A fresh look at attracting teachers to the bush

A review aims to overhaul the rural incentives scheme to bring high-quality teachers to remote and regional NSW.

22 February 2021
Image: Attracting the best: The Government is looking at ways of encouraging teachers to work in rural communities. Photo: Balranald Central School.

The NSW Government is looking to introduce more incentives to attract quality teachers to live and work in regional NSW.

Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said the Rural and Remote Incentives Review was part of the new Rural and Remote Education Strategy, to attract and retain the best and brightest teachers for regional NSW.

“Teachers in regional NSW play a crucial role in determining our students’ future, so it is imperative that we have the best of the best in the bush,” Mr Barilaro said.

“The NSW Nationals are building a safer and stronger regional NSW, turning country towns into thriving metropolitan hubs. By providing better incentives for teachers to move to the regions, we are bringing valuable jobs to these communities while giving our students the best possible start in life.

“Currently, teachers working in 155 rural and remote schools across the State receive incentives, with the NSW Government investing more in regional teacher incentives than ever before, with funding increasing from $1.5 million in 2017 to $29.7 million in 2020.”

Ms Mitchell said the NSW Government was revolutionising regional education by reviewing incentives to attract more of the best teachers to the bush.

“The incentives scheme hasn’t been properly reviewed since the early 1900s. Regional NSW is evolving and modernising, and so must our policies,” Ms Mitchell said.

“I want every student to enjoy the same educational opportunities no matter where they live and that means attracting and keeping great teachers at our regional and remote schools.

“NSW already has the most comprehensive incentives scheme in Australia. I believe there is an opportunity through this review to see how we can better align our incentives with the local community and context.”

Ms Mitchell said schools were at the centre of regional communities, and she wanted to see how improving incentives could help build regional communities.

“I want to explore options like encouraging school leavers to take a gap year in regional and remote schools, supporting partners of teachers to find a job in the same area, assisting families in buying a property to start a home and also looking at what we can do to encourage those already living and working in the regions to consider teaching as a career.”

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