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Reward Payments for Great Teachers

REWARD PAYMENTS FOR GREAT TEACHERS
A re-elected Gillard Labor Government will implement Australia’s first national system of performance assessment and pay to reward the very best classroom teachers. Federal Labor knows that great schools are created by great teachers and believes great teachers deserve to be recognised. The Gillard Labor Government will provide the first reward payment to top performing teachers in 2014, based on teacher performance in 2013. Around one in ten, or about 25,000 of the best classroom teachers would receive a performance bonus each year. Based on current wages, this bonus would be around $8,000 for our most experienced teachers. The Gillard Labor Government will develop a nationally consistent, transparent and equitable performance management system the ‘Australian Teacher Performance Management Principles and Procedures’ so the best performing teachers can be identified and rewarded. These will be developed by Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership and will set out the aspects of a teacher’s performance to be assessed and will cover elements such as:  Student achievement.  Contribution to the school community including providing support to other teachers.  Contribution to extra-curricular activities and student support. All teachers will be required to participate in the performance management framework and for the first time, every teacher in the country will be potentially eligible for a bonus payment if they are a top performer.

Julia Gillard and Labor

Let’s move Australia Forward

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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 the broader community have access to comparable information about learning outcomes at their local school. This has started a national conversation about accountability and what schools and teachers could do to improve student performance. The current pay systems do not reward individual effort and performance and do not encourage the best teachers to remain in the classroom. It means that our most experienced teachers are tempted to move to the education bureaucracy or into school principal positions to increase their earnings, or worse – to leave teaching all together – rather than staying in the classroom where they make the biggest difference to students. A recent report from the Grattan Institute,1 based on OECD data, found that:  91 per cent of teachers felt that the most effective teachers in their schools did not receive the greatest recognition.  92 per cent thought they would receive no recognition in their school if they improved the quality of their teaching.  81 per cent of teachers report that the evaluation of their work has no impact on the likelihood of their career advancement. Evidence also suggests that pay dispersal for teachers is deteriorating over time. Over the last 10 years, 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 in real terms2. 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 in teaching, with a rigid pay scale structure that limits the ability to reward for greater effort in the class room. The reality is that this means the most able teachers are paid the same salary as the least able.3 By providing greater reward and recognition for individual effort and ability, we will move to attract the best and brightest of our graduates to the teaching profession. This will ensure Australian children benefit from better 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 to provide bonuses to the very best classroom teachers, supported by a $1.25 billion investment. Using the new Australian Teacher Performance Management Principles and Procedures, the top performing teachers eligible for a bonus will be identified by early 2014, based on their performance in 2013.
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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?

Julia Gillard and Labor

Let’s move Australia Forward

3 The reward payment will be made in two instalments, at the start of each semester, starting in semester 1, 2014. As an estimate, the funding from the Federal Government would enable a one-off 10 per cent salary bonus to the top 10 per cent of teachers in 2014 for their performance in 2013. Based on current wages, this bonus would be up to $8,100, or two payments of $4,050 for our most experienced teachers. A teacher in the first few years of their career might receive a bonus of around $5,400 dollars in total.

How the best teachers will be identified
The Gillard Labor Government will develop a nationally consistent, robust, equitable performance management system, the ‘Australian Teacher Performance Management Principles and Procedures’ (the Principles), so the best performing teachers can be identified and rewarded. The Principles will be based on the National Professional Standards for Teachers that will be introduced in schools next year. The Principles will set out the aspects of a teacher’s performance to be assessed and will cover elements such as student achievement, contribution to the school community, including providing support to other teachers, teamwork and participation in extracurricular activity. It is anticipated that the assessment will also take into consideration a range of local factors as well as nationally consistent standards and information. Assessment of a teacher’s performance will be based on a range of methods including:  Lesson observations.  Analysis of student performance data (including NAPLAN and school based information that can show the valued added by particular teachers).  Parental feedback.  Teacher qualifications and professional development undertaken. The consultation process will also consider how student feedback could appropriately be incorporated into the assessment. Assessment will be conducted by a panel including the principal, a senior regional staff representative and an independent third party. To ensure the integrity and fairness of the process it will also include an independent review and appeals process.

The Australian Teacher Performance Management Principles & Procedures
Starting this year, the Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) will lead the development of the Australian Teacher Performance Management Principles and Procedures. The development will include detailed consultation with teachers unions, Government, Catholic and Independent education authorities, ACARA, professional teaching bodies, parents and student representatives. This will ensure that the assessment is robust, comprehensive and equitable.

Julia Gillard and Labor

Let’s move Australia Forward

4 To support the implementation process of the Australian Teacher Performance Management Principles and Procedures, supporting materials, professional development and resources will be developed by AITSL for all schools. A National Implementation Plan will be developed in consultation with stakeholders and support will be provided to the States and Territories to implement the new Principles and realign current performance management practices to the new nationally consistent model. The Principles and performance assessment procedures will be implemented in schools from 2012.

The transition to a performance based system
The first step will be the development of the new Australian Teacher Performance Management Principles and Procedures which will provide the mechanism to equitably assess teacher performance in a nationally consistent way. This will be led by AITSL with extensive stakeholder consultation in 2011, with implementation commencing from 2012. The Gillard Labor Government will provide a total of $1.25 billion over five years to deliver performance bonuses pay for the best performing teachers. This will be distributed to State and Territory Governments and education authorities.

What does this mean for teachers?
These reforms will ensure the best teachers in our schools are recognised and rewarded for their efforts. And all teachers will benefit from a nationally consistent performance management framework that helps them improve their performance. This will support teachers to develop through constructive feedback, advice, training and support No teacher will have their current salary reduced as a result of these reforms.

How the reward payments will work
Every teacher will be eligible to receive a reward payment by participating in the new Australian Teacher Performance Management Principles and Procedures. The reward payments will be made in two instalments, at the start of each semester, which will commence in 2014 based on teacher performance in the 2013 school year. As an estimate, the funding from the Federal Government would enable a one-off 10 per cent salary bonus to the top 10 per cent of teachers in 2014 for their performance in 2013. This will mean that around one in ten, or around 25,000, teachers would receive a performance bonus in each year. Based on current wages, this bonus would be up to $8,100, or two payments of $4,050 for our most experienced teachers. A teacher in the first few years of their career might receive a bonus of around $5,400 dollars in total. The assessment criteria and benchmarks will be designed so that those teachers who are in the top ten per cent of all teachers will be eligible. Teachers will be assessed on a state wide basis, meaning that more or less than ten per cent of teachers in a particular school may receive performance pay.

Julia Gillard and Labor

Let’s move Australia Forward

5 The implementation of this initiative will build upon existing teacher quality reforms, including reforms underway as part of the Teacher Quality National Partnership, with the goal of delivering a nationally consistent performance management framework for classroom teachers.

How will this reform be achieved?
The Government has already embarked on reforms to better reward quality classroom teachers through the existing Teacher Quality National Partnership. The first stage of reform will be driven by AITSL to develop the Australian Teacher Performance Management Principles and Procedures, through broad consultation with stakeholders including teacher employers and unions, teacher registration bodies and professional associations, followed by a validation exercise run by AITSL to ensure integrity. This process will also include identifying a suite of options for implementing the Principles in different school settings and developing online implementation support tools, for example better practice guides, teacher assessment tools and professional development plans. AITSL will also provide professional development for principals. A facilitation payment of $50 million will be provided to States and Territories to make the necessary changes to their existing performance management systems, so they align with the new Australian Teacher Performance Management Principles and Procedures. The Gillard Labor Government is determined to establish a robust, fair and equitable assessment and review system to support these reforms and will provide $1.25 billion over five years for performance bonuses for classroom teachers to drive these reforms.

Financial Implications ($m, underlying cash balance)
2010-11 0.3 2011-12 49.8 2012-13 0 2013-14 125.0 Total 175.1

The cost of this new policy will be fully offset over the forward estimates, consistent with the Gillard Labor Government’s commitment to return the Budget to surplus in three years.

Labor’s record
The Gillard Labor Government has taken unparalleled action to build a world class education system, so every Australian child can reach their full potential. That is why the Government is committed to recruiting, training, retaining and rewarding great teachers – including offering new reward payments. We are fast-tracking the best and brightest graduates into teaching and into struggling schools through the Teach for Australia program. We are also increasing the funding available to universities for teacher education courses allowing them to improve the quality of these courses and ensuring graduates entering the teaching profession are better prepared. Already our reforms are beginning to make a difference:

Julia Gillard and Labor

Let’s move Australia Forward

6  In New South Wales, a new category of Highly Accomplished teachers is now working in schools in disadvantaged areas and being rewarded for their hard work and high performance, with six figure salaries. Victoria is trialling models of school-based and teacher-based rewards in government and independent schools including the provision of an annual bonus to top performing teachers.

We have established the MySchool website which provides nationally comparable data on school performance for the first time ever – providing transparent information on each school’s literacy and numeracy results. The MySchool website has had over three million visits, and has created a new national conversation about school performance and student outcomes. We have laid the foundations for a world class education system and the Gillard Labor Government is determined to continue driving improved student outcomes, so all Australian children are equipped with the skills they need for a successful future.

THE COALITION’S RECORD
As a former Cabinet Minister, Tony Abbott was part of the Coalition Government that:  Neglected schools, investing only $33 billion over four years. The Gillard Labor Government is providing $63.7 billion over four years – almost double this amount.  Talked about a national curriculum but failed to deliver.  Focused on putting flagpoles in schools, not on improving outcomes for students. If he is elected Prime Minister, Mr Abbott has already made clear that he would cut almost $3.2 billion from the education system. This includes cutting the $425 million Teacher Quality National Partnership which is currently delivering:  Increased local decision making in schools across the country including the popular Independent Public Schools trial in Western Australia with 34 schools commencing this year.  High achieving non-education university graduates to the most disadvantaged secondary schools under the Teach for Australia program.  New Teaching Excellence scholarships for pre-service and existing teachers. Mr Abbott’s cuts to education will also mean:  120,000 students across the nation will miss out on a computer in 2300 schools and 670,000 computers that are already funded will become useless and out of date without funding to upgrade and replace them.  Over 1,800 secondary schools and 1.2 million students will miss out on a chance to access a Trade Training Centre and start learning a trade at school.
AUTHORISED N.MARTIN for the ALP, 5/9 Sydney Ave. Barton ACT.

Julia Gillard and Labor

Let’s move Australia Forward

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