More relief teachers for regional schools
More than 260 regional, rural and remote schools will have access to a dedicated local pool of relief teachers they can call on to help cover when teachers are away.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the expansion of the Casual Supplementation Program was a win for schools in the bush.
“As a former teacher, I know that regional schools can often struggle to source relief teachers at the last minute to cover absentees. This has been exacerbated during COVID-19,” Mr Toole said.
“The NSW Government is addressing this need through an innovative program that offers teachers a three year, full-time role as a relief teacher with the benefits of job security, professional learning and leave entitlements.”
Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell said the program was already proving a big success.
“Staffing our schools, particularly our regional ones, is complex and I am very pleased to say that we are seeing great results where the program is already up and running, including in very remote areas across the state that are traditionally hard to staff,” Ms Mitchell said.
The program groups schools in geographic clusters with a commute time of around an hour from a central ‘hub’ school where the relief teacher is based.
The program is being implemented in schools with the highest need for casual teachers in regional and rural areas from the North Coast to the Central West and the Riverina, as well as in hard to staff areas on the outskirts of Sydney.
The Casual Supplementation Program is part of the NSW Government’s $125 million Teacher Supply Strategy to create new pathways into teaching, place high-quality teachers where they are needed most, and ensure a steady pipeline of teachers entering the workforce, now and in the future. The strategy is on track to deliver its commitment to recruit an additional 4,600 teachers over the next four years.
Subject to eligibility, teachers in rural and remote locations are able to access a suite of financial and non-financial incentives, including up to $40,000 on top of their base salary annually and an additional $20,000 if the position is eligible for a recruitment bonus.