Pay pro­posal meets luke­warm re­sponse

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

The Govern­ment’s pro­posal of per­for­mance pay for teach­ers is largely be­ing ig­nored by Porirua school prin­ci­pals.

The per­for­mance pay pol­icy has been put back on the agenda by Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Hekia Parata.

A re­port was re­cently re­leased sug­gest­ing teach­ing stan­dards could be lifted if pay was based on per­for­mance, rather than rank and ser­vice.

The re­port was pre­pared by The New Zealand Ini­tia­tive, coau­thored by the for­mer prin­ci­pal of Auck­land Gram­mar, John Mor­ris.

He con­cluded that teach­ers should ap­ply for pro­mo­tion for each step of the pay scale, in­stead of mov­ing au­to­mat­i­cally.

The only way of in­creas­ing pay cur­rently is to take on ex­tra du­ties within the school, such as head of depart­ment, dean, coach­ing sport or tak­ing drama, Mor­ris said.

A per­for­mance-based pay sys­tem ex­ists in Aus­tralia.

Windley School prin­ci­pal Rhys McKin­ley said the cur­rent sys­tem used to ap­praise teach­ers was fair.

‘‘We have sys­tems in place so you can see a com­pe­tency trail. The process is a re­li­able one, in my opin­ion,’’ he said.

McKin­ley said he wasn’t too sure of the de­tails of the per- for­mance pay con­cept, but that too many fac­tors, such as so­cioe­co­nomic con­cerns, could muddy the wa­ter.

He said he had more press­ing things to be con­cerned about.

‘‘ It’s def­i­nitely an elec­tion year; you can tell that.’’

Mike Web­ster, Mana Col­lege’s prin­ci­pal, said he hadn’t given per­for­mance pay any thought.

‘‘ Ev­ery­one de­serves to be re­warded for do­ing good things in the class­room and the school, but mea­sur­ing it is com­plex,’’ he said.

‘‘The struc­ture in place has been long ne­go­ti­ated and seems to work very well.’’

Ti­tahi Bay School prin­ci­pal Kerry De­laney said there were new ini­tia­tives for ed­u­ca­tion re­leased daily, and she would rather fo­cus on the pos­i­tive things her teach­ers were do­ing.

Pa­pakowhai School prin­ci­pal Mark Smith said he and his staff knew noth­ing more than the pub­lic since the is­sue of per­for­mance pay sur­faced in the me­dia.

He said his school al­ready recog­nised ex­tra lead­er­ship and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties be­ing taken by teach­ers and per­for­mance pay would put a po­ten­tially oner­ous span­ner in the works.

‘‘It’s a dif­fi­cult ar­gu­ment to have,’’ he said.

‘‘Many work­places will have per­for­mance and tar­gets as an in­di­ca­tor for more pay, but for us our mea­sure of suc­cess will al­ways be our chil­dren. That makes things in­cred­i­bly com­plex.’’

Smith said ex­tra fund­ing for teach­ers would never be scoffed at, how­ever.

Kapi-Mana News in­quiries to Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Hekia Parata were di­rected to a state­ment she made in March.

In it she said the fo­cus this year was on ‘‘pro­gress­ing the qual­ity teach­ing agenda’’. This in­cluded in­vest­ment in ca­reer path­ways for teach­ers and re­view­ing how pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment was car­ried out.

Parata said per­for­mance pay was part of a bas­ket of op­tions to recog­nise teach­ers, but would take time to im­ple­ment.

Photo: FAIR­FAX

Muted re­cep­tion: Hekia Parata has sug­gested in­tro­duc­ing per­for­mance pay for teach­ers.

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