Future-focused teacher supply
Teaching is an incredibly rewarding and in- demand profession. However, education systems across the country are grappling with the challenges of declining graduate teacher numbers, increasing student enrolments, and subject-diversity demands.
There are several factors driving this challenge, including changing perceptions of teaching as a career, perceptions about the complexity of undertaking a teaching degree, and barriers to entry for people seeking a career change to teaching.
Recognising this national challenge, the Australian Government launched the Quality Initial Teacher Education Review, which is due to report later in 2021. The review will make recommendations to strengthen attraction and selection of high-quality candidates into teaching.
NSW is leading the way
As the NSW Productivity Commission White Paper 2021 – Rebooting the Economy highlights, the human capital of our teaching workforce is the largest economic asset the NSW education system manages.
The Teacher Supply Strategy represents a major investment to maintain and build on existing, successful, pipelines of teachers, to continue to deliver quality education to our students.
NSW is starting from a strong base, with an existing student-teacher ratio (full-time equivalent) of roughly 15 students per teacher (2020 data).
The Teacher Supply Strategy is an important part of the NSW Government’s overall commitment to encourage and support more people to become teachers, and to support this with a commitment to evidence-based and future- focused workforce planning.
The initiatives are designed to increase the appeal of the profession and help to remove and reduce barriers to attracting more teachers. The strategy also addresses the opportunity to diversify our teacher supply channels to strengthen our ongoing supply of teachers into the future.
Having more teachers with the right specialisations to teach in-demand subjects will ensure students are equipped with the right skills for the future. These teachers will be placed in schools where they are needed most, including in rural and remote areas.
A data-driven approach
The department developed the Teacher Supply Strategy by drawing on workforce modelling, jurisdictional scans, analysis of teacher supply and demand drivers, and evidence of what works.
NSW leads the country in its workforce analysis and demand projections, which support workforce planning and inform teacher supply initiatives.
The department leverages 2 different approaches to teacher projections – a top-down aggregate view of teacher supply across our system, and a bottom-up subject-level view. Combined, this provides valuable insights into how best to target our investment.
This data-driven approach has guided our targets under the strategy. Building on our existing successful pipeline of teachers, the strategy will deliver 3,700 teachers with the right subject qualifications placed in locations of need over the next 10 years. This includes delivering 1,600 of these teachers over the first 5 years of the strategy.