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Inflexible pay structures for teachers

28 June 2005

Parents join chorus against inflexible pay structures for teachers

Another report (Valuing teachers) showing that inflexible pay structures are damaging the teaching profession and need to be re-examined is released today. Parents are the latest group to call for teachers to be rewarded and remunerated like professionals.

“A clear majority of New Zealand parents (72%) think that teachers who work the hardest and produce the best results should be paid more. Only 24% of parents think that teachers should receive similar pay rises regardless of their competence” says Maxim Institute Policy Manager Nicki Taylor.

“The report examines different pay structure models and finds that want parents want is workable. The key is giving local schools the freedom to reward teachers in a way that best suits their local context,” says Taylor.

The Parent Factor: Valuing teachers comes hot on the heels of a report by the OECD which highlights the need for teaching to be made into an attractive career option.

Some suggestions made in the OECD report include: “making reward mechanisms more flexible”; “improving teaching’s salary competitiveness”; “using more flexible forms of employment” and “evaluating and rewarding effective teaching.”

“New Zealand is facing major problems in recruiting top graduates into teaching – especially into subject areas such as maths and chemistry. Some principals are traveling overseas to find teachers, as they have no flexibility to offer incentives to excellent New Zealand graduates”, says Taylor

“The teaching profession now competes with other professions for the best and brightest graduates. It is no surprise that many graduates are pursuing other careers which recognise excellence and reward quality work”, says Taylor.

“Allowing principals more flexibility over how they reward their teachers may help solve New Zealand’s teacher shortage by attracting top graduates back into the profession and keeping top teachers satisfied”, says Taylor.

Valuing teachers makes some simple policy recommendations to encourage recognition of excellence in teaching in ways that will promote teacher collegiality and serve pupils according to the unique needs of the local school.


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