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Labor Plans Australian Baccalaureate Certificate
Source: abc.net.au
Source Date: Monday, August 09, 2010
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government
Country: Australia
Created: Aug 16, 2010

The Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard says a new international qualification for senior students will not replace current high school assessments.

As part of a range of education policies announced today, Ms Gillard says Labor plans to introduce an Australian baccalaureate certificate in 2015.

She says it will accompany measures already announced for students who want to begin studying a trade at school.

But Ms Gillard says the current senior school assessments will continue.

"The current state based certificates will remain, but students will also be able to choose this new option of the Australian Baccalaureate, a prestigious academic certificate," Ms Gillard said.

Ms Gillard also announced that teachers who meet performance benchmarks could be rewarded with bonus payments of up to $AU8,000 under a re-elected Labor Government.

Under the new performance benchmarks, teachers will be assessed from 2013 and awarded a 10 per cent salary bonus from 2014 if they meet particular standards.

These standards will be based on their students' performance, contribution to the school community and participation in extra-curricular activities.

Around $AU1.25 billion of bonuses will be paid over five years from 2014 and Ms Gillard says around 25,000 teachers will receive the bonus each year.

"I want to reward a teacher who is in a disadvantaged classroom who transforms kids' lives by making sure they're most improved," she said.

"If that work is going on in that school, we would recognise it - more for the school, more for the teacher."

However teachers will also be compulsorily assessed under a new national system to measure teacher performance.

The Australian Teacher Performance Management Principles and Procedures will keep a check on teacher standards through watching teachers on the job, students' marks, feedback from parents and extra studies undertaken by teachers.

The implementation of the standards would cost $175 million over the next four years.

"I want kids, principals and schools aiming to do better every day," Ms Gillard said.

Schools are also in line for bonus payments of up to $100,000 if they can prove they have made improvements in school attendance and literacy and numeracy results.

Ms Gillard also announced Labor would develop an online "learning bank" where students can access tests to measure their performance.
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