A strong and sustainable school workforce is critical to the success of our education system. Our teachers, school leaders and school support staff shape the lives and learning outcomes of Victorian students.
While there were 5,000 more registered teachers in Victoria in 2022 compared with 2020, current national high employment levels and a reduction in teaching degree enrolments have led to a tightening of the teaching workforce right across the country.
That is why the Victorian Government is investing in our teaching workforce.
Support for teachers, from university to the classroom
The Victorian Government has invested more than $1.6 billion to support and grow our school workforce since 2019. This includes secondary school teaching degree scholarships; reductions in maximum face-to-face teaching hours; establishing the Victorian Academy of Teaching and Leadership; and funding to support schools to meet their commitments regarding time-in-lieu accrued at school camps. Our investment is focused on 5 priorities:
- Supporting early-career teachers
- Career development
Priority 1: Attracting more people to teaching and growing a diverse school workforce
We are building a strong and sustainable school workforce pipeline. We know that attracting our best and brightest to teaching is key to our success, and some of the biggest opportunities for new teachers exist across our secondary schools.
We will grow our teaching workforce and increase the diversity of our school workforce:
Making it free to undertake secondary teaching degrees
The Victorian Government is investing $93.2 million in scholarships for Victorians entering secondary school teaching degrees. Victorian students who enrol in a secondary school teaching degree with a Victorian ITE provider in 2024 and 2025 will be eligible for a scholarship. If recipients come and work in a Victorian Government secondary school or specialist school setting after they graduate, they will receive additional payments. The total amount for students who complete their studies and then work in a Victorian Government school will match the standard HELP fees charged by the Commonwealth Government. The Victorian Department of Education already provides teachers with full scholarships for Masters qualifications to teach in specialist settings.
New undergraduate employment-based teaching degree programs
Victoria will introduce new employment-based teaching degree programs for undergraduate students. These programs, to be trialled with an investment of $13.9 million, will provide the opportunity for people to study and qualify as a teacher while undertaking paid employment in a school. One of our areas of focus will be employment-based undergraduate teaching degree programs for people who work in specialist schools and want to train to be a specialist school teacher.
We’re providing payments to help teaching students cover the cost of doing placements in rural and regional schools
We are investing $32.2 million to support pre-service teachers to undertake their placements in rural, regional, remote and specialist schools. This will assist students with a range of living costs associated with moving to and working in rural and regional areas for the duration of their placement.
Teach the Future recruitment campaign
We’re investing $4 million to continue the Teach the Future campaign to raise the profile of teaching and attract more people to the profession.
First Nations school workforce attraction and retention strategy
We’re investing $13.6 million to attract and retain First Nations People to the school workforce.
Teach Today and Teach Tomorrow employment-based teaching degree programs
We have invested $59.4 million in the Teach Today and Teach Tomorrow employment-based teaching degree programs. Across 2023, 2024 and 2025, these programs will provide up to 1,200 places for teaching degree students to work in schools while studying to become qualified teachers.
Priority 2: Ensuring all schools, in all parts of the state, can attract and retain the workforce they need
We are supporting all schools, in all parts of the state, to access the workforce they need. We need to help get our best teachers to the schools that need them most.
We have a range of initiatives in place to support schools experiencing workforce challenges:
Targeted Financial Incentives
The Victorian Government is investing $27.0 million in our Targeted Financial Incentives program. This provides incentives of up to $50,000 (before tax) to assist teachers to relocate to hard to staff roles in rural and regional government schools. We have already provided over 600 incentives to support teachers to move to the schools that need them most.
Graduate Teacher Recruitment Initiative
We are providing graduates with financial incentives of up to $5,650 to take up teaching roles at government schools.
Teach Rural pilot program
We are working with Country Education Partnership to deliver a Teach Rural pilot program to support teaching students to undertake placements in rural and regional schools.
Recruitment Support Service
This service provides tailored recruitment advice and support to government schools with the most significant staffing challenges.
International Teacher Recruitment
The Victorian Budget 2022/23 provided $4.5 million to recruit international teachers to Victorian Government schools. We have also established a Migration Support Service to provide all Victorian Government schools with access to free migration legal advice to assist with school led international teacher recruitment and retention.
Priority 3: Providing the best career start for new teachers
We are supporting graduate teachers to flourish. This helps our schools to provide a great education for every Victorian student.
Expansion of Career Start
We have invested more than $169 million in the Career Start initiative, an Australian-first program which supports our graduates through mentoring, time release and professional supports. This includes a further investment of $95.7 million from 2024 to more than quadruple the annual capacity, meaning the majority of government schools will have access to this program by 2025. Roughly 3,200 graduates will benefit over the next two school years. This is a major investment in developing, supporting and retaining our future teaching workforce.
Priority 4: Retaining our school workforce
We are working to retain our hard working and highly skilled teachers and school leaders. It is also important that we assist registered teachers, not currently teaching, to return to and remain in the profession.
We are investing in important initiatives to support and retain our workforce:
Reduction in maximum face-to-face teaching time
The Victorian Government Schools Agreement 2022 included a landmark reduction in the maximum face-to-face teaching hours for primary, secondary and specialist school teachers by 1 hour in 2023, with a further reduction of 30 minutes in 2024. Through additional funding of $779 million, this initiative gives our teachers with more time to plan and collaborate and means our teachers will have the lowest face-to-face teaching time of government school teachers across the country.
Time in lieu arrangements for school camps
We are providing $130.5 million to support schools to implement time in lieu arrangements for school camps. This includes backfilling teachers and providing new payments for teachers attending overnight camps.
Returning Teacher Support Service
In late 2022 we commenced the ‘teacher re-engagement’ program with over 1100 teachers expressing their interest to return to the government school workforce. The Victorian Budget 2023/24 provided $12 million for concrete supports to build the skills and confidence of these teachers so that they can return to our schools.
Priority 5: Providing exciting career pathways, flexible working arrangements and opportunities to grow and develop
We want our teachers, principals and school support staff to see opportunities to grow and develop throughout their career. Access to part time and flexible working arrangements is important in facilitating those opportunities.
We are investing in the development of our workforce. We are also supporting schools with flexible working arrangements:
Victorian Academy of Teaching and Leadership
The $148.2 million Academy is an Australian first. It provides opportunities for teachers and leaders across the school workforce to improve their skills and deliver better education.
Flexible work for school leaders initiative
We are facilitating flexible working arrangements for the Victorian Government school workforce. In May 2023, we announced funding to support part time and flexible working arrangements for school leaders.
National Teacher Workforce Action Plan
In December 2022, the Australian Government released a National Teacher Workforce Action Plan (NTWAP) — developed in collaboration with State and Territory Governments and key stakeholders. The NTWAP outlines 27 national actions to address teaching workforce shortages. Victoria is working closely with the Australian Government and other States and Territories to implement the NTWAP.
Reviewed 12 September 2023