Mid-career barriers to teaching torn down

Mid-career professionals and subject experts will be encouraged into teaching careers through a new approach to recruitment and training.

15 June 2021
A science teacher with a student.
Image: Fast track: The government is creating new pathways into secondary school teaching.

Academics, high-performing professionals and subject-matter experts will have an accelerated pathway into a teaching career thanks to a radical overhaul of how mid-career entrants to teaching are hired.

Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said the new pathways were for professionals who had experience in relevant subject areas, or already had teaching experience in the higher education system.

“The NSW Government is building the country’s best public education system, we have more students enrolled and more teachers employed than ever before. But we need more and we want the best, particularly in certain subjects and parts of the state,” Ms Mitchell said.

“The best and brightest from other professions must be encouraged to become teachers, and right now there are too many barriers to entry.

“We are tearing down these unnecessary barriers to entry. We have incredible teachers in our system already, enjoying fulfilling careers. We are now saying to people outside the profession that you too can be a successful teacher with a rewarding career, and we want you.”

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the new approach was in line with recommendations in the NSW Productivity Commission’s White Paper, which found that teacher quality could boost the State’s productivity.

“We’re always looking for better ways of working to give our kids a brighter future and ultimately the whole state benefits from that,” Mr Perrottet said.

“When we create opportunities for passionate and talented people to become teachers, we’re creating opportunity for our kids.”

The overhaul will involve a tiered approach - creating new pathways into secondary school teaching depending on a person’s knowledge and pre-existing teaching expertise.

Entrants will still receive a teaching qualification and, depending on their teaching experience, aim to be in front of a class and on salary within six months.

“We have some of the highest standards in the country when it comes to who can become a teacher in NSW. This reform keeps these standards in place – whilst recognising that prior experience and expertise in key learning areas should be acknowledged,” Ms Mitchell said.

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