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Teacher Re-Engagement Initiative

The Teacher Re-Engagement Initiative (TREI) supports returning teachers through placements.

Supporting the growth and development of returning teachers

The Teacher Re-Engagement Initiative (TREI) supports returning teachers through placements of up to 40 days in Victorian government schools to:

  • build teacher's confidence and readiness to return to the school workforce,
  • support schools with a range of needs including mentoring of provisionally registered teachers, student learning where appropriate, and
  • alleviate the pressure of the current workforce and serve as a recruitment opportunity for schools and returning teachers where there are suitable vacant positions.

TREI will support the return of the following teachers:

  1. Teachers on a career break with no ongoing connection to a school, including teachers with provisional, full and non-practicing VIT registration.
  2. Newly retired teachers. Registered teachers, retired within the past 1 to 3 years, who schools wish to engage because of their experience and skill.

TREI Process

The department encourages principals to identify and offer placements to returning teachers in their community or professional networks who have been out of the teaching workforce for greater than 1 year. Alternatively, principals can register their interest for TREI and be matched with returning teachers who expressed an interest through the Returning Teacher Support Service (RTSS).

Principals and returning teachers will negotiate a placement of up to 40 days to be completed within one semester, subject to school quotas. Principals will determine teachers’ activities during their placement and will need to consider the best way to support the teacher to return to the school workforce.

TREI is designed to help returning teachers re-familiarise themselves with the school environment. Returning teachers will receive support and mentoring which will provide a reintroduction to the school environment and to observe the day-to-day life of a teacher who will mentor them throughout their placement.

TREI provides the opportunity for returning teachers to experience what it is like to be in a school through support, mentoring and observations. Engaging a returning teacher is a beneficial experience for both the school and the returning teacher, contributing to the growth and development of the education sector.

Re-engaging teachers

Re-engaging teachers

Re-engaging teachers in classrooms

Returning teachers currently not working in a school may initially require greater support. Examples of school-based activities to re-engage these teachers include:

  • classroom and PLC observations
  • individual student learning conferences, feedback and goal setting
  • in school professional learning, including collegiate discussions
  • observation and guided organisational/administrational duties with a teaching and learning focus such as student assessments, data analysis and lesson planning.

'I need initial support after a long gap of teaching. I would like to do classroom observations.'

'I am a nervous that I am not up to date with current practices.'

'I am worried about the amount of technology that is now involved in teaching. Things like surveys, tests, data entry, online lesson plans, results and emails.'

'I no longer have a network of school teaching colleagues to assist me with returning to teaching in schools.'

Re-engaging teachers to support schools more broadly

Returning retired teachers are more likely to take on roles that support schools. Examples of the activities these cohorts may re-engage with include:

  • mentoring provisionally registered teachers, including regular CRTs
  • individual student learning conferences, feedback and goal setting
  • supporting and mentoring in organisational/administrational duties with a teaching and learning focus such as student assessments, data analysis, lesson planning timetables and daily organising
  • assisting in extra curricula activities.

'I need hours suited to me as a mother of 3 little ones.'

'I retired 3 years ago at 63 and would consider a one or two term contract position.'

'I just retired but would be happy to explore part time options.'

Download Re-engaging teachers

Expression of Interest

To participate in the initiative, please complete the most relevant expression of interest (EOI) form below:

  • Joint EOI: if your school has identified and agreed on placement arrangements with a known returning teacher in your community, submit a Joint EOIExternal Link .
  • School EOI: if you are a school and yet to find a returning teacher, complete the School EOIExternal Link and we will search for a returning teacher from the RTSS.
  • Returning Teacher EOI: if you are a returning teacher and yet to find a school, complete the Returning Teacher EOIExternal Link and we will search for a school.

Teachers on extended parental leave

Teachers that have been on extended parental leave for greater than 2 years are able to access up to 40 days temporary resumptionExternal Link to support their transition back to work at their base school. Once the returning teacher and their base school have determined the arrangements of a placement, a Joint EOI form (above) should be completed. Please contact the team for further information.


For further information about the TREI, please contact us at

Reviewed 19 September 2023


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