Teaching students now have double the incentive to complete their final teaching practice in rural public schools in the Kimberley, Pilbara and Goldfields.
After visiting the Kimberley this week, Education and Training Minister Mark McGowan said this year the maximum travel and living allowance on the Rural Teaching Program had increased from $140 per week to $240 per week.
“Rural public schools offer a world of opportunities for student teachers, and the increased allowance offers a great incentive to students,” Mr McGowan said.
“The boost to the travel and living allowance is also consistent with the Twomey report’s recommendation to increase the level of funding to support rural and remote practicum placements.
“In addition to experiencing country life, student teachers are provided with a chance to hone their craft in a small and supportive community, surrounded by dedicated teachers.
“Student teachers are enthusiastic, filled with fresh ideas and are eager to learn about teaching in a rural setting - it’s a win for everyone involved.”
The program is attracting interstate students to rural Western Australia, particularly thanks to a partnership between the Department of Education and Training and the University of Tasmania (UTAS).
“The University of Tasmania agreement and the Rural Teaching Program (RTP) were part of the WA Government’s plan to encourage more teachers to work in rural schools,” the Minister said.
“There is currently a surplus of teaching graduates in Tasmania and by coming to WA these graduates receive all the rewards of working in a rural school, an exciting travel opportunity and, most importantly, job security.”
The partnership with UTAS includes a range of recruitment initiatives to attract final year student teachers, including promotional opportunities and involvement in the UTAS Remote Communities Program.
This program educates Tasmanian student teachers about the cultural, regional and location issues related to teaching in remote communities, including those in WA.
In first semester this year, 92 student teachers took part in the Rural Teaching Program, including 10 students from Tasmania.
With already significant interest in the RTP for this coming semester, the number of participants for 2008 is set to dramatically exceed the 108 students who took part in 2007.
Two student teachers took part in the Rural Teaching Program by completing their teaching practice in the Kimberley last semester, and so far nine have applied to complete their practice in the Kimberley this coming semester.
The RTP includes a travel allowance and living allowance to student teachers completing their final teaching practice in the Albany, Bunbury, Esperance, Goldfields, Kimberley, Midlands, Mid-West, Narrogin, Pilbara and Warren-Blackwood education districts, and parts of the Peel region.
Final year student teachers have until July 11 to apply for the Rural Teaching Program.
To apply, student teachers must be enrolled in a course leading to a teaching qualification at the end of 2008, have arranged a final teaching practice in a rural public school and have a course average of 60 per cent or better.
More information and application forms are available by visiting http://www.det.wa.edu.au/teachingwa/
Alternatively, call 9264 5336 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Minister's office - 9222 9111