John Roskam analyses Mark Latham's plan to increase pay for teachers in difficult schools. Roskam supports this idea, because he believes that
The main reason students from bad schools perform poorly compared with students from good schools is not because of students' background. It is because of the qualities of the school, particularly the standard of teaching and educational leadership offered by the principal.
This is an understanding that is supported by studies into the success of schools, for example the CIS report "The Importance of Teacher Quality" states
When all other sources of variation are taken into account, including gender, social backgrounds of students and differences between schools, the largest differences in student achievement are between classes. That is, by far the most important source of variation in student achievement is teacher quality.
Terence Lovat, Professor of Education at the University of Newcastle (NSW) said that
Teacher quality is the single greatest quality in explaining student achievement., and the NSW Quality Teaching Program said
the quality of student learning outcomes is directly dependent on the quality of the teacher.