Page 5801 - Week 14 - Wednesday, 7 December 2011

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annum, the fulfilment of a fundamental election commitment made by this government. Attracting and retaining the best teachers in classrooms will have a positive impact on children, young people and their families.

The revised salary structure for classroom teachers with new classifications above the current scale will enable the best teachers to remain in the classrooms, mentoring colleagues and continuing to deliver high quality learning opportunities for children and young people. Teaching will progress through the salary structure based on their performance. Classroom teachers, the majority of whom are women, will have more options to advance their careers in the classroom or in school leadership.

Under the new agreement, outstanding teachers will be recognised and rewarded through being able to progress through the salary scales at a faster rate. This merit-based career progression will reward excellence and quality. The agreement also creates a new teaching career structure that enables high performing teachers to remain in the classroom. The introduction of an executive teacher (professional practice) classification from 2013 will provide an additional career pathway that does not require a move away from a direct teaching role.

The agreement not only provides pay increases for all teachers at all classifications but it also sees further progress on the delivery of a number of key education reforms, such as enhancing teacher quality and promoting school autonomy and local school decision making.

Teacher quality is also a key focus of the national education reform agenda. A number of national partnerships have been agreed to to implement nationally significant reforms designed to enable the school education system to pursue high quality schooling for all Australian students. The national partnership targets specific reforms to address educational disadvantage and improve student literacy and numeracy outcomes.

In March 2008 the Council of Australian Governments agreed to a national partnership to improve teacher quality, requiring each state and territory to submit an implementation plan for improving teacher quality. The national partnership builds from an already ambitious and interrelated set of COAG actions, which span workforce policy, national standards and accreditation processes for pre-service education. Reforms in the agreement include the development of new professional teacher standards, improved pathways into teaching, increased teacher mobility, improved performance management and teacher workforce planning.

As a key part of the ACT’s implementation plan, the Teacher Quality Institute has been established to take responsibility for teacher registration, pre-service teacher education program accreditation and teacher certification against national standards. The Teacher Quality Institute will ensure that the quality of the teacher workforce is maintained and will broaden access to professional recognition and continuing professional development. The institute will play a key role in developing a teaching workforce that has a greater capability to contribute to the community and to regional economic growth through enhanced teaching practices and higher quality student outcomes.

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