Leadership Development Program

Preparing for the Leadership Development Program: Part 1

Monday, March 4th, 2024

This is the first part in a series to help you know what to expect and prepare for our Leadership Development Program – from the moment you’re offered a place, to teaching in the classroom and everything in between. 

Our program has a rigorous selection process which includes a written online application, situational judgement test and Assessment Centre – bringing high-calibre, talented and passionate people into teaching each year. 

If you are successful through all these stages, and our academic partner Australian Catholic University (ACU) confirms your learning areas, you will receive a conditional offer to join the program. Congratulations!  

You’ve received an offer… what now? 

When you receive your offer, the first step will be completing a placement preference survey to help us learn more about where you’re happy to be located during the two-year program.  

We partner with secondary schools in rural, regional and low-socioeconomic areas in Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory where there is the greatest need for subject specialist teachers. 

Eliza Kramer, of Cohort 2021, grew up in Geelong, Victoria, but relocated across the state to Morwell to teach at Berry Street School during the program. 

“I was really hesitant and to be honest quite anxious to be placed elsewhere, outside my lovely bubble of Geelong – but I knew taking the risk would pay off in the end.” Eliza Kramer, 2021 Cohort 

Molly Smith relocated from Melbourne, Victoria, to teach Mathematics and Science at Tintinara Area School in South Australia as part of our 2022 Cohort.  

When she made the move, she said relocating from the city to teach in a rural area had been a challenge, but the Tintinara community had been welcoming and she felt well-supported. 

“Everyone I have been in contact with, whether from my school, other schools, TFA and ACU have been supportive and helpful.” Molly Smith, 2022 Cohort 

While being flexible and open to multiple locations will increase your placement potential, we also understand relocating isn’t possible for everyone. 

We want you to be honest when selecting your placement preferences so we can find you the best fit and set you up for success – don’t just tell us what you think we want to hear! 

Your new journey 

The placement process varies for everyone because there are so many factors involved – it could happen as early as June, or as late as December – so don’t be disheartened if it takes a little longer for you. 

Once you have been matched with a partner school, it’s time to prepare for your new career in the classroom. 

To get you ready to start teaching in your new school from Term 1, we  support you with the required onboarding and registration processes. This includes obtaining your Working With Children’s Check (or equivalent) and ensuring you are registered to teach in the relevant jurisdiction. 

You will also be connected with relocation support if you’re moving to a new community – and in some jurisdictions you’ll be able to access relocation assistance and allowances for working in remote communities. 

TFA Alumnus, Luke Hantzis, was supported by the Western Australian Government when relocating from Sydney, New South Wales, to remote WA. 

“Within the first two to three weeks literally everything had been sorted and I was well established.” Luke Hantzis, 2021 Cohort 

Preparing to begin studying 

You will begin your Masters with a Summer Semester that begins in mid-to-late October, with around 25-30 hours of mandatory self-directed coursework.  

This pre-work is to prepare you for the National Initial Intensive in November – six weeks of full-time learning before you start in the classroom. 

During this intensive period you’ll complete around 20 per cent of your Masters coursework and should dedicate a minimum of 50 hours per week to both synchronous and asynchronous learning. You’ll also complete a 10-day in-person school practicum. 

If you’re currently employed, we strongly advise you do not work during the National Initial Intensive.  It is demanding and requires your full focus. 

“It is called an intensive for a reason – expect to be working long days and exhausting your brain!” Caitlin Conway, 2014 Cohort 

Starting the Summer Semester 

In our next edition in this series, we’ll cover the Summer Semester in more detail – including what is covered in the National Initial Intensive, what to expect from your in-school practicum experience, and your regional in-person learning experience. 

Next: Part 2

About the program

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