Teachers and students at schools in the New South Wales region will benefit from a complete overhaul of how the government attracts and retains teachers in the bush.
Deputy Prime Minister John Barilaro said the NSW government had commissioned a review of rural and remote incentives in NSW public schools, which focused on improving benefits for regional teachers by ensuring that they are fair and flexible.
“We are already investing record amounts in school infrastructure and technology in regions of the state, so it is time for our incentive program to be improved to attract quality teachers to the bush,” said Barilaro. .
âAt the heart of these investments are our local children who deserve the best teachers and the best education, no matter where they live.â
Education and Early Learning Minister Sarah Mitchell said she commissioned the review in response to conversations and feedback from teachers working in regional, rural and remote areas.
“The government accepts all of the recommendations made by the review, and we will immediately begin implementing reforms to attract and retain teachers in the NSW area,” said Mitchell.
âWe have the most generous incentive system in Australia, but over time it has become more and more complex. This is the first time that we are inspecting all aspects of the system to make it fair and flexible, allowing teachers to create a package that works best for them and their situation.
âWe’re going to create a smarter transfer point system and an easier-to-understand benefit package for teachers, ranging from extra pay, better professional development opportunities, rent assistance and family support. “
The NSW government has committed $ 15 million for immediate action initiatives in response to the incentive review, including:
- Increase the value of targeted recruiting bonuses from $ 10,000 to $ 20,000, making schools in the hardest-to-fill areas of the state more attractive to potential employees;
- Give more staff the opportunity to experience New South Wales by doubling the number of teachers. Rural scholarships to 120 per year and expanding investment in the rural experience program to fund up to 50 places from 2022;
- Expand eligibility so that temporary teachers can receive incentives such as the rural teacher incentive, retention bonus and senior teacher bonus, helping to attract more staff to the regions; and,
- Work alongside the Teacher Housing Authority NSW to modernize, repair and build new housing for teachers in high demand areas.
School principals, teachers, key education stakeholders and experts will be consulted and help co-design longer-term initiatives, including:
- The overhaul and simplification of the transfer point system to reduce inequalities, better communication about what is available for teachers in the regions and allow employees to work on a tailor-made package that suits their individual situation;
- Creating a more holistic approach to regional resettlement that focuses on âfamiliesâ rather than just individuals; and,
- Establishment of a centralized team to oversee regional staffing.
âRegional NSW is an incredibly attractive place to live and work. I want to see more people experience teaching in the NSW area and I want to remove barriers for anyone who wants a career in teaching in the bush, âsaid Ms. Mitchell.
The review’s recommendations support the initiatives included in the teacher supply strategy to be released later this year.
The full report can be downloaded here: https://education.nsw.gov.au/about-us/strategies-and-reports/review-of-rural-remote-incentives-report