Sydney public schools will benefit from a $224 million New South Wales Government initiative that aims to improve the quality of teaching.
The program, dubbed Quality Teaching, Successful Students, was launched by the state’s Education Minister Adrian Piccoli and forms part of the funding promised to schools this year as a result of the NSW Gonski schools funding agreement.
It is currently being rolled-out across NSW and will enable more than 1,000 of the best teachers to mentor and coach other teachers.
Piccoli said the program will improve the skills of teachers and, in turn, improve learning opportunities for students.
“Experienced teachers have knowledge and skills that are even more valuable when they are shared with their colleagues,” he said.
The package enables selected teachers to:
- Observe colleagues in their classrooms and demonstrate effective teaching strategies;
- Monitor student performance data across the school to ensure teachers are focused on areas of need; and,
- Collaborate with colleagues within their school and in other schools.
NSW Teachers Federation Deputy President Gary Zadkovich highlighted the importance of additional support being provided to primary schools.
“For many years the NSW Teachers Federation has been campaigning to achieve increased release time for executive teachers in primary schools so they have the opportunity to mentor and support teaching colleagues in enhancing teaching practice,” he told Education Matters magazine. “This is a welcome additional resource for primary schools and we believe it will greatly assist in further strengthening teaching and learning practice.
“This program will provide important support for teachers to engage in professional development, professional learning, to enhance teaching practice and improve student outcomes.
“It’s really important that teachers are provided with the time to work collegially in their workplace to enhance teaching practice. More time for teachers to collaborate, to share ideas, to support one another, to program cooperatively and develop more effective teaching and learning approaches is good for students and will overall enhance the quality of public education.
“This is also a very important example of the benefits of the Gonski schools funding system – $224 million of additional Gonski funding is going to greatly benefit public schools right across the state and this is yet another example of the importance of all governments around Australia committing to fully funding the Gonski model.”