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No.14-14 26 Aug 2014 | Download as PDF

New teacher performance review process a victory for strong member resolve

After 24 meetings, negotiations between DETE and the QTU regarding the teacher performance review process have reached agreement.  The new Annual Teacher Performance Review process is due for implementation in 2015 after induction and familiarisation in the remainder of 2014.

When the Minister announced Great Teachers = Great Results last year, he announced the introduction of a teacher appraisal system that would result in teacher rankings and ratings.  He also stated that this new system would give rise to performance bonuses. The new process, which is significantly different from that proposed in GT=GR, has been negotiated as a consequence of member resolve to take industrial action should DETE proceed with a teacher appraisal system that had not been the subject of genuine negotiations with the Union.

The new process is an elaboration of the Developing Performance Framework and provides a comprehensive process for teacher performance review. It encourages teacher collaboration, whereas the model initially proposed through GT=GR would have pitted teachers against each other.  A short video about the new process is available at

Key elements of the process include:

  • a developing performance plan template to be used without modification or pre-population of goals and sources of evidence
  • a 12 month cycle that is not restricted to a calendar year, which will provide teachers with an opportunity to reflect on the needs of the students they teach prior to the development of their goals
  • goals which are to be considered in school context and in accordance with the standards and focus areas of the AITSL Professional Standards for Teachers relevant to the teacher’s professional development
  • goals which are to be jointly agreed between the teacher and the supervisor, not prescribed
  • the removal of the reliance on simplistic numerical targets as evidence
  • a requirement for evidence used for reflection on performance and development of teachers as aligned to the goals to be jointly agreed, not prescribed (e.g. the initial proposal involved rankings and ratings developed in part by unannounced classroom observations – now, if classroom observations are to be used as a source of evidence, this must be agreed and must align to the "Joint statement on collegial engagement in classrooms”).
  • the removal of levels of achievement – i.e. no ranking system
  • no requirement to maintain a digital portfolio of evidence.

It is important that student achievement data is not the sole focus of evidence of performance development.  Student achievement data - especially narrow measures like NAPLAN - does not reflect all that contributes to student learning.  While this data may inform practice, it is not to be used as a singular measure of development.  Other evidence may include classroom observations, peer feedback, teacher self-assessment, participation in professional learning etc.

Additionally, school priorities should not focus on simplistic numerical goals but on strategies by which these goals may be achieved, i.e. instead of a school priority of a 10 per cent lift in student NAPLAN outcomes, the priority may be to boost literacy and numeracy within the school.

On Thursday 7 August 2014, the QTU signed the joint statement with DETE regarding the agreed process.  A copy of the joint statement and other supporting documents can be accessed here.  The Annual Teacher Performance Review process is also supported by a step-by-step guide and the “developing performance plan” template. The documents have been negotiated with the QTU.  The QTU and DETE are currently developing other supporting materials and will continue to work together to support the familiarisation and induction of school leaders and teachers with respect to the new process.  It is anticipated that these documents will be available at the end of term 3, with presentations and training occurring in term 4.

Once implemented, the Annual Teacher Performance Review process will replace the Developing Performance Framework.

The new process partly completes Action 1 of Great Teachers = Great Results, however it is important to note that it was the preparedness of QTU members to take industrial action that has ensured that the new process is not an appraisal process with rankings, but a supportive process that allows for reflection and development of practice. Further information for members can be found at

Negotiations on a new performance review process for principals and other promotional positions have just commenced.

Successful negotiations around the Teacher Performance Review process come as a consequence of member resolve to take industrial action around teacher rankings. Members are reminded to participate in the current ballot being conducted to reaffirm their resolve to take industrial action should any of the following be undertaken by the Department of Education Training and Employment, without consultation, negotiation and agreement with the QTU. 

  1. an annual performance review process that has not been negotiated and agreed with the QTU
  2. "performance-based fixed-term contracts" for principals and deputy principals
  3. performance bonuses for teachers or school leaders
  4. any other infringements of conditions and entitlements flowing from the Great Teachers = Great Results action plan
  5. negate or increase class size targets as proposed by the Commission of Audit
  6. interfere with members' access to QTU officers or the operation of Union Representatives

Ballots need to be returned by Thursday 11 September 2014.

 Authorised by Graham Moloney, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union