Sada-e-Watan Sydney ™


By NSW Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli

When parents, guardians or carers send their children off to school in NSW they place a great deal of trust in teachers.

They expect that those who have responsibility for their children’s education are among the best and brightest that we can attract.

It has been said that great teachers make great students and evidence shows that the quality of teaching is the single-most important influence on how a student performs at school.

Many of us fondly remember a teacher who inspired us to be the best student we could be.

That is why the NSW Government has introduced its Great Teaching, Inspired Learning blueprint – the most comprehensive set of reforms to improve teaching quality ever proposed in Australia.

For some time teachers, principals, parents and education experts have been telling us that something needed to be done to improve teaching in NSW classrooms.

By attracting the best people into teaching degrees and better supporting them once they enter the classroom we will continue to lead educational performance in Australia and improve our standing internationally.

As part of the reforms, this week we announced plans worth $155 million to give greater support to beginning teachers in NSW government schools and empower government school principals to manage teachers who under perform.

We are tripling the support we give to our teachers in their early years.

From next year all permanent beginning teachers in NSW government schools will have release time out of the classroom to develop their skills. They will have two hours per week release time in their first year and have access to an experienced teacher who will be given one hour per week release to provide mentoring and support.

To attract teachers to our rural and remote schools, we have also introduced a new Teach.Rural scholarship program that starts taking applications next month from talented students with a commitment to teach in the bush in 2014. Starting with 20 scholarships, a further 50 will be offered in following years.

Each scholarship provides $6,000 for every year of full-time study, plus $5,000 after graduation and the new teachers are guaranteed permanent full-time employment with the Department in an identified rural or remote location.

High-achieving school leavers can also apply for a new cadetship program to employ part-time paraprofessionals in classrooms from the start of their teacher training. The 10 cadets identified to start at schools in 2014 will expand each year to a total of 30 places in 2017.

And a new internship program employing high-achieving final-year teacher education students as paraprofessionals in schools will also be introduced.

We are also giving government school principals stronger powers to manage the classroom performance of teachers and a quicker process to remove those not meeting required standards.

Where a teacher’s performance is not up to standard they will be provided with support. If their performance remains unsatisfactory they may be dismissed.

The new procedures for performance management and development will be negotiated as part of the 2014 Teachers’ Award.

We have a world class public education system here in NSW and by raising the status of teachers we will encourage more talented people to enter the profession.

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