Pay proposal meets lukewarm response
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.
Muted reception: Hekia Parata has suggested introducing performance pay for teachers.