Our Vision and Mission
Teach For Australia is an ambitious movement working to confront educational disadvantage in Australia.
Our vision is of an Australia where all children, regardless of background or social circumstance, are given the best chance to grasp their opportunity in the classroom and achieve their full potential.
We help do this by transforming outstanding individuals into exceptional teachers and inspirational leaders, who will shape the educational destiny of their students, and become future leaders with an influential voice in Australia’s educational dialogue.
How it all works
At the heart of our vision is our belief in teaching as leadership, and in the power of exceptional teachers to transform the lives of their students.
We attract some of our country’s most outstanding young individuals from non-educational backgrounds and empower them to pursue teaching as the cornerstone of their career journey.
Our teachers - called Associates - are placed in some of our country’s most challenging secondary schools.
They are supported by a world class model of teacher education. Our leadership program provides a pathway into further leadership, within the classroom and beyond. Our Alumni will contribute to, and one day lead, the conversation about eradicating educational disadvantage in Australia.
Our two year program
The Teach For Australia program is a world class, intense and highly demanding two years of teacher education and leadership development, delivered in partnership with the University of Melbourne’s Graduate School of Education.
As the first in a series of five intensive training periods, Associates begin their journey with a six-week in-residence intensive, before moving into the classroom having already covered one-third of a traditional post-graduate diploma.
The Associates continue to study towards a Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching (TFA) through intensive study blocks, regular face-to-face support and self-paced study. The Associates are supported by an impressive network of experienced teacher mentors, leadership advisers, clinical specialists, and leadership coaches.
The problem is urgent
Did you know that whilst Australia has a high performing education system overall, it is one of the least equitable in the OECD?
The reality is the gap between the top and the bottom is far too wide, and is growing.
The reasons can be complex, but a child’s socio economic status - like where they live; their parents’ education; ethnicity and family income – are having a huge impact on their own educational outcomes, and by virtue, the choices that become available to them later in life.
Most would agree that needs to change, and fast!
Who we recruit
Our Associates will have demonstrated the qualities that make effective teachers well before ever being accepted into our program.
They come from all disciplines and backgrounds, are well rounded, high achieving, and have already excelled in their prior degree - many having received honours with their Bachelors, Masters, or PhDs.
As recent graduates and young professionals, each of our Associates has demonstrated outstanding achievement within their universities, in the workplace, across the wider community and even abroad.
We select only the most passionate, resilient, and highly capable individuals to participate.
Leaders for life
Over time, Teach For Australia is building a lifelong movement of alumni, who will lead from both within the classroom and beyond.
Whilst a large proportion will continue in the classroom, others will pursue leadership roles in business, law, government, in establishing social enterprises and influencing educational policy. All pathways are equally important to our mission and our effectiveness in promoting long-term change.
Our Alumni remain actively connected to confronting educational disadvantage in Australia, wherever their careers paths take them. Each in their way will contribute to real and long-term systemic change in Australian education, so that our vision can one day be realised.
This is the true power of the Teach For Australia.
In their classrooms and school communities, Teach For Australia Associates are producing some remarkable outcomes, evidenced by their rapid promotion to positions of leadership and strong endorsement from principals.
Leadership: Our first cohort commenced in the classroom in 2010. By the end of 2011, 61% of them had been promoted to positions of leadership in their schools, including Head of Humanities, Head of English, Career Coordinators and Key Learning Area Coordinators.
Principal endorsement: In an independent evaluation by ACER in 2012. 100% of participating principals indicated they would take another Teach For Australia Associate if they had an available vacancy.
Improving academic outcomes: Through inspired teaching and innovative approaches our Associates are driving significant academic improvements. In many cases, they have helped to drive accelerated learning compared to other classrooms, closed the gap on state averages, and guided students to outstanding VCE results.
Where we work
In 2010, Teach For Australia placed its first cohort of Associates across 13 Victorian government secondary schools. Since then, we have expanded into the ACT and Northern Territory government sectors, as well as the Victoria catholic sector. We have now placed over 120 Associates across 45 schools.
We continue to work with our other states and school jurisdictions towards expanding our program, growing in scale, and furthering our impact on improving educational outcomes for disadvantaged young Australians.
Value for Money
A recent independent report by ACER* (Australian Council for Educational Research) published its analysis on the cost-per-associate of the Teach For Australia program.
It estimates the cost of a fully registered teacher coming through the Teach For Australia program to be 1.5 times that of a comparative traditional post-graduate pathway.
This premium reflects the program’s best-practice clinical model delivered by the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, the extensive support network of leading teachers and mentors that comes with the development of our Associates, and our unique Leadership Development Program, which results now show is cultivating Associates into highly effective teachers and future school leaders.
*Teach for Australia Pathway: Evaluation Report Phase 2, Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), April 2012
Across our first and second cohorts, 98% of our Associates have, or are about to, complete their two year program.
Beyond the two-year Teach For Australia program, the pathways of our first group of Alumni offer a longer-term measure: in total 81% of our Alumni continue to teach or are intending to teach.
Specifically, 64% continue to teach in secondary schools, with an additional 17% teaching in other capacities or undertaking further teaching study and intending to return to the classroom.
The remaining 19% are pursuing other fields of leadership, many of these in the broader education sector.
Available estimates support that this is in-line with, and in many cases better than, traditional pathway retention rates.