Teachers keep learning to improve students

Students across NSW will benefit from an unprecedented agreement between the Department of Education and Communities and the NSW Teachers' Federation that will realise a professional development plan for every NSW public schoolteacher.

"Of all professions, it is essential for teachers to continue learning — and it is this philosophy that is at the heart of the Performance and Development Framework which will start next year," said Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli.

"Teachers and principals will be given clear expectations of areas in which they can improve their performance — and support to ensure that professional development takes place."

The NSW Government has committed an additional $17 million for teacher professional development — an increase of 50 per cent. From 2018 all teachers will be required to undertake 100 hours of professional development every five years to retain their continuing accreditation.

Mr Piccoli said the Framework recognises the importance of teacher quality and on-going professional development on every student's results.

"Better performing teachers mean better performing students," Mr Piccoli said.

"As teachers, principals and executive build their knowledge, skills and experience through professional learning, we know that their impact on students is more focussed and effective, which reveals itself in better results."

Mr Piccoli said the on-going Performance and Development Framework process will include:

  • preparing individual performance and development plans and school or workplace learning plans;
  • setting professional goals every six months;
  • sourcing and supporting professional learning;
  • identifying evidence of professional progress; and
  • engaging in reflection and feedback to refine goals and learning.

This will culminate with an annual review for every teacher, principal and executive to inform their plans for the next cycle.

The NSW Government has also introduced a streamlined approach to manage teachers who are unwilling or unable to perform at the expected high standards, Mr Piccoli said.

"Teachers who fail to perform to expected standards can be stood down from the classroom in 10 weeks – about half the time it currently takes a principal to tackle underperformance," he said.

Mr Piccoli said the Framework had been negotiated by the Department of Education and Communities and the NSW Teachers Federation.

"I commend the shared commitment to quality and improvement highlighted by the NSW Teachers Federation's strong spirit of collaboration," Mr Piccoli said.

"I look forward to that collaboration continuing as details to support the Framework are developed and fine-tuned in coming weeks."

The Performance and Development Framework will be implemented for the 2015 school year and will complement the wide-ranging reforms of the Great Teaching Inspired Learning initiative that were introduced last year.

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