The Federal Government’s High Achieving Teachers Program will see high-achieving university graduates, including those with a STEM degree and those from a regional background, recruited to teach in disadvantaged schools.
This $21 million investment will fund more than 300 new teachers with in-demand skills, knowledge and experience to take an alternative pathway into the teaching profession.
Minister for Education, Dan Tehan, said program participants would receive mentoring and support while being paid to learn on the job at schools experiencing teacher shortages in the Northern Territory, Western Australia, Victoria and Tasmania.
“Our children should be taught by our best and brightest and this program provides alternative pathways into teaching for people who are passionate about education,” said Minister Tehan.
“We know that within the school environment teachers can have the biggest positive impact on a student’s education and this program will respond to demand experienced by schools in regional areas and low socio-economic communities.”
Two providers have been contracted to deliver the program, with recruitment to commence later in 2019.
Teach For Australia will receive $14.9 million to recruit high-achieving university graduates, with an emphasis on STEM, over two intakes of at least 120 teaching associates in 2020 and 2021.
And La Trobe University will receive $6.3 million to recruit local university graduates including those with a strong commitment to regional communities, over two intakes of at least 40 program participants per intake in Victoria in 2020 and 2021.
Head of La Trobe’s School of Education, Professor Lynn Bosetti, welcomed the announcement and said she looks forward to working with communities and schools to deliver this innovative program.
“We are pleased that La Trobe University has been recognised as a leader in Victoria for research, teacher education and our established links to urban and regional communities,” Professor Bosetti said.
“It’s great that Victoria is the starting point for the program and that our state’s future teachers can be the first to benefit from this. Our hope is that this pilot will eventually be replicated on a national scale.”
La Trobe Professor Jo Lampert and Associate Professor Joanna Barbousas will also undertake research on the impact of program, which is designed as an alternative pathway to becoming a secondary school teacher.