The State Government has welcomed moves by The University of Western Australia to offer a primary teacher education program in 2009.
Launching the program today, Education and Training Minister Mark McGowan said it was an important step in building up the supply of teachers to meet the needs of Government and non-Government school systems.
“Western Australia has a growing population and therefore needs more teachers,” Mr McGowan said.
“Compounding that problem, our existing teaching workforce is ageing and the number of new people entering undergraduate teaching has been declining over the years.
“As a State we have to grow the supply of teachers by attracting more people into teaching, and we have to extend the careers of existing teachers.
“This initiative by UWA will deliver its first teachers in 2011 and will make a major contribution to the quantity and quality of teachers in this State.”
The Minister said he hoped making WA Government school teachers the best paid of all States and offering location allowances of up to $19,000 per year, would make the profession more attractive.
However, he said the State had introduced several other strategies to attract and retain teachers including:
· lucrative scholarships worth up to $60,000 to secure teaching graduates for remote locations and specialist subjects;
· a big increase in graduate teacher pay;
· converting 400 fixed-term contract country teachers to permanency;
· new superannuation arrangements to keep older teachers in the workforce;
· interstate and overseas recruitment campaigns; and
· providing a low interest loan to Notre Dame University for the expansion of their teacher education faculty.
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