24 Jan 2014

Labour also has teacher reward plans

8:08 am on 24 January 2014

The Labour Party says it, too, is considering financial incentives for top-performing teachers, in response to the Government's latest education policy.

David Cunliffe.

David Cunliffe. Photo: RNZ

The Government is to create four new roles; executive principal, change principal, expert teacher and lead teacher. They will be paid more and expected to lift student achievement, work with other schools, and mentor other teachers. The policy would cost an extra $359 million over four years.

Labour Party leader David Cunliffe said his party will also look at incentives for the best teachers. "But we have a package which goes much beyond that and is part of a whole package of measures around helping opportunity in our society."

Mr Cunliffe said he will give some broad indications about Labour's plan in Monday's state-of-the-nation speech, and specific details will be released later.

The Green Party said until children are well fed, clothed, and ready to learn, there is no point in paying some teachers more to lift achievement. Co-leader Metiria Turei said an approach of 'picking winners' is not going to solve the underlying causes of underachievement.

But Prime Minister John Key said schemes like breakfast in schools are helping address underlying causes of poor performance. He said education is the best way by far to deal with social problems, and his own education at high performing schools allowed me to go to university and one day become Prime Minister.