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$359m for teaching & leadership career pathways

Hon Hekia Parata

Minister of Education

23 January 2014        Media Statement       

$359m for teaching & leadership career pathways

The Government’s $359 million investment in education over the next four years will support teachers and principals to lift student performance in every school, Education Minister Hekia Parata says.

The investment will create four new teaching and leadership roles in schools - Executive Principals, Expert Teachers, Lead Teachers, and Change Principals - and was announced today by Prime Minister John Key in his first speech of the year.

“These changes are the next step in our plan to raise student achievement in our schools,” Ms Parata says.

“We introduced National Standards so we can get a picture of how our students are doing in school and ensure we target assistance to those who need it.

“Since we came into government we have been spending more than ever before in education, despite tight fiscal times.

“While our education system is doing a great job for many kids, on an international scale our achievement ranking has been gradually declining since the early 2000s.

“We need to enhance the teaching and leadership in the system to raise achievement for five out of five young New Zealanders.

“These new roles will recognise and use talent where it’s needed most and will be implemented from next year to support communities of schools across the country.

“It is intended all roles will be fully in place by 2017,” Ms Parata says.

The new roles are: 

• Executive Principal – These will be highly-capable principals from across the country, with a proven track record, who will provide leadership across a community of schools while remaining in their own school. Each will work with around 10 schools, on average, from primary through to secondary, and support and mentor the other principals in these schools. This role will be offered on a two-year fixed-term basis and be linked to specific objectives for student achievement across the community of schools. Executive Principals will be freed up for two days a week to work with the other schools in their community. They will be paid an additional allowance of $40,000 a year in recognition of their new responsibilities. Their own school will also receive funding to backfill their role for the two days a week they are working with the other schools in their community. It is anticipated there will be around 250 of these roles when the rollout is completed.

• Expert Teacher – These will work with Executive Principals, and will include experts in areas like maths and science, digital technology and literacy. They will work inside classrooms, including in other schools within their community of schools, with teachers to help lift teaching practice and improve student achievement. This role will be offered on a two-year fixed-term basis and be linked to specific objectives for student achievement. They will receive an additional allowance of $20,000 a year in recognition of their new responsibilities. Their own school will also receive funding to backfill their role for the two days a week they are working with the other schools in their community. There are likely to be around 1,000 Expert Teachers when the initiative is fully in place.

• Lead Teacher – These will be highly capable school teachers, with a proven track record, who will act as a role model for teachers within their own schools and the other schools in their community of schools. Their classroom will be open for other teachers, including beginning teacher, to observe and learn from their practice. They will be paid an additional allowance of $10,000 a year in recognition of their status and new responsibilities. It is anticipated there will be around 5,000 Lead Teachers when this initiative is fully implemented.

• Change Principal – These will be employed to lift achievement in schools that are really struggling.  Many schools that are performing poorly want to recruit an outstanding principal to turn their results around. Principals appointed to these roles will be paid an additional allowance of $50,000 a year on top of the salary the recipient school offers. This will encourage great principals to select schools based on the size of the challenge rather than the size of the school. The roles will be fixed term (3-5 years) and will be particularly focused on lifting student achievement. It is anticipated about 20 of these roles will be needed each year.

“The profession has been telling me career pathways for school teachers and principals, and opportunities to learn from each other, are important. This has been echoed by OECD evidence and is further supported by what our own education leaders saw during a recent visit to Asia.

“Late last year I sent a delegation, including the Secretary for Education, and senior representatives from the education sector to Hong Kong and Singapore – two of the best performing countries in the international PISA study.

“Informed by the delegation’s experience, as well as clear international evidence and best practice in New Zealand, I think we have come up with what is a uniquely Kiwi mixture that will lift achievement for our students.”

Ms Parata says the changes are significant for the education sector, and she has asked Secretary for Education Peter Hughes to work with the sector unions and other key groups, including NZ School Trustees Association (NZSTA) as representatives of Boards of Trustees, on the details of how the new roles will work.

The new investment also includes a $10 million Teacher Innovation Fund, which will enable team-based, teacher-led research and development at a practical level, working within schools or across groups of schools. 

“I am really delighted that this investment will provide career pathways and raise the status of the profession – as well as lift student achievement,” Ms Parata says.

The investment will work alongside existing initiatives such as the $37.5 million Quality Teaching Agenda.

“We have also recently established the Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards, and will host the International Summit on the Teaching Profession in March, together with education festivals in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch,” Ms Parata says.

“We have progressed work to transform the NZ Teachers Council into a proposed new body, EDUCANZ. Changes to initial teacher education are also being made, with new post graduate qualifications being offered from this year.

“The National-led Government has an unrelenting focus on giving all our young people a better education and raising achievement for all,” Ms Parata says.

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ENDS

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