Free university degrees to attract teachers to remote NSW

Sixty aspiring teachers will have their HECS debt covered by the NSW government if they take up postings at one of more than 150 remote schools across the state, including at Brocklesby Public.
Sixty aspiring teachers will have their HECS debt covered by the NSW government if they take up postings at one of more than 150 remote schools across the state, including at Brocklesby Public.

Sixty aspiring teachers will have their HECS debt covered by the NSW government if they take up postings at remote schools across the state, including in Southern NSW.

Applications will open in May for the subsidy, added to the $140 million rural and remote rewards package last month.

The new scholarships, available to HSC or university students, will fully fund degrees and also include a stipend of $7500 per year to assist students with their studies, and a $6000 ‘sign-on’ bonus to help with the cost of relocation when they start their new job.

Eligible schools include Brocklesby, Jerilderie, Berrigan, Urana, Blighty, Cabramurra and Khancoban public schools.

Both public and high schools in Finley and Deniliquin are also included in the list of more than 150 locations across the state.

NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes said country schools were “the foundation that rural communities are built on”.

“This means no matter the town, wherever there are children, it must remain our priority to ensure there are well-staffed and well-resourced public schools,” he said.

“We want to attract the brightest young minds, but it is also important that they are supported by experienced mentors who will ensure the best educational outcomes are achieved for their students.”

In September Albury Preschool teacher Jacqueline Warr was awarded a Rural and Remote Early Childhood Teaching Scholarship.

The program assists diploma-qualified educators working in preschool and long day care services in rural and remote areas of the state to upgrade their qualifications to bachelor degrees.

Successful applicants can receive up to $10,000 in funding to help with the costs of study.

The next round of those scholarships will be advertised in approximately June.

Other changes to the rural and remote rewards package include:

  • Teachers who move to an eligible school will earn up to $30,000 per annum on top of their base salary depending on the school and their level of seniority
  • $10,000 ‘sign-on’ recruitment bonus for eligible positions
  • $5,000 ‘retention benefit’ paid annually up to $50,000
  • Earn up to eight transfer points per year to assist with future career locations.