Aspiring educators go bush in new pilot program

Aspiring educators go bush in new pilot program

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photo: SHUTTERSTOCK

photo: SHUTTERSTOCK

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A new pilot program aims to relocate subject specialists to teach in country schools.

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A civil engineer, pharmacy assistant and career musician will take up teaching roles in regional and remote SA under a pilot program that recruits and trains subject specialists to teach in country schools.

The state government has partnered with Teach for Australia to deliver a pilot of the TFA Leadership Development Program, which recruits talented graduates, young professionals and career changers - with the goal of developing them into highly-effective teachers and leaders.

The first three 'Associates' to take part in the inaugural pilot all have Bachelor degrees in hard-to-fill subject areas and will commence employment in a regional or remote school while undertaking their Masters in Teaching (Secondary), receiving formal mentorship over two years.

The trio has already completed the initial component of the Masters in Teaching in preparation for the classroom and will start in term 1 this year.

Roxby Downs Area School will get two STEM teachers in Rebecca Magee and Joshua Biermann.

Rebecca, who is relocating from Melbourne, has a Bachelor of Biomedical Science, is a tutor, and worked previously as a pharmacy assistant, while Joshua, from Brisbane, has a Bachelor of Engineering and worked as a civil engineer.

David Drummond, who is a career musician and music teacher with a Bachelor of Music, will relocate from Adelaide to teach music subjects at Stuart High School in Whyalla.

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Education Minister John Gardner said the program was designed to support the recruitment and retention of subject specialists to teaching roles in regional, rural and remote schools.

"There is a specific focus on harder-to-staff subjects like Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) and Music," he said.

"Associates with these skills are needed and we're thrilled to support this pilot to help regional and remote schools attract specialist teachers.

"TFA has been used effectively in other states and I'm excited to see how it performs in SA to meet some of the recruitment challenges in regional locations."

A second cohort of Associates will be recruited and commence work in 2022 as part of the pilot program.

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