20 May 2024

Big bonuses offered to NSW teachers willing to move to regional schools

| Chris Roe
Start the conversation
A program offering incentives to encourage teachers to move to the regions has been expanded.

A program offering incentives to encourage teachers to move to the regions has been expanded. Photo: JohnnyGreig.

NSW teachers are being offered bonuses of up to $28,000 in an attempt to lure more educators to work in the regions and hard-to-recruit areas.

Another 26 schools will be added to the Priority Recruitment Support program which offers a bonus of up to $20,000 and a relocation support package of up to $8000.

“We are committed to providing teachers where they are needed the most to ensure every student has the same educational opportunities, no matter where they live,” said Deputy Premier and Minister for Education and Early Learning Prue Car.

“Having a qualified teacher in front of every class is key to lifting student outcomes, and we are working hard to attract and retain teachers in areas where the teacher shortage is most acute.”

READ ALSO National Volunteer Week: time to say thanks to our unsung heroes

At its worst, the teacher shortage exceeded 3000 vacancies, resulting in an average of 10,000 lessons missing a teacher every day and schools being forced to merge and cancel classes.

Recent data from the NSW Education Department identified almost 2000 full-time teaching positions that remain unfilled, with the highest vacancies in regional and rural schools.

However, the figures released in February showed a 20 per cent drop in the number of teacher vacancies in the first week of the 2024 school year compared to 12 months prior.

Executive Director of Regional Rural and Remote Implementation, Dean White, said the program was already showing results, with 615 teachers placed in permanent positions in the past year.

“The expansion of the Priority Recruitment Support program is one part of the Rural and Remote Education Implementation Plan that supports teachers wanting to teach outside major metropolitan areas,” he said.

“Combined with our other supports, these initiatives are giving teachers even more reason to experience the satisfaction and rewards that come with teaching in communities outside the major centres.”

Prue Car outside MRHS

Education Minister Prue Car on a visit to Griffith in June 2023. Photo: Supplied.

The expansion brings the total number of schools receiving intensive support to 111, including Bega, Braidwood, Cootamundra, Goulburn, Jindabyne, Leeton, Narranderra and Wagga Wagga.

In addition to recruitment and relocation support, eligible teachers could also qualify for 50 to 90 per cent rental subsidy , annual retention bonuses, experienced teacher benefits and stamp duty relief payments up to $10,000.

In 2023, Murrumbidgee Regional High School in Griffith experienced the worst shortages in NSW, reporting up to 40 vacant teaching positions across English, maths, history, commerce, PDHPE and science.

READ ALSO Non-surgical option for heart valve repair now on the table in Wollongong

The so-called ”super school” was created in 2018 when Griffith High and Wade High were merged and is due to be de-merged later this year.

In term four of 2023, the school had 18 full-time vacancies and earlier this year, was forced to advertise for a third time to recruit a new principal.

Teaching roles currently advertised at the school include the Priority Recruitment Support program bonuses and offer salary packages of $145,985 to $157,842.

Original Article published by Chris Roe on Region Riverina.

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Want the best Illawarra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Illawarra stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.