The Victorian Government has announced incentives of up to $50,000 for the state’s top teachers to relocate to rural and regional schools, as part of a $45.2 million investment that aims to bridge the divide between student results in Melbourne and country Victoria.
The funding is part of a wider initial package to support recommendations from the Expert Advisory Panel for Rural and Regional Students.
The incentives aim to increase the attractiveness of teaching positions in rural and regional schools and include:
- $12.5 million towards offering the best teachers up to $50,000 each to relocate to country areas to fill hard-to-staff positions, as well as a range of non-financial support to assist with relocation, such as help with finding housing. Teachers will also be eligible for retention payments of up to $9000 per year in their first three years if they remain in these roles.
- $12.9 million to support school leaders with additional expert Turnaround Teams to work with individual schools facing barriers to addressing underperformance.
- $7 million to fund additional Executive Class Principals to take on the most challenging, complex and specialised school leadership roles.
- $12.8 million to increase the number of high-quality teachers specialising in VET and VCAL so that more students from country areas can access and complete apprenticeships, traineeships and further education.
Professionals from a range of industries will be also be retrained as VET qualified teachers.
Grants will be available to Victorian schools to share VET trainers between schools and TAFEs, and VET and VCAL teachers will have access to professional learning programs and scholarships.
“Our priority is making sure all students, no matter where they live, have the best possible start in life and are able to attend a great local school and get a great education,” said Victorian Minister for Education James Merlino.
“We have heard first hand that the divide between schools in the regions and the city is one of the biggest issues facing our schools and that is why we are getting on with the job of fixing it.”