“I have regularly held roundtables with teachers from all over the state. What they experienced is joy – how much they enjoy their work, how much they feel connected and responsible for their students. They talk about students as their own. “
The department said it used workforce simulations, teacher supply and demand analysis, and tactics that have worked elsewhere to develop a strategy that is expected to provide 3,700 teachers over 10 years, including 1,600 in the first five years.
However, past attempts to increase the number of teachers have shown mixed results from strategies such as incentives, scholarships, and mid-career paths. In 10 years, Victoria’s Teach for Australia has trained a total of 619 teachers to accelerate learning in other professions.
Regional incentive schemes have been around for many years and have changed many times, but the number of teachers in the bush is still declining. There is a shortage of teachers overseas and between states, which can also make it difficult for teachers to poach.
One internal department document also stated that it is unclear if there is a great need for teaching assistants to achieve full qualifications.
New South Wales Teachers’ Federation President Angelo Gavrielatos said the shortage was a direct result of uncompetitive wages and unsustainable workloads. “If we don’t pay teachers what they cost, we won’t get the teachers we need,” he said.
However, Ms Mitchell said that New South Wales teachers are paid well compared to state and overseas teachers. “There are career opportunities, opportunities to teach in rural and regional schools, and to create additional opportunities,” she said.
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