Top pay for top-performing NSW teachers

November 01, 2022 06:09 AM AEDT | By AAPNEWS
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Top-performing NSW teachers could earn as much as $150,000 a year under reforms the government is proposing to combat the profession's shrinking supply and keep the best and brightest in the classroom.

The proposal to reward excellent teachers with higher pay and enhanced status was unveiled on Tuesday, in a government options paper developed by Melbourne University education expert John Hattie.

Professor Hattie recently told a NSW parliamentary committee probing the crisis that a lack of a financial incentive tied to career progression was a major contributor to teachers leaving.

"The biggest issue we have in terms of attraction to the profession is not the starting salary ... but it's what happens about 10 years into the profession," he said in August.

Under options released for consultation, classroom teachers assessed as 'expert' under the 'Rewarding Excellence in Teaching' program could attract salaries up to $147,000 a year or beyond in recognition of their skills and impact.

Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said the program was a key component of the government's focus on building an education system that recognises and rewards excellence.

"This approach is about recognising and rewarding the great teachers we have in our public schools, with the aim of keeping them in the classroom where they do their magic," she said.

Initial feedback showed around three out of four teachers in NSW would be interested in putting themselves forward for the senior role.

"I'm looking forward to hearing more from the profession on our proposed plans," Ms Mitchell said.

Prof Hattie's paper proposes the creation of new teaching roles across schools with salaries ranging from $117,000 to $147,000, depending on the proportion of mentoring and collaboration time undertaken.

Over the next month more than 100 roundtables will be held with teachers and other school staff to get feedback on the paper, while others will be able to share their thoughts online through a survey.

"We want to hear from teachers across this entire state to ensure we get the policy right and to find the best way to get great teachers to remain in the classroom," Prof Hattie said.

"We already know from feedback to date that schools see this reform as worthwhile but it's important in this next step to hear exactly how they want to see it work."

The 'Rewarding Excellence in Teaching' program is expected to start next year and scale up over time.

The proposal comes after a year when thousands of NSW public and Catholic school teachers walked off the job, demanding better pay and conditions.

The unions want a pay rise of five to seven per cent to stem the flow of teachers abandoning the job. The NSW government has offered an increase of three per cent.


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