Financial boost for future Victorian teachers welcomed

Claire Halliday
Claire Halliday

An announcement by the Victorian Government to cover the costs of secondary teaching degrees for future teaching students has been welcomed by Australian Catholic University.

The $93.2 million scholarship program means students who enrol in secondary teaching degrees in 2024 and 2025 will be able to study for free in Victoria, with final payments only if they commit to working in Victorian government schools for two years after they graduate.

The move aims to support around 4000 future teachers each year, the state government claims.

The total scholarship for Victorian students completing their degree and then working in government high schools in the state will be $18,000 for a four-year undergraduate program, or $9000 for two years of post-graduate study.

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Attracting and retaining teachers matters

ACU Executive Dean of Education and Arts Professor Mary Ryan said as Australia’s largest provider of graduate teachers, all efforts to attract and support preservice teachers were a step in the right direction.

“We welcome the move to provide financial support for teaching students at a time when cost of living pressures could be the difference between someone being able to study at university or not,” she said.

“However, we know financial incentives are not enough on their own to counter the teacher shortage. We need to continue to reduce workloads and administrative burdens for teachers as well as ensure graduate teachers have the mentorship they need to thrive in the profession.”

Professor Ryan said while the announcement was aimed at attracting preservice teachers to Government secondary schools, primary schools, and all school sectors were feeling the brunt of the national teacher shortage and would benefit from such support.

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“We know the teacher shortage is not isolated to one part of the country or one sector. It would be ideal to have measures like this one announced by the Victorian Government implemented across all jurisdictions to help boost the pipeline of teachers into our schools,” she said.

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Claire Halliday has an extensive career as a full-time writer - across book publishing, copywriting, podcasting and feature journalism - for more than 25 years. She lives in Melbourne with children, two border collies and a grumpy Burmese cat. Contact: claire.halliday[at]