Fast track to get NSW teachers qualified

The qualification period for university graduates wanting to become teachers in NSW will be halved in a bid to attract more into the profession.

Premier Dominic Perrottet said under the proposal, graduates could be in the classroom after completing a one-year postgraduate course.

“For those who already have an undergraduate degree we want a more streamlined approach for them to start a teaching career,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.

“I don’t want a single person who is considering starting this fantastic career to be deterred by an unnecessary additional year in their training.”

The government is looking to address the chronic teacher shortage with NSW Education Department figures showing there were 3311 vacancies across the state in November.

Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said the current two-year masters degree requirement was a disincentive for aspiring teachers, particularly mid-career professionals.

“A major barrier for people who already have an undergraduate degree and want to become a teacher is the length of time required to retrain,” she said.

“Providing a new one-year masters pathway will enable more mid-career professionals with existing qualifications and experience to bring these to bear in our classrooms.

“This decision is backed by strong research which shows that the best way for teachers to hit the ground running is to spend more time in schools.”

Those with an undergraduate degree would be able to complete a one-year full-time postgraduate degree in order to become a secondary school teacher from 2024.

Streamlined postgraduate pathways for primary school teachers are due to be available by 2026.

Ms Mitchell said many NSW universities wanted more bespoke and skill-based Initial Teacher Education degrees, especially for mid-career workers, that would get trainee teachers in the classroom sooner while they were finishing their formal education.

The approach was supported by the findings of a NSW Productivity Commission report released on Wednesday, she said.

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