Program to tackle teacher shortage in hard-to-staff primary schools

Program to tackle teacher shortage in hard-to-staff primary schools

More than 100 teaching places will become available for hard to staff primary schools across NSW and Victoria as part of a first-of-its-kind pilot program run by La Trobe University.

The University’s Nexus program – which prepares, mentors and graduates selected teaching candidates – will create 105 primary school teacher places thanks to a $7.89m funding boost from the Federal Government. The funding, part of the government’s High Achieving Teachers (HAT) Program, aims to attract more people, particularly mid-career workers, into primary teaching.

The new places are the first of 1,500 more expected to be created under the National Teacher Workforce Action Plan, which Education Ministers agreed to last year, and come amid a growing teacher shortage in schools across Australia.

Participants of La Trobe’s pilot program will receive mentoring and support and will be paid for their practical teaching experience.

“We don’t remember much about when we are little, but most of us remember our teachers’ names,” Federal Education Minister Jason Clare said. “That shows just how important our teachers are, and the impact they have on us. And we don’t have enough of them.

Professor Joanna Barbousas, Dean of La Trobe University’s School of Education, said the University’s current Nexus program has been an “extraordinary success” in preparing teachers for employment in schools across Victoria.

“Preparing teachers through evidence-informed approaches and gaining hands-on classroom experiences, will set them up to make a difference in regional, rural and hard to staff schools”.

Recruitment will commence later this year with the first lot of primary school teachers placed into schools in April 2024.