachers, subject teachers and young teachers between urban, rural and remote areas. They must also aim to improve gender balance within the teaching service. 

Effective workforce planning ensures the teaching service is rightsized with the right people in the right place at the right time. Rightsizing ensures optimal cost-efficiency and effective use of the workforce, achieving the best possible result for the least cost. Inadequate planning and utilisation of the workforce is costly in the long run.

Workforce planning and forecasting requires cooperation across several educational institutions including: schools, district education and school authorities, TSC, MBSSE, MTHE, universities and teacher training collages, and labour market institutions. The Education Management Information Systems (EMIS) is based on the school census is an important source for the forecast of teachers.

Sierra Leone has a high turn-over of teachers and a high attrition rate. Improved workforce planning will enable the teaching service to plan systematically for attracting and retaining teachers for life-long or prolonged career.


Best Practice: General criteria for forecasting teacher workforce

MBSSE is overall responsible for forecasting the demand of teachers for national planning and budgeting, while TSC must forecast for annual recruitment and deployment.

The following criteria (estimations) can be applied to forecast the demand for teachers at national level:

Best Practice: How to attract and retain teachers

An important part of Human Resource Planning in an area of shortage is to find ways of attracting and retaining staff. Sierra Leone is facing a shortage of qualified teachers and therefore needs to attract young people to enrol in teacher training colleges and subsequently opt for a career in the teaching service.

In order to encourage young people for the teaching profession the teaching service has a range of options including: