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Teacher performance pay: trialling a dud.

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TEACHER PERFORMANCE PAY: TRIALLING A DUD The Federal Education Minister’s plan to dole out cash to schools who agree to trial teacher performance pay schemes is another nutty idea Democrats leader and School Education spokesperson Senator Lyn Allison said today.

“This performance pay mantra Julie Bishop is chanting is a total dud. It is insulting to suggest Australia’s dedicated teachers are wilfully refusing to strive for excellence until the government dangles a few more dollars in front of them”.

Senator Allison called on Minister Bishop to use a more sophisticated approach to dealing with school education and the pressures faced by teachers and students.

Her comments follow reports that the Federal Education Minister is pushing ahead with a widely rejected plan to introduce a performance pay system for teachers with trials in selected schools.

But Senator Allison, a former teacher, says this approach completely ignores key pressures which can force the best and the brightest out of the profession. The Bishop approach does not set up a system which eases school resourcing pressures; it does not set up a system which allows young teachers to observe or be mentored by innovative teachers using successful practice; it provides no incentive for postgraduate study - only cash for sporadic ‘professional development’; and it does not help teachers in knowing what will work for individual students who struggle or have learning difficulties. Provision for special programmes for children, speech therapists and opportunities for one to one learning would be a good place to begin.

“That’s just the start”, Senator Allison said. “Teachers should be well rewarded, but the blunt instrument performance pay approach is not where the solutions lie”.

Media contact -Nicole Chvastek 0417 613 610