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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 27 October 2010) . . Page.. 5159 ..

“tick and flick” exercise, only completed to fulfil administrative requirements. Ninety-one per cent of Australian teachers think that if they were to be more innovative in their teaching they would not receive any recognition. So there is no incentive to innovate. Ninety-two per cent think that if they improved the quality of their teaching they would not receive any recognition in their school. There are no incentives to create a culture of continuous improvement in teaching.

These results show that teachers’ hard work is not being adequately recognised, and without recognition we cannot reward the best classroom teachers. Eighty-three per cent of Australian teachers think that the evaluation of their work has no impact on their career advancement. Teachers are saying there is almost no link between evaluation of their work and their salaries, no connection between the quality of their teaching and career advancement.

Where excellence is not recognised, underperformance is not reported. Boston Consulting Group research has shown that 99.85 per cent of Victorian teachers were granted “satisfactory” on their performance review, but this is despite school principals thinking that up to 30 per cent of their teachers were below average performers or significant underperformers. Furthermore, TALIS shows that 71 per cent of teachers think that in their school teachers with sustained poor performance will not be dismissed, and 93 per cent of teachers report that in their school the principal would not take steps to alter monetary rewards of a persistently underperforming teacher. As a result, 61 per cent of teachers believe that evaluation of their work has little impact on how they actually teach in the classroom.

This important research shows that teachers think that their performance management systems are broken. If the evaluation systems are broken then we are failing to improve teaching in the classroom and, in turn, failing to get the best outcomes for students.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Mr Hargreaves?

MR HARGREAVES: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. Will the minister please advise how the situation under current industrial arrangements in ACT public schools compares with these studies done?

MR BARR: As I have indicated, Dr Jensen’s report shows that teachers want recognition and reward. What we can gather from this report is that, with recognition and reward, teachers will have incentives to get better outcomes for students. As I indicated yesterday, like many other jurisdictions around the country the ACT faces challenges in attracting and keeping the best teachers. We know from Sunday’s Canberra Times that the AEU is also concerned about this.

Let me say again, Mr Speaker, that whilst ACT public schools are a great career option for the very best teachers—it does take less time for a new teacher to get to the top of the pay scale here than elsewhere; our face-to-face teaching hours are amongst the lowest in the country and the number of teaching days here is less than in New South Wales and Victoria—the problem still remains.

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