Govt wants it easier to sack teachers
THE State Government wants to make it easier to sack underperforming teachers and more difficult to enter the profession.
New South Wales Education Minister Adrian Piccoli today (Tuesday) launched a discussion paper, titled Great Teaching, Inspired Learning, which aims to “increase the professionalism of the profession”.
Mr Piccoli says Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) entry scores for would-be teachers are often too low.
“We graduate 5500 teacher graduates and employ between 300 and 500 (a year),” Mr Piccoli told journalists in Sydney.
“We do have to look at teaching from a supply-and-demand perspective.
“We are graduating a lot of undergraduates, and as a result the ATAR scores for some of the undergraduates are quite low.”
ATAR scores range from less than 50 to the high 90s, says Mr Piccoli.
“Below 50 is not the kind of score that we want for school teachers,” he says.
But Mr Piccoli says he doesn’t believe teaching is being used as a fallback profession.
The discussion paper raises the question of sacking underperforming teachers in a less bureaucratic way.
“It’s not an easy process to remove an underperforming teacher,” he says.
“One of the big questions in a discussion paper like this is, how do we remove underperforming teachers in an effective way.
“A quick, non-bureaucratic way but that also respects the rights of the teacher.”
Mr Piccoli will consult with Catholic and independent schools, universities and teacher unions on the review process.
Consultation will run until November 2, with an online forum to run between August 24 and October 5.
Opposition education spokeswoman, Carmel Tebbutt, says she agrees with the proposed changes but hopes the government will engage teachers in the process.
“What I’m hearing from the teaching profession is that they’re very demoralised,” says Ms Tebbutt.
“If the government is serious about reforming teaching practice then they need to talk with teachers, they need to engage with teachers because that’s how you’re going to get real change.”
The NSW Teachers’ Federation says the union will support lifting university entrance scores.