MELBOURNE, Aug 1: The Andrews Labor Government is boosting Victoria’s teaching workforce when it’s needed most – training thousands of new educators through employment-based teaching degrees to give future teachers first-hand classroom experience while they learn.
The Innovative Initial Teacher Education Program offers seven fast-tracked Master of Teaching courses through Victoria’s best universities, giving students who already have an undergraduate degree quality teaching education while providing paid in-classroom experience from early in their study.
Since 2010, an average of just 50 students each year took up the pathway – but the Labor Government’s expansion of the program means almost 600 students will graduate from the courses in 2021 and 2022 alone, and a further $58.9 million boost in the Victorian Budget 2022/23 will see another 1,200 students trained by 2026.
Offered through the Australian Catholic University, Deakin University, Federation University, Monash University and the University of Melbourne, these postgraduate degrees both reduce financial barriers to studying teaching and increase the supply of teachers at the schools that need them most.
Priority is given to students who aspire to teach in growing outer suburbs or in rural and regional Victoria, or those who want to teach languages other than English, science, technology, engineering, maths or vocational and applied learning.
To help meet the workforce challenges jurisdictions around the world are facing as an ongoing effect of the pandemic, the investment in this year’s Budget also includes $14.4 million to deliver incentive payments for an extra 150 teachers in areas of highest need – as well as to recruit up to 100 teachers to Victoria from overseas.
Rural and regional schools will see a further $8.3 million to increase the supply of Casual Relief Teachers in regional and rural schools, alongside a new pilot supporting small groups of teaching students to undertake placements at rural and regional schools.
An extra $2.2 million will support the ‘Teach the Future’ campaign, which is attracting industry professionals to become vocational and applied learning teachers – positions which are increasingly important as the Labor Government’s Senior Secondary Reforms begin in 2023.
This continued investment comes after the Government’s Excellence in Teacher Education reforms, designed to raise the quality of teaching – ensuring the profession attracts the best and brightest to give Victorian government students the best education.