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Labor to let principals hire, fire teachers

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The State Opposition will hand principals the power to hire teachers and fire poor performing ones at their school if it wins government at next year’s election as part of a plan to improve the quality of teaching in South Australian classrooms.

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Labor says it will also increase permanency rates so more young teachers can establish careers without the pressure of living contract to contract.

The country allowance that is in place to lure teachers to regional schools will be extended to become available on an ongoing basis.

SA Labor Leader Peter Malinauskas said while the majority of  school teachers were outstanding and deserved support, poor performing teachers had a disproportionately negative effect on students.

He said the current process for dealing with underperforming teachers was too slow, which was unfair on students and the teachers themselves.

“When an under-performing teacher is left in a classroom for an entire year, that’s an entire year of children’s education we never get back,” Malinauskas said.

“Principals have too little say on who is teaching at their school. Too often, the department is making decisions from their CBD office rather than the principal on the ground.

“We also have a plan to reward quality teachers. That’s why we’ll increase the number of permanent teachers by 10 per cent.”

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