More teachers for the regions; training program doubles in 2023


More teachers for the regions; training program doubles in 2023

An expansion of the Grow Your Own Teacher Training program will see 500 School Learning Support Officers (SLSOs) commence study to become fully qualified teachers in the next three years.

  • The Grow Your Own Teacher Training program has been expanded in 2023
  • The program will now offer 200 School Learning Support Officers (SLSOs) an opportunity to train as teachers in 2023, with a further 300 in 2024 and 2025
  • Scholarships of up to $30,000 available to participants, with prior learning recognised to study a flexible qualification pathway

An expansion of the Grow Your Own Teacher Training program will see 500 School Learning Support Officers (SLSOs) commence study to become fully qualified teachers in the next three years, delivering more teachers to regional Australia and helping to address the critical teacher shortage.

On Tuesday the NSW Government, Charles Sturt University and Western Sydney University announced that the program, launched in late 2022, will double this year to support 200 SLSOs to train as teachers, with a further 300 to undertake their training in 2024 and 2025.

The Grow Your Own Teacher Training program focuses on recognising the prior learning and knowledge of SLSOs to provide a flexible, supported and online learning pathway to help them become qualified teachers.

Participants receive a $10,000 training allowance per year (up to $30,000 for the degree) and can continue working in their school as they study.

Charles Sturt University, along with Western Sydney University, was selected to deliver the training program in late 2022.

Charles Sturt Vice-Chancellor Professor Renée Leon said the University is excited to partner with the NSW Government to expand the program.

“Providing School Learning Support Officers with a supported and streamlined pathway that recognises their prior learning will help them to achieve their career goals while addressing the demand for teachers in the regions,” she said.

“With three-quarters of Charles Sturt University graduates starting their careers in regional Australia, this program will put more teachers in rural and remote classrooms.”

Professor Leon said the expansion of 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.

“The Collaborative Teacher’s Aide Pathway (CTAP) had 180 enrolments in its first year, some of whom will graduate and be teaching in classrooms within 12 months,” she said.

“Furthermore, of the more than 1000 additional Commonwealth Supported Places that we received for 2023 and 2024, more than 300 will be allocated to Education students.”

Senior Lecturer with the Charles Sturt School of Education, Dr Libbey Murray, said school principals remain supportive of support staff training to become fully qualified teachers.

“The vast majority of our current SLSO/teacher’s aide students are committed to the school they currently work in, supported by their principals to upskill, and 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’s success was no surprise and was a big win for regional students.

“Our regional SLSOs have strong ties to their local community and are already doing fantastic work supporting students in our country schools,” Mr Toole said.

“This program is removing barriers for them to pursue their dream of becoming a teacher without having to travel away from home, so it’s no wonder it’s proving so popular.”

Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell said the program is part of a range of programs to grow teacher supply, with SLSOs remaining employed in their school while they complete their study.

“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 which is exactly what our Grow Your Own program achieves,” Ms Mitchell said.

Visit the Grow Your Own Teacher Training Program website for further information on training with Charles Sturt University.

Media Note:

To arrange interviews with Dr Libbey Murray contact Lisa Ditchfield at Charles Sturt Media on 0417 125 795 or

Image: (L to R) Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Education, Professor John McDonald, NSW Minister for Education, the Hon Sarah Mitchell MP, Ella Hogg (Vice Captain), Myra Doherty (Captain), Asher Lowden (Captain), Lucas Davies (Vice Captain, GYO student and School Learning Support Officer at Lavington Public School, Mrs Kathy Scanlon and Member for Albury Justin Clancy MP


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