Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions for the Teacher Supply Strategy – an evidence-based strategy to grow the teaching workforce and ensure we have teachers with the right subject qualifications, in locations where they are needed, to support and advance our students.

  • NSW, like other states in Australia and countries around the world, is grappling with the challenge of declining graduate teacher numbers, increasing student enrolments, and subject specialisation shortfalls.
  • The combination of these factors is increasing demand for teachers, in some areas such as STEM subjects, which is why the department is hiring more teachers than ever before.

  • The NSW Government has developed an, evidence-based strategy – the NSW Teacher Supply Strategy - to grow the teaching workforce and ensure we have teachers with the right subject qualifications, in locations where they are needed, to support and advance our students.
  • The government is investing $125 million over the next 4 years to support the delivery of a range of initiatives as part of this strategy. 

  • The Teacher Supply Strategy seeks to grow the workforce in 3 ways:
    •  Improving attraction to teaching
    • Re-training and upskilling more teachers to specialise in high-demand subjects
    • Boosting teacher supply in regional and remote communities.

  • We will be recruiting teachers from interstate and overseas, accelerating the careers of high-performing teachers and providing accelerated mid-career pathways for existing teachers, supporting them to move into a principal role within 10 years.
  • We will be reducing barriers to career-switching by developing accelerated pathways that will encourage  academics, high-performing professionals and  subject-matter experts to become teachers in NSW public schools.
  • We will be recruiting more than 500 experienced and qualified teachers in science, technology, engineering and maths from outside of NSW over the next 5 years to teach in these critical subject areas, including in rural and remote schools.
  • We will also be providing targeted teaching support for students in regional and remote schools and have introduced a range of incentives and benefits to encourage teachers to those areas such as rental subsidies of up to 90%, annual retention benefits of $5,000, annual bonuses for experienced teachers of $10,000, trial placements, and priority transfers.

  • The department works very closely with schools on vacancies. In 2021 we have filled around 4,000 teaching positions, and we are hiring more teachers than ever before. 

  • A robust supply of casual and temporary teachers is critical to enable our school system to function. These teachers provide the capacity for our system to support all teachers to take leave and attend professional development.
  • The department is doing a number of things to improve access to casual teachers by:
    • Improving the process for new and graduate teachers to gain an approval to teach with the department, including support for final-year teaching students to access conditional accreditation so that they are available for casual or temporary teaching earlier
    • Providing the ClassCover casual recruitment tool to make it easier for principals to access casual staff. Currently around 1,730 schools are registered with ClassCover, which is nearly 80% of all NSW schools.
    • Piloting new ways to improve teacher supply via the Casual Supplementation Program which provides ‘in-built relief’ through a ‘hub and spoke’ relief models for schools in hard to staff areas. This program will continue to be expanded in 2022.

  • We know that great teachers have the greatest impact on student outcomes, so it is critical that our principals, teachers and support staff have the support they need to ensure our students are advancing and thriving.
  • The department is committed to reducing the administrative burden for principals, teachers and support staff to reduce their workload and free up time for learning and professional development.
  • The department has set a target to reduce the administrative burden by 20% by 2022 and has been working very closely with schools to identify ways to do this.

  • Digital innovation is driving many of the changes that have already been implemented including automating data entry on school reports, developing an online enrolment system and reducing the complexity around applying for additional support for students with a disability.
  • The Department is currently seeking feedback from teachers across the state on its Quality Time Action Plan which it has developed to simplify and modernise administrative processes and practices and ensure the 20% target is met.


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