26 September 2023

New program to send teachers rural

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Hundreds of student teachers are to be brought into Government schools in rural and regional communities as part of a newly launched pilot program.

Announcing the Teach Rural pilot, Minister for Education, Natalie Hutchins said the program would support up to 200 student teachers – or pre-service teachers (PSTs) – to undertake placements at Government primary and secondary schools across the State in 2023 and 2024.

“The Teach Rural program involves coordinating and supporting groups of participating pre-service teachers to undertake placements in clusters of rural and regional schools, including in East Gippsland, Wimmera, Mallee and North-East Victoria,” Ms Hutchins said.

“Placements will benefit schools in St Arnaud, Bairnsdale, Wangaratta, Tallangatta, the Otways and Swan Hill,” she said.

“The initiative provides participants with a suite of supports to facilitate the placements and welcome them into the local school and community, addressing barriers that can include relocation, costs of accommodation and isolation during placement period.”

Ms Hutchins said the first placements for the program began this week, with groups of teaching students from the University of Melbourne commencing four-week placements at schools in Tallangatta and Wangaratta.

She said that support for Teach Rural participants included subsidised placement accommodation, a group welcome event, a welcome meal with the host school principal or mentor, welcome packs with community information, a cluster peer network and support for mentor teachers to induct their PSTs into the schools.

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