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Teaching in Australia

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by Lisa79, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. Just wondering if anyone has had experience of teaching in Australia- whether casual work or permanent? Any advice/ info about how easy jobs are to come by/ how they compare to jobs in Scotland or the UK etc would be appreciated. Just looking to get a general feel for the job situation in Australia and determine whether it would be a good place to pursue a teaching career. I have backpacked in the country so already know about the lifestyle opportunties, weather, great beaches etc!
  2. Just wondering if anyone has had experience of teaching in Australia- whether casual work or permanent? Any advice/ info about how easy jobs are to come by/ how they compare to jobs in Scotland or the UK etc would be appreciated. Just looking to get a general feel for the job situation in Australia and determine whether it would be a good place to pursue a teaching career. I have backpacked in the country so already know about the lifestyle opportunties, weather, great beaches etc!
  3. Christopher  Curtis

    Christopher Curtis Occasional commenter

    Lisa 79,

    I am an Australian and I taught here for 33 years. Education is run by each state and territory so you would need to contact each education department to find out about vacancies, pay, etc. In Victoria, you would have to be registered by the Victorian Institute of Teaching.

    In Victorian government schools, you would certainly get smaller classes and lower teaching loads than in the UK. Prep to year 2 classes are meant to be capped at 21 pupils. Secondary classes are generally capped at 25 students. It also seems to me from what I have read on this site that you would face less intrusive micro-management of teachers than in the UK, though the situation here is worse than it used to be. We have all the performance management mumbo jumbo that has invaded the profession in the UK too.

    Pay is less if you go by the official exchange rates, but if you go by what you can buy in Australia, it is not too bad. At present, NSW has the highest pay and Victoria the lowest. Victorian teachers are in EBA negotiations to catch up with NSW at the moment.

    There are shortages in some parts of the state and in some subject areas. Victorian schools appoint their own teachers, so you would need to do an application and be available for an interview (by phone, I guess). I think that most of the other states are more efficient and retain central appointment.

    About 80 per cent of beginning teachers are on short-term contracts, which is a disgrace, so another state may be better for permanent appointment.

    If you have specific questions, I am happy to try to answer, but because of the time difference (it?s 10.52pm here), it may not be until tomorrow.
  4. Hi Lisa, i am in the same position as you, although i have never been to Australia before. This summer i am going back packing for 6 weeks there, if i like which i think i probably will! i am going to go there 2009 to teach. I currently teach secondary IT, and am also not sure how to apply and where there is a shortage for teachers there? if i have any information i will post it to you as i am trying to do a bit of reseach at the minute.

  5. I'm also thinking it's time for change. I've been teaching Enlgish in London for two years now and after a relationship break up feel it's time to try travelling and with teaching I can earn some money too!
    I was thinking about supply work, how does that work down under? I thought I could do that and then get to travel around a bit...
  6. I am a nursery teacher in London and am looking for employment as a 'Pre Primary school teacher' in Melbourne from Jan 09. I have been looking into formalities to register and you have to obtain a long form from Teaching Australia to assess your teaching skills. I am not sure I will be successful as I studied BSc psychology then Primary PGCE and in Oz they speak frequently of 4 yr BEds. The fee for assessment (not registration!) is AUD$450 which is over £200. A lot of money! Then you have to register with the state you wish to teach for and provide all this info to Oz for Highly Skilled Migrant Visa which also costs a fortune!

    This is the route I have found but not yet pursued. Has anyone else been successful with this route or found another way to get into Oz to teach?
  7. Thanks Chris, it's helpful to hear from someone who has firsthand experience - often you hear snippets from people but never get an accurate picture of the situation.

    Have a great time travelling Kay- I'm sure you will, there are some fab things to see and do down under! Any info you find would be appreciated.

    Has anybody else travelled to Australia from the UK with a postgraduate certificate (Primary) and managed to get work?
  8. Christopher  Curtis

    Christopher Curtis Occasional commenter

    Foundation Stage!

    I suggest you contact the Victorian Institute of Teaching direct. Teaching Australia is not a registration body but a politically motivated corporation set up by the previous teacher-bashing federal government (you know, the one whose prime minister just lost his own seat). No teacher in Austraia has to have anything to do with it, so I don't know if overseas teachers have to tell it anything.
  9. Christopher  Curtis

    Christopher Curtis Occasional commenter

    Foundation Stage!,

    I cannot advise on qualifications, but there are different arrangements here. A three-year degree and a one-year Diploma of Education are certainly sufficient. The four-year B.Ed is no more intellectually rigorous than the former method.

    Pre-primary is called kindergarten in Victoria. I do not know what is required. The VIT will be able to advise you. The first year if primary is called prep. I don?t know if nursery in the UK means kindergarten or prep here.

    Kays 7989,

    The press regularly reports a shortage of IT teachers, but I did not find that to be so when I was a timetabler.


    Supply teaching, like a lot of things will vary from state to state. In Victoria, supply teachers are called CRTs (casual relief teachers). They are directly employed by schools, though there are agencies you can register with. (This is separate from teacher registration, which you must still obtain from the VIT.) As a daily organiser, I would never use agencies as the teachers employed through them would have to pay part of their pay to the agency. I regarded that as unethical for a school to do, so I always employed CRTs directly.

    I would give a CRT 5 periods plus a home group and/or a duty a day, or 6 periods (with no home group and no duty) if I was desperate. I thought CRTs should have on period off to prepare and organise themselves. Not all schools treat CRTs well, but you will learn which ones do.


    Primary and secondary schools are different. You can teach up to 22 hours in a primary school, but never more than 20 hours in a secondary school, and only 18 hours in the better run ones. The standard period length in a secondary school is 48 minutes, but beware the recycling of the failed 1970s fad of the open classroom, with 100-plus students in the one room and 72-minute periods and projects and all the rest of the deal.
  10. Hi Christopher, thanks for that piece of info.. i am hoping to move to Australia in 2009.. what is the first step i need to take.. i would like to get organised before i go.. am not sure on what state i want to go to... i suppose whichever one needs IT secondary teachers.. i am going for 6 weeks there travelling in the summer.. so i guess i will get to see the different places there.. i just want to start getting sorted out now... but not sure where to start.. :(

  11. Christopher, thanks for your response. I am a little confused now because I thought I had to teach for 3 years and have my qualifications acknowledged by Teaching Australia to gain enough points for Skilled Migrant Visa. Don't know what I need to do now...
  12. Christopher  Curtis

    Christopher Curtis Occasional commenter


    I suggest that you contact the education departments of the states you are interested in to find out about vacancies and job application procedures, the registration authorities about registration (the Victorian Institute of Teaching and the like) and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship ? or whatever name it has this week ? to find out about entry requirements.


    You may be right about Teaching Australia sticking its nose into overseas teachers? qualifications. It has nothing to do with the qualifications of teachers who have studied in Australia, and registration is still a state matter. I suggest you contact the same bodies as I suggested for kays7989. I will make some more enquiries, because if Teaching Australia is doing what you have been told, it is time it was stopped. Better still, I?ll see if I can get it abolished.
  13. Christopher  Curtis

    Christopher Curtis Occasional commenter


    I have learnt something today. I have checked, and Teaching Australia does assess skills for migration to Australia. See:
    for explanation, application form, etc. I don?t see why it does this, given that its assessment doesn?t mean anything: you still can?t teach in Australia unless you have state registration, and if you can get state registration there is no need for a separate assessment of your skills. It?s bureaucratic doubling up, but that is the way it is at present.
  14. Christopher, thanks for your research. I have emailed VIT too for confirmation. Oh well, that is another AUD$450 spent on paperwork :eek:(
  15. Christopher  Curtis

    Christopher Curtis Occasional commenter


    If you want a full and frank discussion of education in Australia, go to www.platowa.com. It is a WA site, but the disucssion is wide-ranging, and you can find newspaper articles archived from other states.
  16. Try New Zealand! No scary insects or poisonous creatures
    to worry about!
  17. Christopher  Curtis

    Christopher Curtis Occasional commenter

    I have written to Julia Gillard, the Minister for Education, asking her to abolish Teaching Australia.
  18. For information on teaching in Western Australia check out:

    www.det.wa.edu.au for state (government) schools

    www.ceo.wa.edu.au for Catholic schools

    www.ais.wa.edu.au for Independent schools


    www.wacot.wa.edu.au for information on teacher registration

    for information on curriculum go to


    Regarding the platowa website mentioned above - an interesting read but definitely suggest taking with a grain of salt being one side of a somewhat convoluted curriculum debate (yes... I've taught in WA and no - I'm not pro/against OBE for those who know it so please don't take this as a 'yay outcomes' thread development lol!)

  19. Thank you so much Chris, a lot of help though still feel I'm drowing in information overload! Where would you syggest I start?
  20. Hi can I but in on this conversation? I am about to send an assessment form to Teaching Australia but did some research first to find that they do not accept a 3 year degree. I have tried to find a way to sort it out because I think its daft!!! They are not assessing skills but qualifications, just because a teachers has done 4 years not 3 at Uni doesn't mean they are better teachers!!! I have asked my uni to find out if my degree is equivalent to a 4 year Oz degree as it is actually a degree with 400 credits which is a Bachelor of Science in Biology with QTS and Honours. Does anyone know if this would be acceptable to them or to the Queensland state.

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