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Mon. May 20th, 2024

A pilot of a new program to encourage young people to become teachers will be run at 13 local schools, delivered by the University of New England and youth development organisation Creating Chances.

Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall announced the pilot has been awarded a $410,222 State Government grant for a new program designed to support Years 9-11 students’ employment pathways. Mr Marshall said the program would pilot the Growing Great Teachers (GGT) Strategy at 13 identified primary, central and high schools across Armidale, Tamworth, Glen Innes, Guyra and Uralla.

“The Growing Great Teachers program aims to build school employment pathways for future teachers, school learning support officers, community liaison offers and Aboriginal education officers,” Mr Marshall said.

“Core skills in the program include leadership, teaching and coaching, planning, and communication – I have no doubt these skills will be useful in future employment.

“With acute teacher shortages being experienced in many schools across country NSW at the moment, especially in key subject areas, this new program comes at a most propitious time.

“I hope Growing Great Teachers will inspire, encourage and open up a pathway for school students to go on to university and into long successful teaching careers.

“Congratulations to Dr Kristy O’Neill on this initiative and for securing the funds to turn it into reality.”

Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of New England Dr Kristy O’Neill said they were excited to receive the funding.

“We are thrilled to secure this grant to benefit youth in the New England region,” Dr O’Neill said.

“Our local youth have identified skill development for career pathways as a top priority to address their needs.

“The Growing Great Teachers program developed in collaboration with the NSW Department of Education has timely benefits for our region.

“The applied research that Professor Pep Baker and I will be conducting around this project has potential to provide a best practice model in addressing the problem of critical teacher shortages more broadly across NSW and Australia.”

The planning phase identified with schools will commence in Term 2, 2023 with a Term 3 launch.

The Minns Government has also moved to assist teachers reduce the burden of administration, which is causing many teachers to leave the profession. Earlier this week they announced that they had halved more than 70 mandated changes that were to come into effect in Term 2, and could be consulting teachers on other things they could cut.

Top image: Senior Lecturer in Education Dr Kristy O’Neill, left, Creating Chances Ben Lawry, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall and Creating Chances Head Facilitator Emily Hikaiti at the University of New England.

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