Victoria is urging its former teachers to return to the classroom in response to the teacher shortage impacting schools across Australia.
A press release from the Victorian government said around 4,000 teachers have kept their registration up-to-date despite being on leave or having retired.
Acting Minister for Education Ingrid Stitt asked these registered teachers to consider re-joining the government, independent or Catholic school sector.
“Experienced teachers have a huge amount of knowledge and insight – making an invaluable contribution to improve educational outcomes and support our students across the state,” said Stitt.
The government said it will provide teachers interested in returning to the government school sector with free and ongoing assistance, professional development and career coaching.
Eight hundred former teachers have already registered their interest to return to public school classrooms, according to Victoria’s press release.
Registration is open to former teachers with qualifications in primary, secondary and specialist education teachers. Interested teachers have the option to return to the classroom at a full-time, part-time or casual capacity.
“There’s no better time to return to the classroom than in 2023, so I encourage all registered teachers who are not currently working in schools to consider re-joining the school sector,” added Stitt. “This will not only boost our teaching workforce and support our schools – but also ensure every student in the state has access to excellent teachers, a great learning experience and the best education.”
The Victorian government is also attracting new talent into the school sector by recruiting international teachers and providing places for 1,200 postgraduate students to work in schools while studying. It also provides financial incentives to teachers who join schools that are understaffed.
Victoria has allocated $779 million in its 2022/23 budget to recruit nearly 2,000 additional teachers in order to cut back face-to-face teaching hours and give teachers more time for planning, preparation, and assessment. An additional $58.9 million has likewise been set aside to attract and develop quality teachers over a period of four years.