In pursuit of our vision, our activity is driven by four organisational priorities that underpin our five-year strategy: growth, impact, sustainability and people and culture.
We report on these priorities annually in our Annual Report. Read highlights from our 2017 Annual Report below, or find the full report here.
Cohort 2017 brings our total number of placements to 549 in just eight years. Australia-wide, we partnered with 34 new schools, matching 130 new Associates with 70 schools in total.
In 2017, Teach For Australia expanded operations into our newest jurisdiction, Tasmania. The inaugural cohort of 13 Associates began teaching across multiple communities in Tasmania. 100% of Associates placed in Tasmania teach in regional, rural or remote areas, and over one-third are eligible to teach Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects.
To accommodate growth, Teach for Australia embarked on a review of specific elements of its operating model in July 2017. After a robust consultative process with internal teams, the organization landed on a revised operating model that takes Teach For Australia into 2018 well-placed for sustained growth and impact. Each jurisdiction is headed by a State/Territory Manager that has greater accountability for executing the program on the ground. This new model, structured around geography, allows for more contextual operations to enhance impact and support growth.
After an extensive, competitive tender process, Teach For Australia were pleased to partner with the Australian Catholic University (ACU) to deliver a Masters of Teaching – Professional Practice (MTPP) to our 2018 and 2019 incoming Associates. This new partnership, underpinned by a shared value of social justice, marks a bold innovation in teacher preparation in Australia.
Building on Teach For Australia’s success in employment based pathways, and ACU’s extensive experience in teacher education, for the first time, Associates will be able to fully integrate three components – their classroom teaching, Teach For Australia leadership development activities, and Master of Teaching studies – such that their efforts across all three domains are recognised, and contribute towards their qualification.
This partnership also offers enhanced integration of local context and on-the-ground Associate supports. The combined national footprint of ACU and Teach For Australia means that the program will respond to the unique contexts of the schools and states and territories in which the Associates teach.
We are grateful for Deakin University’s role in developing three cohorts, including enabling the program to scale, introducing a Master of Teaching, building a school practicum component into the Initial Intensive and beginning to co-design intensives.
In 2017, we published Our Impact: Eight Years of Teach For Australia. This report summarizes our impact over 8 years, highlighting some of the differences our Associates and Alumni have made in challenging educational inequity.
We also published Stories: a retrospective that demonstrates how Teach For Australia is building an inspired, connected and empowered community of Associates, Alumni, Ambassadors, staff and supporters — a community of leaders who have taken up our mission to address educational inequity, who contribute to this work in many unique ways.
In April 2017, SBS aired “Testing Teachers”, a three-part documentary series following the experience of six Teach For Australia Associates in their first years of teaching as they confronted Australia’s education gap head on.
The series explored the wide and varied challenges facing students, teachers and schools in low socioeconomic communities. It brought the issue of educational disadvantage to over 1 million national viewers across the three episodes.
Testing Teachers highlighted the ever-important work of teachers in schools serving low-income communities. But addressing educational disadvantage is a shared responsibility. To help highlight the ways in which the public could take action, Teach For Australia published our report Breaking The Cycle: A Snapshot of Educational Disadvantage in Australia alongside the documentary.
Teach For Australia would like to thank Screentime, SBS, Screen Australia, Screen West, Screen Territory and Screen NSW for expertly supporting and funding the development of this documentary. We would also like to especially thank the six Associates who allowed cameras to follow them around, and to Southern River College, Melton Secondary College and Tennant Creek High School for their ongoing and tireless support of Teach For Australia.
With seven cohorts having completed the Leadership Development Program at the end of 2017, a pipeline of leadership is emerging: 93% of Associates teach for at least two years, and 88% of the most recent cohort of Alumni has remained in teaching for a third year.
Integral to Associate training is the in-person support they receive through dedicated School Mentors and Teaching and Leadership Advisers. With the support of the William Buckland Foundation, Teach For Australia enhanced its program this year through specialised training for School Mentors who support Associates over the two years.
Additionally, the first cohort of Teach To Lead graduated at the end of 2017. Initiated in 2016, Teach To Lead builds a pipeline of school leaders to improve whole school outcomes in low socioeconomic communities by providing comprehensive coaching for middle leaders, with a focus on evidence and impact. A survey revealed that 100% of principals who sponsored Fellows believe that they have seen changes in the performance of the team led by the Fellow over the last year.
In 2017, the Australian Government released an independent evaluation of Teach For Australia’s Leadership Development Program. The evaluation found that Teach For Australia is substantively delivering against the Australian Government’s key objective of placing high-quality teachers in schools serving low socioeconomic communities to meet specific skill requirements, for as long as possible. The assessment cited Teach For Australia as an innovative model which may have lessons for wider initial teacher education – in particular through pioneering
an employment-based pathway, proactive recruitment and rigorous selection, fostering a pipeline of quality teachers and school system leaders and provision of support to early career teachers.
Teach For Australia is grateful for the continued, bipartisan support from the Australian Government since our launch in 2009. The Department for Education and Training continues to provide strong support for our work, having invested $20.5 million over the period of 2018-2021. This support allows Teach for Australia to recruit and empower over 300 of the best and brightest graduates, young professionals and career changers to become teachers where they are most needed, committed to a lifetime of action improving the outcomes of thousands of
students across the country.
We continued to receive support from all our partner state and territory governments, including Victoria, Western Australia, Northern Territory, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory. Investments from these partners have allowed us to continue to provide high quality support to our Associates and have ensured expansion into new regions across the country, notably the Goldfields and Pilbara regions in Western Australia.
Since gaining Deductible Gift Recipient status in 2014 we have worked to develop long-term partnerships with a number of Trusts and Foundations. In 2017, we made corporate partnerships a priority in order to diversify and sustain our funding stream.
We maintain strong partnerships with the Paul Ramsay Foundation, Gandel Philanthropy, the Sidney Myer Fund and Myer Foundation. In 2017, we began a one million dollar, four-year partnership with Wesfarmers.
At Teach For Australia, our people are our greatest asset. We are each motivated by the organisation’s mission, and every day we strive for an Australia where all children, regardless of background, achieve an excellent education.
Teach For Australia is a diverse organisation. Our team members work across six states and territories including Victoria, Western Australia, the Northern Territory, Tasmania, ACT and New South Wales – and our people are increasingly based outside of our Melbourne headquarters.
Our values are a central tenet of our positive culture, and part of who we are at Teach for Australia. We embed them in everything that we do to ensure we truly bring our values to life.
In 2017, we initiated a significant program of work to define our long-term ambitions for our people that will ensure we attract, support, develop and retain top talent that will enable us to deliver against our mission. We are committed to increasing employee engagement and making Teach for Australia a great place to work.
We are building a compelling Employee Value Proposition with a focus on developing the necessary capabilities, enabling career progression and ensuring everyone at Teach for Australia is equipped to make their contribution to our mission and deliver our strategy.
We seek to develop partnerships that will help us grow, maximise our impact and build a sustainable organisation. To learn how we can work together, get in touch.