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Parents want teachers treated as professionals

Tuesday 28 June 2005

Parents want teachers to be treated as professionals

A new report released today shows that parents want teachers to be treated as professionals and believe paying great teachers more would raise teaching standards. The reports shows that the current system does not remunerate teachers in the way parents want.

* A majority of parents (72%) believe teachers who work the hardest and produce the best results should be paid more than other teachers.
* Less than one quarter of parents (24%) think teachers should get similar pay rises, regardless of their competence.
* A majority of parents (70%) think that if teachers were paid according to their performance standards would rise.

The report by Maxim Institute, The Parent Factor: Valuing teachers, is the second in a series presenting the results of independent quantitative research carried out by Colmar Brunton in 2004, involving over one thousand New Zealand parents.

Valuing teachers examines the research around performance-related pay of teachers and finds that what parents want is both sensible and working overseas.

“New Zealand parents want the best for their children, so it is no surprise that parents want to see teachers valued for the important work they do and be treated as professionals,” says Maxim Institute Policy Manager Nicki Taylor.

The present centrally controlled and collectively bargained pay structure means that great teachers are not being rewarded and under-performing teachers have no incentive to improve. Importantly, state schools don’t have the freedom to factor performance into teacher remuneration.

“New Zealand’s state schooling sector is facing major problems in both recruiting and retaining teachers—where are the incentives for quality graduates to consider teaching and expert teachers to remain in the classroom?” asks Taylor.

“The current one-size fits all system ignores the fact that communities are diverse and the local schools will have different needs. Teachers in rural northland face different challenges to teachers in suburban Auckland and schools should be free to reward excellence in the way that best suits their community,” says Taylor.

“Research shows that quality teaching is one of the most significant factors influencing a child’s schooling. It is vital that teaching becomes a highly regarded profession if we are to attract the best graduates into it. This can only happen if excellence is rewarded,” says Nicki Taylor.


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