Cash to attract rural teachers
Teachers are being offered a $50,000 cash incentive to work at Victoria's toughest schools.
The state has launched new incentives to retain good teachers in its toughest schools.
It is offering $50,000 to draw educators to “hard-to-staff” positions and schools, as well as a similar cash lure of up to $50,000 for teachers who would be willing to relocate to rural and regional schools.
In both the rural plan and the tough school plan, teachers who remain will be offered an initial payment of up to $50,000, then up to $9,000 per year for three years for staying in the job.
State Education Minister James Merlino says it is “the biggest investment in our education workforce in this state's history”.
“Great teachers change lives ... and that's why we're working so hard to attract the best people to teaching and supporting them to stay in our classrooms,” Mr Merlino said.
Victoria’s population of school-aged students is booming at a rate not matched by new educators, leading to a concerning shortfall.
Additionally, Australia’s young high achievers are turning their backs on teaching, drawn instead to professions with better pay and more challenges.
Victoria has allocated $41.7 million to provide up to $50,000 for teachers in hard-to-staff schools. The category includes schools where teaching positions are unfilled due geographical barriers, specialty subjects, or other issues.
The sweetener is part of a $244.6 million package that includes $31.5 million to encourage top teachers to take on specialised roles, the creation of 40 “executive principal” roles and nine "turnaround teams" to boost school performance, as well as a further $25.2 million for “learning specialists” in every state school, $68.4 million to extended “professional learning communities” to all government schools and $5.6 million for employment-based pathways into teaching.
The Australian Education Union (AEU) Victoria welcomed the spending, but said it would do little to address the “fundamental issue” of teachers feeling overworked.
“One of the critical reasons we hear from our members about why people won't apply for principal jobs, why people won't come into the teaching profession, is workload,” she said.
“We have an underlying problem of massive workload for teachers, principals and support staff and we need to see Government in the future invest further in reducing the workload of staff in our schools to ensure we're able to deliver the best quality education to our young people.”