20 April 2024

Charles Sturt University now included in program employing education students in Canberra

| Claire Fenwicke
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teacher with students

The Permit to Teach program has been expanded to another university to pay education students in their final year of study. Photo: ACT Public Schools Facebook.

Charles Sturt University education students now have the chance to earn $75,000 in their final year of study.

The ACT Government has expanded its Permit to Teach (PTT) program, offered for the first time last year to University of Canberra and Australian Catholic University students.

Last year, 61 students registered for the program.

Education Minister Yvette Berry said this had mutual benefits across the board.

“Through the agreements we have in place with universities, we are ensuring the teachers of the future are getting experience in the classroom while also being paid for the work they do,” she said.

“[The PTT program is] beneficial not only for [students] but also for our schools, who continue to face challenges due to the ongoing national teacher shortage.”

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The employment-based pathway allows final year teaching students at the select universities to gain work experience while earning about $75,000 a year.

PTT employees also receive up to six weeks’ paid placement leave.

Alfred Deakin High School is one of Canberra’s public schools which employs PTT students.

Principal Brian Downton said the students had been an “outstanding addition” to the school.

“The opportunity for them to come in and teach, while being supported by mentors, gives them a real springboard for success in our profession,” he said.

“As a school we get to mentor, mould and work with exceptional emerging educators at the very beginning of their career. This is a tremendous opportunity which, during a teacher shortage, is all the more valuable.”

It’s all part of a continued effort to tackle the teacher workforce shortage.

CSU Faculty of Arts and Education executive dean Professor John McDonald said the program was “vitally important” to attract the next generation of teachers to Canberra’s public schools.

“There is a lot of competition between the states and territories, and between the school sectors, to attract teachers,” he said.

“In cities with higher housing costs, initiatives such as this will make Canberra a more attractive option for graduating teachers to work and live.”

He said this meant CSU students would no longer have to wait until they’d completed their studies to gain employment in Canberra.

“So, they will be able to devote themselves fully to their studies and be paid to gain teaching experience in their final year,” Prof. McDonald said.

“In many cases, this will mean that students will not have to undertake unrelated part-time work to support themselves in a demanding final year of study.”

READ ALSO UC education students given even more placement opportunities through $12.8 million government agreement

Program participant Catherine Bui said being able to implement strategies as she was learning had been a great opportunity.

“To be mentored by colleagues across the school was valuable in improving pedagogy and reflection on my practice,” she said.

While fellow program participant and mature age student Sam Carters said it had also allowed him to transition to his teaching career more quickly.

“Being paid to learn on the job meant that I could teach sooner,” he said.

“I’d absolutely recommend final year teaching students sign up and get involved.”

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Great idea!

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