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Teacher quality and student learning focus of new salary agreement

4 December 2013
The Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli today announced that student learning and teacher quality are the focus of the NSW Government’s new salary agreement with more than 62,000 teachers at 2,230 public schools.
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Mr Piccoli said the new agreement builds on the Government’s education reform agenda, particularly the Great Teaching, Inspired Learning and Local Schools, Local Decisions reforms.

"The agreement aligns teachers' salaries with teacher professional standards, establishes a new performance and development framework and acknowledges school complexity when paying principals," Mr Piccoli said.

"From 2016, pay for public school teachers will be linked to the achievement of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

"The new standards-based structure certifies teachers at three levels: graduate, proficient and highly accomplished.

"Our new structure provides more than $100,000 a year for highly accomplished teachers, compared with $89,050 for teachers at the top of the pay scale currently, enabling our best classroom teachers to be better rewarded."

New procedures for performance management and development will halve the time for dealing with issues of teacher performance.

"The revised Teacher Improvement Program reduces the time it takes to deal with poor performance to 10 weeks, compared with up to 25 weeks now," Mr Piccoli said.

"Teaching is the single-most important in-school influence on student performance, so it’s vital that the person in front of every class is working effectively to educate our children.

"NSW has a great public education system, and the NSW Government is committed to making it even better by giving principals more authority to manage the very small number of teachers who are underperforming.

"To further support the quality of teaching in our public schools, the NSW Government will lift spending on professional learning and development for school staff by $17 million a year from 2016 – an increase of 50%."

An improved classification structure for principals is another major initiative under the new agreement, with principals' pay now reflecting school complexity rather than just student numbers.

"This more equitable structure recognises the local decision-making role of principals and that not all schools are the same, with a range of influences affecting how they are best managed," Mr Piccoli said.

"From Term 1, 2016, the classification and salary of all new principals will be based on school complexity, as determined by the Department of Education and Communities' Resource Allocation Model.

"Influences, such as the socio-economic level of a school’s local community, the number of students with a disability and those with a non-English language background, will now be taken into account when classifying principals."

The improved structure also acknowledges teaching and non-teaching principals.

"This seeks to address the concerns of principals and parents in smaller schools who want to spend more time in the classroom and less time on administrative and management activities," Mr Piccoli said.

"The reduced time spent on these activities provides more opportunity for face-to-face teaching, providing students with greater learning continuity and consistency."

Under the new agreement negotiated between the Department of Education and Communities and the NSW Teachers'’ Federation, public school teachers receive a series of salary and allowance increases.

Over the agreement's three years, the following increases apply:

  • 2.27% from the first pay after 1 January 2014;
  • 2% from the first pay after 1 January 2015;
  • 2.15% from the first pay after 1 January 2016.

"I would like to thank the NSW Teacher’s Federation for their cooperation during the negotiations, which have put student outcomes at the heart of teaching in NSW," Mr Piccoli said.

Click for more information about how students, principals and teachers benefit from the new agreement.

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