Labor will pay students who achieve an ATAR of 80 or more up to $12,000 per year if they decide to pursue an education degree, as part of its plan to raise educational standards and reduce the teacher shortage if elected.
Most important points:
- The money will be offered to 1,000 students per year for five years
- The opposition also pledges to boost programs that retrain people into other jobs to become teachers
- The coalition pledged last week to improve education standards and fill the workforce gaps
The plan would ensure that high-performing students who choose to pursue an education receive $10,000 per year for the duration of the course, or $12,000 if they commit to teaching in a regional area — although it’s not clear. is how long they should promise to teach regionally.
The extra money would be offered to 1,000 students per year for five years and it is clear that priority would be given to students with the highest ATARs.
Labor said a similar program in the UK had shown a 2.9 percent increase in applications to study education and education for every £1,000 ($1,743) in payments.
The party’s long-term goal is to double the number of people receiving an ATAR over 80 in college over the next 10 years from about 1,800 per year to 3,600 per year.
“One of the most important things we can do to stop the decline in student achievement and improve student achievement is to raise educational standards,” said Shadow Education Minister Tanya Plibersek.
“If we want a better future in Australia, we need a smart, skilled workforce so we can compete for jobs and growth with our neighbors.”
Labor would also boost programs to encourage those working in other fields to retrain as teachers, adding 1,500 new places, including 700 new places in the Teach for Australia program and 60 in the Nexus program through LaTrobe university.
The funding would mean more people could work part-time as teachers’ assistants while completing a master’s degree in education.
Labor also pledges to work with states and territories to find ways to retain teachers.
The entire plan will cost $146.5 million over four years.
Coalition Funding for Retraining Programs
Labour’s commitment to new places in the Teach for Australia and Nexus programs matches an announcement the coalition made last week that it would spend $40 million adding the extra places to both programmes.
The coalition’s focus would be on regional and remote areas and STEM topics.
It also pledged that, if reelected, it would spend $13.4 million to “support changes in accreditation standards,” including bringing back the one-year graduate diploma of education.
It would also spend $10.7 million developing “micro-credentials in classroom management” as part of an expansion of the Quality Teaching Rounds program and $7.2 million on professional development for teachers.
“We have invested in Teach for Australia to place more than 400 new teachers in regional and disadvantaged schools since 2019,” said Acting Education Minister Stuart Robert.
“Currently, more than 50 percent of TFA teachers are in regional and remote schools and more than 40 percent teach math or science.
“This new investment will enable Teach for Australia to double its reach and impact, address the teacher shortage and improve student outcomes across the country.”
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