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Recognise and share outstanding practice

Future directions

Teaching excellence will be recognised and rewarded through mechanisms that include remuneration and new leadership responsibilities for accredited Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers.

Teachers who aspire to be principals will have achieved the higher levels of teacher accreditation and undertaken professional learning to prepare them to be leaders of a school.

Excellence in teaching and professional learning will be identified, shared and developed through professional collaboration and learning.

Current state

Most NSW teachers are paid according to how long they have been teaching. Teachers identify that effective teaching is recognised locally within schools, but that high performing teachers do not currently receive wider recognition or benefit for their excellent practice. Teachers also identify that the most valid forms of recognition of outstanding teaching practice are centred on the classroom and include lesson observation and the assessment of student progress.

The Professional Teaching Standards provide the framework for assessing and accrediting teacher performance at the levels of Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher. Accreditation at these levels can provide a valid and professionally robust framework for teacher remuneration based on demonstrated highly accomplished and lead teaching. Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers can have a significant impact on the development of teaching excellence within, between and among schools. As of the end of 2012, 58 teachers across all school sectors in NSW had gained accreditation at either Highly Accomplished or Lead Teacher level, with 351 teachers currently progressing through the accreditation process for those two standards.

Excellent teaching practice that is linked to evidence of student progress should be identified, analysed and shared. Teachers identify that feedback from other teachers is a significant source of professional learning. They also find that collaboration through planning lessons, teaching and analysing student achievement together provides them with the opportunity to reflect on, refine and recalibrate their teaching practice. Teachers do not always find this culture of professional support in the schools in which they work.

Effective school leadership is a key driver of increased school performance. There is not currently a transparent evidence-based and accredited pathway to prepare teachers for the role of principal. The Australian Professional Standard for Principals (the Principal Standard) provides a clear framework to describe what principals need to know, understand, value and do to effectively lead the continuous development of a school.

Research indicates that teaching excellence is enhanced through building the collective understanding of what works best in improving student learning outcomes. The Australian Charter for the Professional Learning of Teachers and School Leaders is a useful framework to guide the future design of professional learning to impact on student outcomes. The findings of research on the most effective professional learning should be adopted and applied through the professional infrastructure of the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) and relevant processes of school authorities.

Outcomes and actions

14. Teaching excellence will be recognised and rewarded through mechanisms that include remuneration and new leadership responsibilities for accredited Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers.

14.1 Teacher career pathways should be expanded to provide new responsibilities and salary progression based on the attainment of the Professional Teaching Standards.

School authorities will consider the development of teacher career pathways, including remuneration and potential roles and responsibilities that are based on the attainment of the Professional Teaching Standards. For example, new leadership roles and responsibilities could be established to enable teachers accredited at the levels of Highly Accomplished or Lead Teacher to develop other teachers and be formally recognised within teacher remuneration structures.

14.2 Accredited Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers should be recognised so they can contribute to the development of other teachers.

Schools and school authorities will consider establishing additional educational leadership roles or responsibilities in schools to enable teachers accredited at Highly Accomplished or Lead Teacher levels to contribute to the development of teaching excellence in others.

These roles or responsibilities could include supervision of professional experience placements for pre-service teachers and mentoring of early career teachers. These roles should also be recognised within the partnerships between schools and ITE providers.

Over time, teachers holding these roles could be the subject of a new remuneration structure and appropriate recognition of these roles could be incorporated within career progression and industrial or managerial frameworks.

15. Teachers who aspire to be principals will have achieved the higher levels of teacher accreditation and undertaken professional learning to prepare them to be leaders of a school.

15.1 There will be better succession planning for school leaders.

School authorities should identify outstanding teachers with leadership potential and engage them early in their careers to prepare them for the role of principal. Support should focus on the development of capabilities central to being a successful principal based on the Principal Standard and system and school requirements.

15.2 School leaders will be better supported so they can drive great teaching in their schools.

Support mechanisms will be further developed, based on the school leadership responsibilities and accountabilities identified in the Principal Standard, to enable school leaders to drive teacher quality in their school.

Systemic approaches should be put in place that foster outstanding leadership practices through collaborative leadership learning across schools and systems. This should include support for teachers and school leaders to share successful practices across schools and systems and develop the leadership skills of current and aspiring school leaders.

School authorities, principal and teacher professional organisations and unions will work together to identify, develop and promote these approaches.

15.3 New school leadership credentials will be developed to provide pathways to employment as a school leader.

School leadership credentials will be developed to support the preparation of high quality teachers for the role of principal. The credentials will be based on the Principal Standard and could be developed as higher education degrees or allow articulation into appropriate degrees. The credentials could be used to access school leadership roles or provide leadership renewal programs for current principals. School authorities should work with universities and other relevant organisations to have the credentials available from 2014.

School authorities could consider using the leadership credential as a requirement in applications for principal positions.

16. Excellence in teaching and professional learning will be identified, shared and developed through professional collaboration and learning.

16.1 Teachers should have the opportunity to learn through observing the practices of others.

Schools and school authorities will consider establishing approaches to collaborative practice to enable teachers to engage in collaborative lesson preparation, observation and feedback. Where possible, these approaches should enable teachers to learn from each other within and across schools and school sectors, and by using technology.

16.2 Evidence of professional learning that improves teacher practice and student outcomes will be shared.

School authorities, professional associations and BOSTES will work with universities and international experts to investigate the types of professional learning that have the greatest impact on teacher and school leader quality and student learning outcomes. This research will be published and provide evidence to inform future practices in the development, implementation and evaluation of teacher professional learning to improve student learning outcomes.

16.3 The research evidence into effective professional learning will be applied to the Institute's processes for the registration of professional learning.

BOSTES will improve the criteria for the endorsement and registration of professional development providers and courses to give prominence to the findings of research about the most effective practices in professional learning.

This will include consideration of the elements of the Australian Charter for the Professional Learning of Teachers and School Leaders.

16.4 The profession will be supported to inform and provide registered teacher professional learning.

Teacher professional bodies will be supported and utilised as high quality and effective providers of teacher professional learning. Systems for the exchange of information will be established across the associations, school authorities and BOSTES to help associations provide professional learning that meets school and system priorities, as well as to inform school authorities of teacher-driven demands for professional learning.