We don't have any best practices for content deployment, but you are right that the developers shouldn't work directly on the live server. In case you have several developers, it would be good if all of them have a local copy where they can test all of their controls and modules. Once they are sure everything is fine, they could upload it to the development server, which could be a mirror of the production server. This way, only the developers would be engaged and responsible for the custom controls and the modules. Moreover, it's good if they upload their stuff because there could be certain modifications to the web.config for example, and only they are aware of these.
As for the database schema, we use ORM software, that does most of the things automatically. I think that following the approach described above, you will not need any SQL scripts for data replication.
I hope the provided information is helpful.
the Telerik team