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Transcript of interview with Matthew Abraham and David Bevan: ABC 891: 18 April 2011: Grattan Review; Nielsen Poll



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Christopher Pyne, MP 

Shadow Minister for Education, Apprenticeships and Training  Manager of Opposition Business in the House   

Transcript - ABC 891 - 18 April 2011

Published 18/4/2011

SUBJECTS: Grattan Review; Nielsen Poll

Christopher Pyne: Good morning Matthew, good morning David.

Matthew Abraham: This report that has been flagged in a number of newspapers, including the Oz today, the Grattan

Institute Report into our school system effectively and our teachers and how they're travelling. Chris Pyne, what do you

make of that report?

Pyne: The report is interesting in that it suggests that they need to have a proper teacher performance appraisal and

they've made suggestions about how that might be done. They're calling it 360 degree assessment, which means

assessment by supervisors, by peers and by what they call subordinates. So in this case principals, fellow teachers and

students in order to be able to find out where a teacher is in terms of their performance and ability. And this of course

would be a precursor to giving principals and schools the capacity to manage their own staff in the ways that they want.

David Bevan: So how would that work in practical terms and would you support it?

Pyne: I would definitely support it. In practical terms it means surveys from parents, surveys from students and

appraisals from teachers. It might mean teachers in a classroom with another teacher observing how they teach and

their performance and their interaction with students. It might mean interviews with principals. It could mean forms to

fill out for what they think about their own abilities and performance and assessing their own abilities so it's very useful

from the point of view of a whole school in that teachers work more closely together rather than being in a silo in a

particular classroom.

Bevan: But, how would you prevent disgruntled students and their parents picking on a teacher who is just trying to do

their job? Its hard enough being a teacher as it is.

Pyne: Ah well, obviously, anybody who was particularly picking on a teacher would be discounted in terms of its

assessment. This is not a complaints based assessment. This is a proper, monitored and moderated assessment

process which is recognised throughout the world and it would apply in Australian schools. Obviously if there was a

vexatious parent or an unhappy student who didn't like being given (inaudible) because they were late every day, that

person would not being taken into account in the moderation of a teacher's performance.

Abraham: Chris Pyne, speaking of assessing peoples' performance, the latest Nielsen poll in the Sydney Morning

Herald has assessed the Liberal Party and the Labor Party, and finds in the terms of the Liberal party that people want

Malcolm Turnbull back as leader, not your man Tony Abbott.

Pyne: Well the Nielsen Poll found that people think the government is a stinker 56/44 on a two party preferred basis;

want the coalition to be in government which is an extraordinary...

Abraham: But not lead by Tony Abbott which is an extraordinary result as well, is it not?

Pyne: Well no not really, I mean I've been in parliament for a long time and my experience has been that people always

want the Leader of the Opposition who isn't the leader of the opposition if you know what I mean so when Andrew

Peacock was leader they always wanted John Howard and when John Howard was leader they always wanted Andrew

Peacock. They always want somebody other than the Leader of the Opposition because the Leader of the Opposition's

job by definition is a difficult one. You always have to be pointing out the flaws and faults in the government and so

people often support somebody else. But that doesn't mean that they would vote that way in an election campaign and

there certainly isn't any sense that that's a problem for the opposition, we are one hundred percent behind Tony Abbott

and why wouldn't you be when you are 56/44 in the polls

Abraham: Chris Pyne thank you for talking to us, Shadow Minister for Education

Pyne: Pleasure.