Managing Teacher Performance in Government Schools

Tabled: 26 May 2010


The audit examined whether the quality of teaching in government schools has improved as a consequence of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development’s (DEECD) approach to managing teacher performance.

Research shows teaching quality is the largest in-school factor impacting on student learning, at about 30 per cent. Managing teachers’ performance and their development is critical for helping teachers to improve and students to achieve their learning potential.

The audit found that DEECD is addressing the limitations of its approach to managing teacher performance. This includes trialling new ways to understand and measure teacher capabilities, and trialling performance pay. This action is positive but currently there is insufficient evidence to assess and reliably demonstrate whether the quality of teaching has improved.

An encouraging indication is that both DEECD’s own, and our survey of principals and teachers, show that the majority believe the quality of teaching is improving. However, survey responses are perceptions which are not substantiated by verifiable data. DEECD needs to compile better data that shows how well teachers are performing against its skills and knowledge expectations set for teachers, and changes in their performance over time. DEECD also needs to better integrate its new initiatives with its existing approaches to managing teacher performance.

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