Each year the department will be accepting 30 teachers and 20 teaching graduates.
Participants will progress through the three phases of the program, demonstrating readiness for increased leadership responsibility, in line with Middle Leaders and Deputy Principal role descriptions.
Phase 1a - Classroom Teacher
Participants are appointed as above establishment classroom teachers. They may have reduced responsibilities or teaching loads sufficient to support the development of their pedagogical skills within their classroom. This is informed by the beginning teachers support funding policy. Participants will attain accreditation as a proficient teacher when they have demonstrated the Standard Descriptors from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. Participants are mentored by a teacher leader or a member of the school executive team throughout this phase.
Completion timeframe: up to three years.
Phase 1b - Teacher Leader
Participants are appointed as above establishment classroom teachers. They will have a full teaching load which may involve undertaking different teaching/leadership roles within the school. Participants are mentored by a teacher leader or a member of the school executive throughout this phase. They strengthen their impact and influence on others as they participate in opportunities and additional responsibilities across the school. Participants and their mentors engage with the School Leadership Identification Framework.
Completion timeframe: 2 - 4 years.
Phase 2 - Middle Leader
Participants are appointed as above establishment assistant principals or head teachers and have a teaching load commensurate with their position. Schools have the flexibility to determine this load. Participants are mentored by a member of the school executive throughout this phase. In phase two, participants develop the capabilities and leadership mindsets to lead a stage, faculty or team, and an area of whole school responsibility beyond their classroom. They have a positive influence on the teaching practices of colleagues and teams, and lead time bound projects or activities with increased responsibilities within and beyond the school. Participants engage with leadership development through the School Leadership Institute, which may include the Middle Leadership Development Program.
Completion timeframe: 2 - 3 years.
Phase 3 - Senior Leader
Participants are appointed as above establishment deputy principals, assistant principals or teaching principals in line with the school’s executive entitlements. Participants have a teaching load appropriate to their above establishment position and their leadership role. Participants are mentored by the school principal. Participants apply the capabilities, leadership mindsets and behaviours of the SLI Leadership for Learning Frameworks to lead whole school improvement. Participants engage with leadership development through the SLI, which may include the Senior Leaders – Aspiring Principals Leadership Program.
Completion timeframe: 2 - 3 years.
Successful applicants join the program in the phase aligned to their substantive position, with graduates starting as beginning teachers in phase 1a and current substantive teachers beginning as teacher leaders also in phase 1b. Substantive assistant principals and head teachers will start the program in phase 2, while substantive deputy principals will commence in phase 3.
Application and assessment
The online application will involve submitting responses to key questions and providing the contact details of two referees*. Additionally, applicants will also be asked to prepare a digital story - a short video presentation that conveys both your motivation to teach and aspiration to lead in NSW public schools which is required to be submitted separate to the application via Dropbox.
Incomplete or late applications will not be accepted.
*Permanent NSW public school teachers must provide one referee who is a current supervisor or Principal.
A panel will assess the online application and digital story. Referees will be contacted. Applicants who progress past this stage will be invited to an interview/assessment. The panel will review all aspects of the application, digital story, referee checks and interview, and then recommend candidates for inclusion in the program.
Your application must include the following documents:
- Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check: Application and informed consent form (PDF 1.8 MB)
- Declaration for Child-Related Work: Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check (PDF 190 KB) Your Working with Children Check clearance number or application number (for teachers from interstate)
- Proof of identity (PDF 44 KB)
- Evidence of Australian citizenship, permanent residency or visa permitting employment.
- Academic transcripts of completed degrees or other tertiary qualifications, or results to date for current degrees or other tertiary qualifications (internet extracts can be accepted if certified by the university).
- For current teachers – evidence of current NESA accreditation or evidence of application for accreditation (for interstate teachers).
- A full approval to teach with the NSW Department of Education
- A digital story submitted via DropBox.
The department will use a rigorous assessment process to assess the leadership capabilities and behaviours of applicants. Criteria used for selection will be transparent and consistently applied.
There are separate criteria for graduate applicants and existing techers. Feedback packages from previous cohorts are available for graduate applicants and teacher applicants.
The selection process will be undertaken in line with the department's Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2018-2022. The department is committed to increasing the number of women, Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people and people with a disability in senior leadership roles.
Should an applicant progress to interview, they will be notified at least three days before their interview.
Offers will be made in Term 3, 2023. Unsuccessful applicants will also be notified in due course.
Schools can self-nominate as hosts for FASTstream participants via the online EOI form.
Only shortlisted graduate applicants will be required to undergo teacher suitability assessment measuring emotional intelligence.
This will be determined on a case-by-case basis and will be dependent on the available host schools and the goals of the participant.
If I started a permanent position at the beginning of the year, is there a time limit in which I can be in this position before applying for the program?
There is no time limit before you are eligible to apply for the FASTstream program. If you have an obligation to the department under a scholarship, this must be met, but it may be done while in the FASTstream program.
We welcome applications from all qualified teachers across Australia, including teachers from other systems or states other than NSW. An unconditional full approval to teach in a NSW public school is a requirement of the program.
If you do not hold a full approval to teach with the NSW Department of Education, you will be required to commence the approval to teach application process at the same time as you apply for the FASTstream Program.
FASTstream is open to qualified teachers with approval to teach. Casual teachers are encouraged to apply.
Can I apply for the FASTstream program if I am a teacher currently in a non-school based role within the department?
Yes, all NESA accredited teachers with approval to teach are encouraged to apply for the program.
Yes, you are eligible to apply. In the application process you will have the opportunity to identify whether you are a scholarship recipient so that you can be placed in a school that meets your obligations.
Yes, applications are welcomed from all qualified teachers across Australia.
An unconditional full approval to teach in a NSW public school is a requirement. If you do not hold a full approval to teach with the NSW Department of Education, you will be required to commence the application process at the same time as you apply for the FASTstream program.
If I am interested in leadership positions, but do not want to be a principal, can I still apply for this program?
The aim of the FASTstream program is to develop high-quality leaders with the goal of becoming a school principal within ten years however, participants may elect to apply for other leadership positions on merit at any time.
Participants will exit the program after 10 years of engagement. The program will be flexible and allow extra time at each stage, based on individual need and personal circumstances. The SLI program mentor will work with participants to ensure they are working at a pace that is suitable for them.
The department understands that as part of the 10-year journey, life circumstances will change. The department will take into consideration personal circumstances and assess on an individual basis.
Participants who wish to exit the program can safely do so at any stage without any penalty.
To take part in this program, is there a cut-off date for me to provide my university transcript and sit my approval to teach interview with the department?
On successful completion of your studies, your final academic transcript is required for your full approval to teach. Offers of permanent employment with the department are conditional upon receiving a final academic transcript confirming completion of your studies prior to entry on duty.
Successful applicants must provide their final transcript and have full approval to teach before the FASTstream program commences in Term 1.
To ensure your final academic transcript is received by the department, complete the Authorisation for the Authorisation for the Release of Academic Transcript form (PDF 74KB) and submit this to your university. Your university will then forward your transcript directly to the department.
Participants will be offered permanent employment in NSW public education. Placements will take into account the preferred location participants have selected as part of the application process. Schools in a range of regional and metropolitan contexts across NSW will be identified to provide teaching and leadership opportunities to program participants throughout the program.
Program participants will undertake structured placements as 'above establishment' teachers, which will offer rich teaching and leading experiences across a range of schools and settings, including a requirement to spend at least one placement (minimum 2 years) in a rural or regional school where teachers are in high demand. Temporary leadership opportunities will also be identified, including in rural or regional settings, to build leadership experience and capabilities, in line with existing processes.
As part of the application process, participants will have the opportunity to nominate a minimum of six staffing areas in which they are able to work, with at least three of these being in regional or remote areas.
Schools within the staffing areas that have been selected as host schools will be considered. Participating schools will be carefully selected by the department based on their ability to provide teaching and leadership opportunities to program participants. Participants are encouraged to nominate all staffing areas that are suitable for them and be prepared to be offered a placement within any of the nominated staffing areas.
Please refer to the list of schools meeting the rural and regional placement criteria which contains a list of staffing areas, including school names and locations.
Participants will complete placements of 2-3 years during the program. As such the program will not take place solely at one school. The availability of individual schools is subject to their participation in the program. Participating schools will be carefully selected by the department, based on their ability to provide rich teaching and leadership opportunities to program participants.
An important part of this program is the opportunity to gain experience across a range of regional and metropolitan contexts in NSW, to build leadership experience and accelerate your pathway into leadership. Although we will take into consideration personal circumstances, it is expected that program participants are open to the opportunity to teach and lead in a range of schools and contexts.
Schools will be carefully selected by the department based on their ability to provide teaching and leadership opportunities to program participants. Upon appointment to a school, each successful applicant will be allocated a high-performing school leader as a mentor to support their leadership journey.
The program acknowledges the need to give time to participants to develop and progress their learning, and to engage in formal mentoring and development activities. All FASTstream program participants will be employed as permanent teachers and will be entitled to the release time relevant to your teaching position.
In the first instance, you should speak with your program mentor. If the matter is related to a conduct or interpersonal issue you may wish to consult the department's Code of Conduct, Complaint Management Procedure or Child Protection Policy.
You will enter the program phase aligned to the substantive level which you currently hold and your demonstrated educational leadership.
Yes, permanent teachers who are successful at gaining entry into the program will be required to relinquish their position at their current school. They will remain a permanent teacher with the NSW Department of Education and will be placed in an above establishment position for all phases of the program.
Yes. All FASTstream participants have the same rights and entitlements as all permanent teaching staff within the department. You will accrue transfer points annually based on the location of your permanent teaching position and are eligible to submit an application to join the Service Transfer List should you wish to do so. If your transfer application is successful and you are appointed to another NSW public school you will exit the program to take up this substantive position.
There are no mandatory requirements to complete tertiary studies as part of the FASTstream program.
If I am a temporary or casual teacher will I be guaranteed a permanent position after the program finishes?
Yes, you will secure a permanent position as a classroom teacher with the NSW Department of Education, and will maintain this permanency at the completion of the program.
If I am a teacher from another system or state will I be guaranteed a permanent position after the program finishes?
Yes, you will secure a permanent position as a classroom teacher with the NSW Department of Education, and will maintain this permanency at the completion of the program.
An unconditional full approval to teach in a NSW public school is a requirement of the program. Teachers from others systems within Australia will enter the FASTstream program as in the phase aligned to their current substantive position and their demonstrated educational leadership.
Your level of accreditation with NESA informs the salary level you will be eligible to receive under the Teacher's Award.
Will participants be paid at their substantive level or at the level of their current acting position?
Participants will initially be placed in a phase aligned to their substantive position and demonstrated educational leadership and paid at salary level of the position within that phase.
Should a participant be required to relieve in an executive level position because a vacancy has occurred at the school, they will be paid a relieving allowance commensurate with the salary level of the executive role.
Participants will be placed in a school relevant to their specialisation and teacher training. Participants may be placed in a central school as part of the rural and remote component of the program, however, the position will still align with the participant's training.
Successful candidates are placed in an above establishment position in a host school for a minimum of two years. You will be appointed to this school for this placement and will not be required to work in other schools. The school you are placed in will be a school that has successfully applied to be a FASTstream host school and meets the leadership development requirements of the participant.
If I meet the required criteria before my two year placement has concluded, will I move on to the next phase?
If a panel of assessors support your application to progress to the next phase you will be placed in that phase from the commencement of the next school year.
The number of placements a participant undertakes will depend on the length of time in the program. The FASTstream program has three phases with 2 - 3-year long school placements at each phase. An important part of the program is about developing leadership capability across a range of school contexts.
Yes, all participants will be required to spend at least one placement, with a minimum of two years in a regional or rural school where teachers and leaders are in high demand. This includes participants who have already worked in a regional or remote setting.
There is no specific phase in which the rural/remote placement will take place, as this is dependent on the school locations nominated and schools participating in the program in any given year.
The school I am in currently is classified as rural. If I am successful, can I undertake a placement with them?
Placements will be undertaken in a school that has successfully applied to be a FASTstream host school. The school will be chosen based on the leadership development requirements of the participant.
All participants will be allocated a permanent teaching position within the NSW Department of Education. Participants will have access to a range of professional development and leadership opportunities. Successful applicants will be provided with an opportunity for an accelerated leadership pathway by undertaking structured teaching and leadership rotations in a range of contexts, including regional placements. They will also receive intensive tailored, wrap-around support, focused on mentoring and leadership coaching.
Upon appointment to the program, each successful applicant will be allocated a high-performing school leader as a mentor by their principal. The school-based mentor will support their leadership leading journey. Each participant will also be supported by a School Leadership Institute FASTstream mentor.
Other development opportunities will include intensive coaching and professional learning from our most-capable principals, cohort group support and support to secure temporary opportunities to undertake school leadership roles, in line with existing processes. This will be complemented by access to the suite of evidence-informed leadership development resources and professional learning delivered through the School Leadership Institute.
Further support will be provided to help you through the journey of attaining principalship through the merit-based selection and recruitment process.
What development opportunities will be provided to participants to develop the capabilities needed to excel as a principal?
The program’s placements and experiences will be tailored to meet the individual development needs of each participant. Participants will have access to a range of professional development and leadership opportunities including those offered by the School Leadership Institute..
How is this program aligned to the Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher (HALT) and the Master Teacher career path?
HALT is not an explicit component of this program but you can discuss with your mentor how this can form part of your tailored development journey into leadership.
During the program you will be given different support networks to help develop and guide you in your leadership journey. You will be given:
- a school-based mentor appointed to you by the school principal who will provide school-based support, advice, leadership experiences and direction and will be a senior leader within the school; and
- a SLI FASTstream program mentor to support you throughout the program. This mentor will work in partnership with school principals, mentors and the program facilitator to curate a program to suit each individual participant. The focus will be on suitable placements and experiences and recalibrating these program settings as necessary for the participant.
Participants placed in rural and regional schools may be eligible for a wide range of benefits and incentives. The benefits vary from school to school. Use the Teach NSW benefits calculatorExternal link to find out about the benefits and incentives that are available to teachers at individual schools.
What happens if I fail to demonstrate the required level of competency at any phase or fail to secure a formal leadership position on my journey to become a principal?
School Leadership Institute program mentors will work with participants to curate a program suitable to their needs. The program will be flexible and allow extra time at each phase based on individual need and personal circumstances. This may mean some participants need to spend longer at different phases to reach leadership goals. At completion of phase 3, it is anticipated that participants will apply for principal positions through merit selection.
After 10 years in the programs participants who are not successful through merit selection will be given nominated transfer status at their substantive level.
Participants are placed in an above establishment position for all phases of the program, and will be supported at the completion of the program in applying for a principal position. Throughout the program, participants will need to meet criteria to progress across the phases. These criteria will align for those in executive positions. Successful participation in the program equips the participant with the necessary skills and experience to be well-placed to obtain an executive position on merit.
If your partner or spouse is a qualified teacher, they would be eligible to seek approval to teach in NSW public schools. Once approved, they can commence teaching on a casual or temporary basis or apply for permanent teaching positions. Visit the JobFeed webpage to view the range of temporary and permanent opportunities available in a range of NSW public schools.