Greater subject choices for country schools

Teachers in specialist areas of study will work across a number of regional and remote schools to increase opportunities for students.

Regional high school students will have access to a wider range of subjects thanks to the creation of new specialist teaching jobs in the bush.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the NSW Government’s Specialist Teachers in the Field program would open a world of possibilities for country school kids.

“Small rural schools often find it hard to deliver specialist subjects, which means students could miss out on studying something they might like to pursue as a future career,” Mr Toole said.

“This program will ensure regional high school students have access to the same wide range of subject choices available at city schools.”

Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell said the first stage of the program would see 10 specialist teachers to support 30 regional schools across NSW from Term 1, 2023. Work was already under way to identify participating schools and their students’ subject needs.

“It means that a secondary teacher who specialises in Visual Arts, for example, will teach that subject across three different public schools in an area,” Ms Mitchell said.

“This isn’t just great for students – it’s also an exciting opportunity for teachers who can benefit from travelling and teaching across multiple schools, networking and sharing practice with other teachers.”

The specialist teacher will be given a reduced teaching load to support their travel and work across schools.

The Teachers in the Field program also includes Classroom Cover Teachers, which is continuing to expand to provide a pool of relief teachers across regional, rural and remote schools. This program offers teachers a three year, full-time role as a relief teacher with the benefits of job security, professional learning and leave entitlements.

The NSW Government’s $125 million Teacher Supply Strategy is creating new pathways into teaching, placing high-quality teachers where they are needed most, and ensuring a steady pipeline of teachers entering the workforce, now and in the future.

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