Trial to get more teachers to NSW regions

NSW will trial 'a hub and spoke' system of schools to try to make regional teaching more attractive.
NSW will trial 'a hub and spoke' system of schools to try to make regional teaching more attractive.

A trial program targeting NSW regional schools with the worst teacher shortages will start in term one next year.

NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said it was the second pilot program designed to bring more teachers to regional NSW.

"It can be difficult to attract and retain teachers in rural and remote areas for a number of reasons including travel distances, lack of suitable accommodation close to schools and limited opportunities for teachers to access professional learning," she said in a statement on Wednesday.

A "hub and spoke" pilot will provide teachers employed in a 'hub' school, who can also be sent to nearby 'spoke' schools.

"Through this pilot, up to 12 teachers will be employed and will be able to be deployed quickly to a nearby spoke school to cover classes," she said.

"It will also provide certainty to casual teachers, knowing they have a permanent position."

The program targets schools with the greatest reported shortages and grouping them in travel distance clusters to reduce average commuting times to less than an hour.

Ms Mitchell also said an in-built relief model first piloted last year, would be extended to carefully selected schools next term.

"One temporary teacher will be embedded in each school to provide relief when permanent teachers are unavailable due to professional development or illness."

The trials will improve working conditions in rural and remote schools by: reducing commuting time, offering longer engagements, offering temporary or permanent appointments that include leave and other benefits, providing employment certainty, as well as investing in professional development and learning.

Australian Associated Press