2Julia Gillard and Labor
Let’s move Australia Forward
Why do we need to reward the best teachers?
At the core of the Gillard Labor Government’s plan to deliver a world class education
system is the need for better outcomes at each and every school across the country.For the first time, through initiatives such as NAPLAN and MySchool, parents and thebroader community have access to comparable information about learning outcomes attheir local school. This has started a national conversation about accountability and whatschools and teachers could do to improve student performance.The current pay systems do not reward individual effort and performance and do notencourage the best teachers to remain in the classroom. It means that our mostexperienced teachers are tempted to move to the education bureaucracy or into schoolprincipal positions to increase their earnings, or worse
to leave teaching all together
rather than staying in the classroom where they make the biggest difference tostudents.A recent report from the Grattan Institute,
based on OECD data, found that:
91 per cent of teachers felt that the most effective teachers in their schools didnot receive the greatest recognition.
92 per cent thought they would receive no recognition in their school if theyimproved the quality of their teaching.
81 per cent of teachers report that the evaluation of their work has no impact onthe likelihood of their career advancement.Evidence also suggests that pay dispersal for teachers is deteriorating over time. Overthe last 10 ye
ars, teachers’ starting salaries in Australia have increased around 30 per
cent in real terms while salaries at the top of the scale have declined by three percent inreal terms
.Performance based pay systems are now common in workplaces across the country.Unlike many other professions, there are no financial returns to reflect ability or skill inteaching, with a rigid pay scale structure that limits the ability to reward for greatereffort in the class room. The reality is that this means the most able teachers are paidthe same salary as the least able.
By providing greater reward and recognition forindividual effort and ability, we will move to attract the best and brightest of ourgraduates to the teaching profession. This will ensure Australian children benefit frombetter teaching that will help them reach their full potential.
How will reward payments be made
A re-elected Gillard Government will fund a new National Partnership agreement toprovide bonuses to the very best classroom teachers, supported by a $1.25 billioninvestment.Using the new Australian Teacher Performance Management Principles and Procedures,the top performing teachers eligible for a bonus will be identified by early 2014, basedon their performance in 2013.
Grattan Institute (2010) What teachers want: better teacher management
1996 and 2007 Teacher salaries drawn from OECD (2009) Education at a Glance, and interpolated by project team
Leigh, A. (2009) What do economists know about schools?