More casual teachers for regional schools

Two pilot programs will help regional schools access casual teachers when needed, Education Minister Sarah Mitchell announced today.

A group of students and a teacher walk along a sandy path. A group of students and a teacher walk along a sandy path.
Image: New approaches will help regional schools overcome barriers such as long commute distances when they need causal teachers.

A trial to provide public schools in regional NSW with more casual teachers will begin in Term 1, 2021.

Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said the trials, using two pilot programs, aim to bring more teachers to regional NSW.

“It can be difficult to attract and retain teachers in rural and remote areas for a number of reasons including travel distances, lack of suitable accommodation close to schools and limited opportunities for teachers to access professional learning,” Ms Mitchell said.

“The hub and spoke pilot provides two teachers, employed in a ‘hub’ school, who can also address the needs of nearby ‘spoke’ schools.

“Through this pilot, up to 12 teachers will be employed and will be able to be deployed quickly to a nearby spoke school to cover classes.

“It will also provide certainty to casual teachers, knowing they have a permanent position.”

The program targets schools with the greatest reported shortages and grouping them in travel distance clusters to reduce average commuting times to less than an hour.

The in-built relief model first piloted in 2019, will be extended to a carefully selected number of schools from Term 3, 2020.

“One temporary teacher will be embedded in each school to provide relief when permanent teachers are unavailable due to professional development or illness.”

The trials will improve the proposition of working in rural or remote schools by:

  • reducing commuting time
  • offering longer engagements
  • offering temporary or permanent appointments that include leave and other benefits
  • providing employment certainty
  • investing in professional development and learning for these teachers.
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