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New incentives to attract and retain teachers
Federation has continued to campaign for increased levels of funding and strategies to attract and retain teachers at rural and remote public schools in NSW.
With the introduction of the needs-based funding model in 2014 — under the National Education Reform Agreement (NERA) between the states and the Commonwealth set up under the Gonski reform recommendations — Federation sought funding to be allocated to central programs that helped close the gap between the outcomes of rural and metropolitan students in the public education system.
Federation welcomes the NSW Department of Education’s commitment to work closely with the teachers' union to develop, fund and implement the following additional recruitment and retention strategies to:
- increase scholarships to attract graduate teachers to work in hard-to-staff locations
- provide appointment bonuses of $10,000 to schools experiencing difficulties filling a vacancy
- convert temporary teachers to permanent status in 6 and 8-point incentive transfer schools
- provide Flexible Incentive packages — up to $30,000 for teachers in 4, 6 and 8-point Connected Community schools and 6 and 8-point Rural and Remote incentive transfer schools
- provide priority transfers for Connected Community Executive Principals
- provide an Experienced Teacher Benefit — $10,000 per annum for up to five years for teachers in 6 and 8-point incentive transfer schools and 4, 6 and 8-point Connected Community schools
- provide the Retention Benefit — $5000 per annum for 10 years in eligible incentive transfer schools.
Such improvements to teachers’ employment and living conditions are critically important developments that will achieve greater stability in permanent staffing and also provide for continuity of teaching and learning for students in rural and remote public school communities.
Further advice will be provided to all Federation members in the form of articles in the journal Education and advice leaflets.
Members are encouraged to attend local Association and workplace Federation meetings to hear more about the new incentives that will be beginning next year.
Brett Bertalli, Country Organiser