Bulli’s Waniora Public School among first to take-up innovative new approach to teacher training

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STAFF working at Bulli’s Waniora Public School will be among the first in the state to participate in an innovative new approach to teacher training.

The innovative approach to teacher training in regional NSW has proven successful and is now being doubled to accommodate demand from aspiring teachers.  

While the Grow Your Own Teacher Training program initially planned to support up to 100 School Learning Support Officers (SLSOs) to upskill and study teaching degrees while working in local schools, its popularity now means the program will double to 200 participants in 2023 alone, with another 300 set to commence in 2024 and 2025

State MP for Heathcote, Lee Evans said the program’s success was no surprise and was a big win for local students.

“Support staff have strong ties to their local community and are already doing fantastic work supporting students in our schools,” Mr Evans said.

“This program is removing barriers for them to pursue their dream of becoming a teacher without having to travel away from home, so it’s no wonder it’s proving so popular.”  

“Congratulations to the Waniora Public School staff who are starting their teacher training, I wish them every success.”

Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell said the program is part of a range of programs to diversify teacher supply, with SLSOs remaining employed in their school while they complete their study. 

“Regional areas are incredible places to live and work, and now thanks to this program more people can train to become teachers without leaving their local communities,” Ms Mitchell said.  

Ms Mitchell said there are about 45,000 support staff across NSW schools, representing a large proportion of the workforce and a rich talent pool.  

“This program is about modernising teaching pathways in NSW and encouraging people already working in our schools to take the next step by becoming a teacher,” Ms Mitchell said. 

The NSW Department of Education has partnered with Charles Sturt University and Western Sydney University to deliver the Grow Your Own Teacher Training program. 

Participants receive a $10,000 training allowance per year (up to $30,000 for the degree) and can work part-time as an educational paraprofessional in their final four semesters of study.   

The Grow Your Own Teacher Training program is complemented by the Grow Your Own Community Entry Pathway, which encourages year 12 students and community members living in rural and regional areas to explore a career in teaching.  

The Grow Your Own program is part of the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government’s Teacher Supply Strategy. Building on our existing successful pipeline of teachers, the strategy will deliver 3,700 teachers with the right subject qualifications placed in locations of need over the next 10 years. In just over a year, the Strategy has delivered 460 current and trainee teachers. 

For more information HERE

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About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of Australian pubs and associated industries for over 30 years. He is working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick managed several community newspapers. He has been editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), the Sydney city newspaper, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.


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