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Professional learning opportunities for country teachers and leaders

Teachers and leaders can advance their careers in the country through a range of professional learning opportunities. These opportunities help you refine your skills and learn new ones, as well as expand your network of colleagues and mentors.

Early Career Teachers Development program

The Early Career Teacher Development program supports department teachers to transition from graduate to proficient in their first 2 years of teaching.

Early career teachers based in the country can access the program, which involves:

  • attending face-to-face workshops in country areas
  • online learning modules and resources
  • working with local mentors.

To find out more about the program email education.earlycareerteachers [at] sa.gov.au.

Department staff can visit Early Career Teacher Development program (login required) on our intranet (EDi) to register for the program.

Orbis professional learning programs

Teachers and leaders can access professional learning programs through Orbis.

Orbis works with world-class providers to co-design and deliver learning that:

  • has a South Australian context
  • is aligned with the curriculum
  • is supported by the latest research.

As a country teacher or leader, you can receive additional funding to support travel and accommodation to attend the programs. There’s also virtual participation on offer, as required.

To find out more email orbis [at] sa.gov.au or visit the Orbis website.

Opportunities for aspiring leaders

The Future Leaders program helps identify, develop and prepare aspiring leaders for future leadership vacancies in country areas. This supports country areas that experience ongoing challenges with recruiting leaders. 

The program delivers tailored feedback and individual development plans for aspiring leaders, based on their skills, capabilities and experience. The development plans are also based on the individual characteristics of the school and region the future leaders will work in.

Potential Future Leaders participants are high performers in their current role who demonstrate a strong aspiration and potential for leadership.

Aspiring leaders also have an opportunity to prepare for leadership opportunities by participating in a local leadership succession planning initiative that's currently being piloted in some partnerships. Aspiring leaders with high leadership potential can self-nominate for the program. Participants will be selected via a local nomination committee. Successful nominees are supported through their development planning and activities by a mentor. 

As this is a new initiative, you can contact the Talent Management Team at Education.CareerDevelopment [at] sa.gov.au for more information.

One-on-one mentoring for leaders

All principals, preschool directors and children’s centre directors new to a leadership role will be supported through the Leader Advisor program. This program pairs new leaders with a current colleague or retired principal or director (leader advisor) to help them navigate the challenges and expectations of their new role. 

The 12-month program is delivered at no cost, with up to 25 hours of confidential, one-on-one support available in-person, online or by phone. Leader advisors are selected based on their ability to travel to country locations for in-person meetings.

To be eligible, you must have been appointed in your role with less than 12 months previous leadership experience in a school, preschool or children’s centre.

To find out more, email the Leadership Development Team at Education.LeaderAdvisors [at] sa.gov.au.

Formal recognition for highly skilled teachers

Highly skilled, exemplary teachers can receive formal recognition as a Highly Accomplished Teacher (HAT) or Lead Teacher (LT) through National Teacher Certification.

Certification is available to teachers across the state, including country areas where many teachers are already certified.

If you want to advance your career and be recognised among the best teachers in the country, there’s a professional development program to support your national certification application. 2021 program participants will have:

  • the national certification application fee waived
  • specialised professional learning sessions focusing on application submissions
  • 2 release days to support planning and organisation.

To find out more about the certification or the professional development program, email Workforce Development at education.standardscertification [at] sa.gov.au.

Department staff can find out more about applying at highly accomplished and lead teachers (login required) on our intranet (EDi).

Connect with high-performing school leaders

School leaders in low socioeconomic communities have access to a network of high-performing school leaders across Australia through the Bright Spots Schools Connection program.

The program:

  • exposes you to best practice and innovative thinking
  • supports you to deliver education results and improvements in a targeted way.

The program has been extended to small schools as part of a broader rural and regional strategy. The vast majority of small schools are in country areas.

To find out how to get involved in the program, visit Social Ventures Australia or contact them directly on their website.