The Federal Government is considering financial incentives to solve a serious teacher shortage. 

A plan will soon be tabled at an emergency meeting of federal, state and territory education ministers that proposes giving senior teachers a pay rise, with co-called “master teacher” or senior teaching positions to be awarded a 40 per cent wage boost.

The plan also proposes paying professionals who want to retrain to be teachers to do a two-year masters degree in education.

Federal Education Minister Jason Clare says student numbers are rising, but the number of people lining up to become teachers has not followed. 

“It's serious and it's getting worse,” he said.

“One thing is certain, we're not going to fix this problem by doing the same thing time after time.

“We've got to look for new ideas that are going to help, not just fix the shortage of teachers but also raise the performance of our kids.”

Mr Clare said state and federal governments would have to “work together” to pay for the changes.

Australian Education Union deputy president Meredith Peace has welcomed the new options, but suggested a wage rise for all teachers would be fairer.

“I don't think it's a solution to pick out a small group of people and give them significant pay increases,” she said.

“This is a much more complex issue than that. We need proper career structures that reward high performing teachers who want to stay in the classroom.

“We need to provide decent salaries across the board.”