Leadership Development Program

Teach and lead from day one through the Teach For Australia Leadership Development Program. Challenge yourself to break the cycle of educational inequity, all while finishing your Master of Teaching (Secondary) (Leading Learning).

Kath – Cohort 2019 read her story

  • Duration: Two years
  • Full salary and benefits provided 
  • Earn a Masters of Teaching (Secondary) (Leading Learning) through ACU on an assisted scholarship
  • Receive one-on-one coaching and mentoring to accelerate personal, professional and academic growth
  • Teach in subject areas directly related to your previous studies 
  • Make a difference from day one teaching secondary school level classes ranging from Year 7 to 12

01 About the program

As it stands, not every child in Australia has access to the education they deserve: children from the lowest income households are on average three years behind in school. Teach For Australia seeks to break the cycle of educational inequity, to level the playing field for young people across Australia by recruiting and developing leaders in education.

Over two years, as an Associate in our award-winning Leadership Development Program, you’ll teach subject areas directly related to your previous studies – and you’ll become part of a dedicated community committed to tackling educational inequity.

As a leader in the classroom, you’ll share your passions with young people and act as a role model and mentor. You’ll develop the skills and experience to enable you to lead effectively, with the opportunity to make a tangible positive impact on students, schools and communities – every single day.

You will teach in subject areas directly related to previous studies (regardless of whether you have just graduated or are more than 10 years out) and in accordance with the subject requirements of placement schools. All Associates teach secondary school level classes ranging from Year 7 to Year 12.

02 Coaching and support

Teaching is not an easy profession – and the nature of the program is even more challenging. We provide Associates with a comprehensive network to support their professional development and successful completion of the program, and to maintain their health and wellbeing.

Your Teaching and Leadership Adviser (TLA) is an experienced teacher who will provide rigorous one-on-one coaching, regular classroom observations and pastoral care to guide your development as a teacher and leader throughout the program.

Your ACU Academic Mentor will support and supervise your progress throughout the degree and guide your achievement of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

Your School Mentor will be an experienced teacher at your placement school who will provide day-to-day practical support and assists with integration into life at the school and within the local community.

The Teach For Australia community is a national network of leaders who share best practice, emotional support and collaboration towards achieving change. Each member of the cohort will have different passions, interests, skill sets and strengths, but you will share the Teach For Australia experience and commitment to tackling educational disadvantage.

Associates are able to access all ACU Student Services including course and assessment advice, administrative support and health and wellbeing services, regardless of placement location.

Associates can also connect with the global network of leaders around the world as part of the Teach For All network, with Alumni available to discuss international education and classroom best practice, school leadership, social innovation and policy.

03 Salary and assisted scholarship

Associates’ salaries are comparable to other graduate teachers, and increase as commensurate with experience and progression.

During the program, Associates are employed and paid by the relevant government department of education or school. Salaries and other employment conditions will vary depending on the state or territory of placement.

The majority of program costs are covered by Teach For Australia, in partnership with the Australian Government, on an assisted scholarship. Associates are required to contribute a portion towards the Master’s degree, with access to FEE-HELP for these payments (eligibility requirements apply).

04 Eligibility

All candidates must meet four criteria to be eligible to apply for the Leadership Development program.

  • You must be an Australian citizen or Permanent Resident at time of applying (New Zealand citizens must have Australian Permanent Residency at the time of applying).
  • You must hold a Bachelor degree in a discipline other than teaching by end of the year.
  • You must be willing to accept a placement within one of our jurisdictions.
  • Be able to enrol in at least two learning areas (see below).

In order to be eligible to enrol in a learning area you must have a minimum of 75% of a year of study in one area (major) and 50% of a year of study in a second (minor).

05 Program structure

Several components make up the program to ensure you are continually supported and developing throughout the two years.


National Initial Intensive

The program starts in November 2021 with a residential training program. It’s designed to prepare you with the foundations for entering the classroom: you’ll complete a portion of your Master’s and connect with peers from within your cohort and beyond.

Teaching & leadership development

Once you begin teaching in 2022, you’ll develop your teaching and leadership skills throughout the program through first-hand teaching experience, continuing your Master’s and one-on-one coaching and mentoring.

Earning your Master of Teaching

Delivered in partnership with ACU and embedded within the program. Associates will complete a nationally accreditied and internationally recognised Master of Teaching (Secondary) (Leading Learning) in 2023.

06 Selection process

Teach For Australia Associates don’t start out as teachers. In fact, they come from all academic disciplines and career backgrounds. Throughout our  selection process, we assess for eight competencies we know are present in excellent teachers and leaders

Register your interest

The first step in your Leadership Development Journey: Register your interest so that a Teach For Australia recruitment team member can help you through the application process.

Online application & assessment

The application is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your past experience and why you want to participate in the program. After you submit your application, you will be sent a link to register for web-based gamification assessment (hosted by Arctic Shores). All candidates must complete both parts of stage one in order to progress.

Interview (conducted virtually via Zoom)

If your online application is successful, you’ll be invited for a 45-minute interview, allowing us to better understand your experiences and motivations.

Selection Day

If you progress to this stage, you’ll be invited to a day of assessment activities including a a sample teaching lesson, mock parent-teacher interview, and group activity.

Throughout the process, we assess candidates many times and in numerous ways to ensure you have several opportunities to demonstrate your abilities, skills and experiences. We are looking for your ability to demonstrate the following eight competencies, which are based on evidence of effectiveness in the classroom:

  • Leadership: Have you made meaningful contributions during university, extracurricular activities and/or work? Have you demonstrated leadership of people or processes in your endeavours?
  • Commitment to our vision and mission: Are you eager to bring about change and make a difference in the lives of the students you teach? Do you passionately and actively believe in the power of education as a force for social justice?
  • Communication and influencing ability: Are you a clear and confident communicator? Are you able to influence and motivate others? Do you have maturity and presence? Are you an active listener?
  • Problem solving: Are you able to think critically, analyse information and generate relevant solutions to problems? Can you adapt quickly to new information?
  • Organisational and planning ability: Are you able to plan, organise and prioritise your activities effectively to meet deadlines?
  • Resilience: Are you willing to work hard with resilience and optimism to overcome obstacles? Do you relish a challenge and are you driven to succeed?
  • Humility, respect and empathy: Do you operate with humility? Do you show respect and empathy towards others? Do you look for the best in the people around you?
  • Learning and self-evaluation: Are you open to learning from others and do you seek out opportunities to do so? Do you take ownership for development with regards to your own performance?

07 Placement

We place Associates exclusively in schools serving low socioeconomic communities, working in the regions and communities that need the most support. Working in close collaboration with fellow Associates, teachers, school leaders and the community, participants are generally placed in a cluster within the same school and schools nearby, increasing the opportunity for impact within the communities we operate in.

Conditional offer

If you are successful at a Selection Day, we will extend you a conditional offer.


Once you’ve been placed, we encourage you to connect with your school and plan for potential relocation before commencing teaching in early 2022.

The placement process begins in September and runs through until December. We exist to meet school demand and the majority of placements are confirmed by mid-November. However, a number of Associates commence training at National Initial Intensive before their placement is confirmed.

08 FAQs

What is the Leadership Development Program?

Over two years, you will:

  • Teach at a school serving a low socioeconomic community, with full salary and benefits.
  • Earn a Master of Teaching (Secondary) (Professional Practice) through ACU on an assisted scholarship.
  • Receive one-on-one coaching and mentoring to accelerate personal, professional and academic growth.

After the program, am I still eligible to teach?

Yes. After completion of the two year program, you will receive a nationally accredited teaching qualification. You can teach throughout Australia, in primary schools, as well as many countries overseas.


Do you just teach secondary students, or is it primary school too?

We currently only place our Associates in secondary schools.

How do I know if I’m eligible?

To be eligible for the Leadership Development Program, you need to meet the following criteria:

  1. You must be an Australian citizen or Permanent Resident at time of applying (New Zealand citizens must have Australian Permanent Residency at the time of applying).
  2. You must hold a Bachelor degree in a discipline other than teaching by end of the year.
  3. You must be willing to accept a placement within Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania or the Northern Territory.
  4. Be able to enrol in at least two learning areas.

09 Attend an event

The best way to find out if this is the program for you is to join us at an information session or workshop. You’ll learn more about our work, the program and what we look for in applicants.

10 Meet our Associates & Alumni

Our Associates come from a diverse range of backgrounds, and many had never considered teaching before joining the program. But our community shares a passion and lifelong commitment to helping achieve equity in education.

Friday, January 8th, 2021
Read more
Friday, January 8th, 2021
Read more
Friday, January 8th, 2021
Read more

Leadership Development Program