- Charles Sturt University expert welcomes NSW Government review recommendations to support rural and remote teachers
- The recommendations are a move in the right direction to help address unmet demand for access to tertiary teacher education
- Charles Sturt is well placed to partner with the NSW Department of Education to help implement the report’s recommendations
A leading Charles Sturt University teacher education academic has welcomed the recently released NSW Government response to the Review of Rural and Remote Incentives in NSW Public Schools (2021) report.
The review report recommended a complete overhaul of how the government attracts and retains teachers in the bush by focusing on improving the benefits for regional teachers by ensuring they are fair and flexible.
New incentives include:
- Increasing the value of targeted recruitment bonuses from $10,000 to up to $20,000, making schools located in the hardest-to-staff parts of the State more attractive for prospective employees;
- Giving more employees the opportunity to experience regional NSW by doubling the number of teach.Rural scholarships to 120 per year, and expanding the investment in the Rural Experience Program to fund up to 50 places from 2022;
- Expanding eligibility so temporary teachers can receive incentives like the Rural Teacher Incentive, Retention Bonus, and Experienced Teacher Bonus, enabling a greater number of employees to be attracted to the regions; and,
- Working alongside the Teacher Housing Authority NSW to upgrade, repair and build new accommodation for teachers in areas of high demand.
Head of the Charles Sturt School of Education Associate Professor Will Letts (pictured, inset) said the results of the review and the government’s acceptance of all the recommendations is most welcome.
“As a regional university, Charles Sturt University has a keen interest and large stake in the vitality of our communities and the rural and remote teaching workforce,” Professor Letts said.
“Key to our mission as a leading regional provider of accredited teacher education courses is to build rural understanding and capabilities, consistent with the recommendations of this report.
“The University is pleased to see the refreshed incentives scheme form part of the broader strategy to enable the attraction and retention of teachers in rural and remote NSW.
“It’s heartening to see the Department of Education redouble its commitment to addressing the persistent challenges to attracting and retaining teachers in rural and remote NSW.”
Professor Letts said as a regional university that supplies many teaching graduates to rural and regional NSW, Charles Sturt is well placed to partner with the department around the following report recommendations in particular:
- Partner with universities to increase teacher supply, preparation and experience in rural and remote areas;
- Increase opportunities for rural and remote experience; and
- Support connection and embedding of teachers within their communities.
Furthermore, Professor Letts commended the government for doubling the number of teach.Rural scholarships to students interested in teaching in rural and remote NSW, to help them realise their aspirations.
“This is moving in the right direction to help address unmet demand for access to tertiary teacher education, and if anyone is keen to be a teacher, especially a teacher in the bush, there shouldn’t be any barriers,” he said.
“We’re also excited to see an explicit focus on rural leadership development and career pathways to ensure that school leaders are best prepared for the opportunities and challenges of leadership in rural and remote schools.”
Find out more about Charles Sturt University teacher education courses.