The best teachers deserve rewards

The nation's largest teacher union, the Australian Education Union, has already proposed a scheme to reward experienced teachers which recognises their teaching knowledge and practice.

The union proposal, entitled ''Professional Pay and Quality Teaching for Australia's Future'', says any form of performance-based pay to recognise and encourage professional excellence would need to ''establish a set of professional standards for teaching beyond current processes. Teachers would [need to] be assessed by an independent and fair process and rewarded through salary increases, not one-off cash bonuses'', and ''teachers would be required to demonstrate how their teaching experience and professional development are contributing to the improvement of educational outcomes for students''.

The idea that high-performing teachers should be rewarded for gaining further qualifications in higher education or through rigorous accredited professional learning is hardly radical.