MOVING teachers between schools every five years can help raise standards, according to international experts.

A major report on schools in the developed world said staff rotation in Japan and Korea helped spread innovative teaching techniques.

The OECD report also highlighted cash incentives as a way of attracting the best teachers to schools in deprived areas.

And there was a boost to the Scottish Government’s policy of giving more power to headteachers.

The Effective Teacher Policies report said letting schools hire staff - a key plank of Education Secretary John Swinney’s reforms - led to improvements in pupil performance.

The report said: “Countries with strong centralised traditions of teacher management could consider creating a mobility requirement, such as exists in Japan and Korea.

“Too limited mobility of teachers between schools ... can hinder the spread of new ideas and approaches.

“By introducing a requirement for teacher mobility every five to seven years might stimulate continuous professional growth while also ensuring that effective teachers are fairly distributed across schools.”

The report said opponents of school autonomy often voiced concerns that greater independence would lead to an education system that exacerbated economic and social inequities.

But it added: “In fact, many countries have been able to combine extensive autonomy with strong incentives to ensure schools prioritise student learning.

“If school leaders have some freedom to adapt teachers’ responsibilities, working conditions and pay to reflect the difficulty of tasks, they are better able to attract the most talented teachers to the most challenging classrooms.

“On average increases in school responsibility for selecting teachers for hire were associated with improvements in student achievement.”

However, the report warned against giving more power to headteachers over hiring of staff too quickly.

School leaders’ capacity to manage human resources cannot be created overnight,” it said.

Eileen Prior, executive director of parent body Connect, said moving teachers between schools could be disruptive for staff and children.

She said: “We’d prefer the priority to be making sure every school has the teachers it needs and that those teachers are of the highest calibre.”

Seamus Searson, general secretary of the Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association, said the union would be interested in discussing the idea.

He said: “Teachers should be encouraged to work across different schools to gain experience and pass on knowledge.

“However, those who move across schools would need to be paid for the additional responsibilities and experience.”

A spokesman for the Educational Institute of Scotland teaching union highlighted another of the report's findings - that countries which paid the highest salaries had fewer difficulties recruiting.

He said: "Improving salaries is essential in making teaching a more attractive and desirable career option for highly qualified students.

"In Scotland, teacher salaries have been eroded over the past decade."

A Scottish Government spokesman said its education reforms were focused on giving schools and headteachers more power and money to raise standards.

He added: “They are based on international evidence of how high-performing education systems work – delivering extra help for teachers in the classroom, more professional development and a stronger voice for parents and pupils.”