Teacher Workforce Strategy: National proposals and NSW initiatives

NSW welcomes the National Teacher Workforce Action Plan, which supports and builds on the Teacher Supply Strategy and other work in NSW to support teachers in our public schools.

NSW has significant action underway to respond to teacher workforce shortages in public schools and ensuring a sufficient supply of well-trained and knowledgeable teachers across our system. NSW is leading the way with its dedicated Teacher Supply Strategy, with funding of $125 million over four years from the 2021-22 budget allocation. The strategy is an evidence-based plan to grow the teacher workforce through three key priorities:

  • growing the workforce by making it more attractive to teach
  • re-training and upskilling more teachers to specialise in high-demand subjects
  • providing targeted teaching support in the places it is needed.

The table below demonstrates the initiatives the NSW government is already putting into place to respond to the identified national priority areas. It also highlights those initiatives that are exclusively national responses.

Proposed Federal Government initiatives and the existing NSW initiative.

1. Improve teacher supply

1. More teaching places at universities in the right subjects and specialisations.

Existing NSW initiatives

NSW is designing a commissioning model to support this federal government initiative.

2. 5,000 bursaries worth up to $40,000 each to help attract our best and brightest to the teaching profession.

Existing NSW initiatives

Range of Scholarships, with the most attractive scholarships (teach.MathsNOW and teach.Rural scholarships) worth up to $50,000 and up to $98,500 in benefits potentially for teach.Rural scholars

  • NSW has scholarships directed to different cohorts: Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islanders, persons who live rurally, graduates, mid-career changers, students of Mathematics etc.

  • Some examples include:
    • Teach and Learn scholarships - for teachers to retrain in certain high demand subjects or specialist teaching areas.
    • Inclusive Practice in Education Scholarships- offer professional development for teachers to retrain in inclusive education.

3. 1,500 more places in the High Achieving Teachers program to encourage more professionals to switch careers to teaching and trial new ways of attracting and keeping teachers in the schools that need them most.

Current NSW initiatives

FASTStream program

A program providing a supportive and accelerated path to school leadership.

Mid-Career Transition to Teaching Program (MCTTP)

Program supporting experienced professionals in STEM areas to become teachers

Teach for Australia bespoke program for NSW

A partnership between the Department and Teach for Australia to attract experienced professionals and subject matter experts to become teachers in NSW public schools across high-demand areas.

Rural and remote teacher incentives and scholarships

A suite of financial incentives to attract and retain staff in rural and remote schools. Eligibility has been expanded to temporary staff working in schools, benefiting around 800 extra teachers, the existing recruitment bonus has doubled to $20,000, and there is more funding for teacher housing to be built and upgraded.

4. Prioritise visa processing for qualified teachers and prioritise teachers from State and Territory nominated visa allocations.

Current NSW initiatives

  • NSW advocated for priority visas.
Recruitment Beyond NSW (RBNSW)

An initiative within the Teacher Supply Strategy that aims to recruit experienced and qualified teachers from interstate and overseas to positions in high-demand locations.

Revise the English language proficiency requirements

NESA is proposing to revise the English language proficiency requirements for overseas-qualified teachers to provide more flexibility for applicants.

5. Prioritise conditional or provisional registration to increase the supply of teachers.

Current NSW initiatives

  • Earlier employment in public schools.
NSW Conditional Accreditation

This establishes a set of principles for the employment of Conditionally Accredited final year ITE students and aims to strengthen arrangements and improve communication and support.

6. Teacher employers will look for opportunities to boost the number of permanent teachers, recognising the importance of permanency to secure jobs in creating a stable workforce.

Current NSW initiatives

At least 10,000 temporary NSW teachers and support staff will be offered permanent roles in 2023.

7. States and territories to investigate the potential to promote teaching, mentoring and other opportunities to people who are registered but not currently working as teachers.

Current NSW initiatives

NSW supports this federal government initiative.

2. Strengthen Initial Teacher Education (ITE)


8. The Teacher Education Expert Panel, led by the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney, Professor Mark Scott, is reviewing initial teacher education and will recommend ways to boost graduation rates, and broadly ensure graduating teachers are better prepared for the classroom.

Current NSW initiatives

  • Mandatory requirements for NSW ITE.
Mid-Career Transition to Teaching Program (MCTTP)

Program supporting experienced professionals in STEM areas to become teachers.

Professional Experience Hub School Program

Hubs support schools to lead best practice professional experience by producing innovative and sustainable quality professional experience practices to share with other schools across the state.

9. Recognise previous study, work experience and skills that may be transferable to teaching.

Current NSW initiatives

Mid-Career Transition to Teaching Program (MCTTP)

Program supporting experienced professionals in STEM areas to become teachers.

10. Co-design actions to attract and retain more First Nations teachers.

Current NSW initiatives

  • 10 year Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Workforce & Leadership Strategy.

11. All teaching students will undergo initial assessment of their literacy and numeracy skills in their first year to ensure they can receive targeted support if they need it.

Current NSW initiatives

NSW supports this federal government initiative.

3. Keeping the teachers we have

12. Pilot new approaches to reduce teacher workload through a Workload Reduction Fund to maximise the value of a teacher’s time.

Current NSW initiatives

NSW supports this federal government initiative.

13. Build on work already underway to reduce unnecessary teacher workload, plan and collaborate and independently evaluate the effectiveness of these measures on teachers’ time.

Current NSW initiatives

Curriculum Resources

NSW Department of Education is procuring a full suite of sequenced curriculum resources from P-10 aligned to the NSW syllabus.

Formative Assessment initiative Roadmap (FAIR) pilot

A pilot that will provide teachers with a suite of assessments and easier analytics to measure student learning progress.

Quality Time Action Plan (QTAP)

A plan with targets to reduce administrative burden by 20% in 2022 for school staff, amounting to 40 hours for teachers, 190 hours for Principals, and 40 hours for administrative staff. The august update shows NSW is on track to meet these targets.

Revision of teacher accreditation requirements

Revisions made to the Teacher Accreditation Act in Nov 2021 have reduced duplication in teacher accreditation processes.

14. Develop national guidelines to support early career teachers and new school leaders including mentoring and induction.

Current NSW initiatives

Beginning Teacher information hub

Info Hub where beginner teachers, their mentors and supervisors can access resources, templates and information as they transition from study to the classroom.

Beginning Teacher Support Funding (BTSF)

Funding provided to NSW government schools to support eligible teachers with their induction and professional development, as guided by the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

Strong Start Great Teachers (SSGT)

This is NSW’s school-based induction framework for beginning teachers in their first critical years of teaching.

15. Develop and support career pathways which value teachers and reflect transitions in the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

Current NSW initiatives

  • Revised HALT Policy.
FASTStream program

A program providing a supportive and accelerated path to school leadership.

Rewarding Excellence in Teaching

A program aiming to strengthen the teaching profession in a way that supports and scales effective classroom teaching practices across the system to benefit all students.

16. Improve access to high-quality First Nations’ cultural competency resources to ensure teachers are better prepared to teach First Nations peoples in culturally safe ways.

Current NSW initiatives

  • Mandatory training for NSW teachers in ITE and ongoing professional development.
10-year Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Workforce & Leadership Strategy

Includes a 2-year Action Plan that will increase the number of First Nations staff at all levels of the department and create workplaces where all staff feel represented, safe, included and valued.

Partnership agreement with the Aboriginal Education Consultative Group
  • NSW has a ten-year partnership agreement with the AECG that sets out a plan for:
    • how we will work together in NSW for the development and implementation of educational policies and programs.
    • how we will facilitate consultations with Communities and Elders and knowledge holders to achieve these aims.

17. Streamline HALT accreditation processes to make it less burdensome for teachers to be accredited and incorporate recognition of equivalent qualification and certification processes. Initiative heading

Current NSW initiatives

Revised HALT Policy 2022

Launched in May 2022, this policy has a target of at least 2,500 teachers achieving the higher levels of accreditation by 2025. The revised policy streamlines the process for applicants with greater support for teachers.

18. Develop micro-credentials and expand the Quality Teaching Rounds (QTR) to enhance teachers’ access to quality professional development.

Current NSW initiatives

  • Existing QTR Partnership.
NSW Curriculum Reform microlearning

Modules of learning offered by the Department that are both syllabus specific and agnostic, that can be accessed when and where it suits teachers, and at a time that works for them.

19. Examine how to support implementation of the national curriculum.

Current NSW initiatives

  • NSW Curriculum Reform and curriculum resources.
Assistant Principal Curriculum and Instruction positions

Over 2000 new positions to support teachers with lesson planning, curriculum implementation and enhancing their practice.

Online Learning Platform

an online resource repository that will contain quality-assured, curriculum-aligned learning resources that teachers can adapt and use to support their teaching.

20. Each initiative in the next National School Reform Agreement will be subject to a Teacher Workload Impact Assessment.

Current NSW initiatives

NSW supports this federal government initiative.

21. Identify the most effective use of initial teacher education students, teaching assistants and other non-teaching staff.

Current NSW initiatives

  • Assistant Principle Curriculum and Instruction positions.
  • Conditional accreditation and earlier employment in public schools.
COVID intensive learning support program ‘Operational Improvement for School Success’ pilot

A program that brought ITE students into schools earlier. The NSW Department of Education will maintain these opportunities into the future, while alternative training models, such as internships, are under consideration.

Operational Improvement for School Success Pilot

A pilot currently underway with 131 schools to identify work currently undertaken by teachers and to think differently about how it gets done and by whom.

22. Identify and assess the effectiveness of initiatives to support teacher retention.

Current NSW initiatives

  • Rural and remote teacher incentives and scholarships

4. Elevating the profession

23. A targeted national campaign to raise the status and value the role of teachers.

Current NSW initiatives

Attraction to Teaching initiative - Teaching Opens Doors campaign

A campaign within the Teacher Supply Strategy showcasing the unique benefits and impact of a career in teaching

NSW Premier’s Teacher Scholarship

· A scholarship offering up to $15,000 for a five-week study tour within their subject area.

24. Encourage members of the public to nominate teachers for Medals of the Order of Australia.

Current NSW initiatives

NSW supports this federal government initiative.

5. Better understand future teacher workforce needs

25. Develop and publish nationally consistent teacher workforce projections based on consistent standards, disaggregated at a regional level and by subject specialisation, to enable a national understanding of teacher demand.

Current NSW initiatives

NSW engaging with AITSL to test/validate data

The department engages with AITSL on ATWD reporting to test and validate data and advocate for definitional consistency.

26. Develop and publish nationally consistent ITE graduate supply data, including disaggregated by subject specialisation and participation in ITE at the regional level, to enable a national understanding of teacher supply.

Current NSW initiatives

Projections of supply and demand

The department projects its expected teacher supply and demand and has showcased this work with interstate jurisdictions.

27. Develop and publish data about teacher wellbeing and career intentions.

Current NSW initiatives

NSW collect People Matters Employee Survey data.

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