High performing country students will be targeted through a new program encouraging more people to consider a teaching career within their own regional community.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the NSW Government’s new ‘Grow Your Own’ program will strengthen the pipeline of quality teachers in regional communities.
“Research tells us that people who grew up in the bush are more likely to go on to practice their careers in a regional setting than those from metropolitan backgrounds,” said Mr Toole, a former teacher from Bathurst.
“I strongly believe that encouraging our future teachers to build their careers in the bush will ensure our students are taught by quality teachers who are passionate about and proud of their regional background.”
Nationals Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning Sarah Mitchell said the initiative is part of the recently released Teacher Supply Strategy and would offer school leavers the chance to continue contributing to their community through the rewarding profession of teaching.
“Our new ‘Grow Your Own’ program will target senior students who, after Year 12, will have the opportunity to be employed initially as a School Learning Support Officer in a regional school for a year to gain valuable work experience and mentoring,” Ms Mitchell said.
“After this year, students will be supported by the NSW Government to apply for an initial teacher education degree, with the expectation that they would pursue their career back in their local community or in another regional, rural or remote town.”
The ‘Grow Your Own’ program will be piloted in 2022 in several regional schools which will be identified later this year.
This program is one of many the NSW Government is rolling out to attract and retain top quality teachers to regional NSW.
Other initiatives include:
- enhancements to the rural and remote incentives scheme;
- increased scholarships;
- an expanded Rural Experience Program for existing metropolitan teachers, and
- a package of community induction support for new teachers in regional areas.
Ms Mitchell said the NSW Government is thinking ‘outside the box’ when it comes to increasing teacher supply in NSW.
“Having the opportunity to work within one’s own community while learning and being mentored by experienced local teachers from Day 1 is a really unique way to start a rich and fulfilling career.”