- Charles Sturt University selected to deliver Grow Your Own Teacher Training Program across NSW to help address the critical teacher shortage
- Pilot program aims to support up to 100 School Learning Support Officers (SLSOs) to train as teachers in regional and rural Australia and high-demand metropolitan areas
- Scholarships of up to $30,000 available to participants, with prior learning recognised to study a flexible qualification pathway
Charles Sturt University has been selected to deliver the Grow Your Own Teacher Training Program across NSW to help address the critical teacher shortage.
Accepting students from 2023, the program focusses on recognising the prior learning and knowledge of School Learning Support Officers (SLSOs) to provide a flexible, supported and online learning pathway to help them become qualified teachers.
In the Program’s first year, up to 100 SLSOs will receive an annual training allowance of up $10,000. School Learning Support Officers will continue to work in schools while studying online and will undertake 60 days of professional teaching experience over the course of their degree.
The program will focus on attracting participants to become teachers in rural, regional and high-demand metropolitan areas. SLSOs who study through Charles Sturt can complete the program in as little as two years of full-time study with prior qualifications.
Participants in the Grow Your Own Teacher Training Program are guaranteed a permanent teaching position in a NSW public school on completion.
Charles Sturt Vice-Chancellor Professor Renée Leon said the University’s selection as a training provider in the program was recognition of its leadership and experience as an online education provider.
“The Grow Your Own Teacher Training program is just the latest example of Charles Sturt’s pathways for prospective teachers to up-skill through a highly supported pathway,” Professor Leon said.
“The Collaborative Teacher’s Aide Pathway (CTAP), launched in December 2021, is on track for 180 enrolments by the end of this year. Some of these graduates will be teaching in classrooms within the next 12 months.
“Furthermore, of the more than 1000 additional Commonwealth Supported Places that we received for 2023 and 2024 recently, more than 300 will be allocated to Education students.”
With statistics showing that 75 per cent of Charles Sturt graduates stay in regional Australia to begin their careers, Professor Leon said the Grow Your Own Teacher Training program will help address teacher shortages in regional, rural and remote communities.
Senior Lecturer with the Charles Sturt School of Education, Dr Libbey Murray, said school principals are supportive of support staff training to become teachers.
“The majority of our current SLSO/teacher’s aide students are committed to the school they currently work in and are eager to take the next step in their career to become a teacher in their community,” said Dr Murray.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the program recognises the outstanding contribution SLSOs make in classrooms across the State and helps remove barriers to a teaching career.
“We have generous financial incentives, including housing, to encourage teachers to work in our regional schools, but we're also committed to fostering local talent,” Mr Toole said.
“Our regional SLSOs have strong ties to their local community and are already doing fantastic work in our schools. We want to do all we can to support them to upskill and progress their careers without having to travel away from home.”
Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell said the Grow Your Own Teacher Training program is complemented by another Grow Your Own stream that will encourage year 12 students and community members living in rural and regional areas to explore a career in teaching.
“The Grow Your Own Community Entry Pathway is about supporting school leavers who are interested in becoming teachers to stay at their local school and gain hands-on experience as SLSOs or classroom teacher support officers,” Ms Mitchell said.
“Through both Grow Your Own streams we are building new pathways to teaching careers that encourage and support young people into this rewarding profession.”Visit the Grow Your Own Teacher Training Program website for further information on training with Charles Sturt University.