Leadership Development Program

Welcoming 156 new teachers to combat shortages

Thursday, February 22nd, 2024

In a bold initiative to address shortages and uplift education in communities experiencing disadvantage, 156 new teachers have kickstarted their professional careers through Teach for Australia’s (TFA) flagship Leadership Development Program (LDP).  

TFA recruits and supports high-calibre individuals to become exceptional teachers and leaders fast tracking them from other careers or degrees into low socio-economic and remote, rural and regional areas, through an employment-based postgraduate pathway. 

Among this year’s new teachers, over 50 per cent have switched to teaching from other careers or professional backgrounds, while nearly half are recent graduates.  

CEO Melodie Potts Rosevear said the program is helping to address pervasive teacher shortages and retention issues where they are most acute.  

“Amidst national teacher shortages, Teach For Australia has continued its success recruiting high quality career changers and other graduates into teaching in regional, rural and remote areas and communities experiencing disadvantage,” Ms Potts Rosevear said.  

“The innovative program provides an alternative, effective pathway into teaching, attracting talented individuals who may not have considered a career in education. They are also more likely to remain in the profession. In 2023, over 85 per cent of the program’s Alumni were still working in the education sector,” Ms. Potts Rosevear added.   

“The new teachers bring with them diverse expertise, work experience and the desire to make a positive impact on their students. We’re pleased that over 40 per cent of them will be teaching science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects, aligning with TFA’s ongoing focus to address the high demand for qualified STEM educators.”  

Kate Strong is in her first year of teaching through the LDP, teaching animal production, plant production and maths at the Western Australian College of Agriculture – Cunderdin.  

With a deep passion for agriculture and working with young people, Kate brings a unique perspective to her new role. 

“Teaching at an agricultural school has really ticked all the boxes for me. Agriculture is not only an industry that I have experience in, but it’s also a passion of mine that I want to share with everyone.” 

Given young women and girls are participating in STEM education at significantly lower rates than their male counterparts, Kate expressed a want to help breakdown those gender barriers by being a role model regardless of sex.

“You can’t be what you can’t see. As a young female working in agriculture myself, I hope to be able to be a support to my students and show that girls are able and worthy of working within the agricultural industry,” Ms Strong continued.

“There are new jobs being created all the time and we need the people with the skills to work in those roles more than we need boys over girls. If someone can do the job, they deserve a place in the industry.” 

In its 15th year, TFA’s LDP, which offers a two-year postgraduate employment teaching pathway, has attracted 1600 high calibre individuals to teaching, positively impacting almost 550,000 students since 2010.   

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