The Australian Primary Principals Association’s (APPA) annual national conference today questioned the model adopted by the Federal Government for the introduction of its performance pay for teachers program.
APPA President Norm Hart said today that while APPA supports rewarding great teachers, the overwhelming view of annual conference delegates believe a performance pay system based on a set quota of recipients and the use of NAPLAN results as a measure of effectiveness would not improve the quality of teaching delivered in schools.
“As Principals, we believe that great teaching should be rewarded and acknowledged by the broader community. Rewarding appropriately and bringing all teachers along in the process must be fundamental to any performance model that is finally adopted.”
Mr Hart said that Principals have a number of concerns about the proposed implementation of the performance payment system.
“No education system in the world has been able to show that one-off payments to teachers raise the quality of teaching or the status of teachers. What we do know is that such a program will be extremely difficult to administer and we are concerned at the unfair burden this would place upon primary school principals.”
In the same way, we are profoundly concerned that introducing a quota will see some teachers rewarded ahead of other teachers through the payment of a one-off bonus. This will only lead to division and disharmony amongst the teaching body.”
APPA also said that measuring a teacher’s performance using NAPLAN testing results would only further distort the integrity of any award delivered. According to ACARA, up to 60 per cent of the variation in NAPLAN scores results from factors outside the control of the school. Measuring performance of a teacher against this is unfair and inappropriate.
Mr Hart said that the Government’s motivation to reward great teachers is a worthy one and should be supported, but that more needed to be done to get the mix right.
“APPA believes that while performance pay can be part of the mix to reward teachers, it should only be one part. Support for teachers to go on sabbaticals, study tours and providing extra assistance to teachers actually in the class room should be part of the mix to support and reward our best teachers.”
The Australian Primary Principals Association represents 7,200 Government, Catholic and Independent principals across Australia.