Turn to Teaching internships
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 127 No 2, 11 March 2022, page no.20
The Department of Education (DoE) is finalising the development of the “Turn to Teaching” internship program, which over the next three years will provide 300 aspiring teachers with financial support, mentoring and paid internship employment to support the completion of their teaching qualifications.
After successful completion of the program, the graduates will take up a guaranteed permanent teaching position in a rural or remote Queensland state school.
It will be a two-year Masters program, with the first 12 months undertaken at university, with a study program and regular pre-service professional experience placements. The second year will be a paid internship based in a school. The pilot was due to commence at the start of 2022 with 50 participants.
Participants will be working in subject areas of high need, such as ITD, maths and the sciences, as well as in locations that are hard to staff.
The participants will be paid a scholarship bursary in the first 12 months while they are at university. The bursary consists of two $10,000 payments, paid in Semesters 1 and 2. In the second year, they will be paid at the current band 1, step 1 salary level as outlined in the certified agreement.
The details of the conditions of employment for the internship year (2023 for the first cohort) are currently being negotiated between the QTU and DoE. As it stands, this will include:
- a .5 “load” while at school
- support from a supervising teacher and a mentor teacher (it is envisaged that these will be two different people)
- permanent employment at the end of the two-year program
- engagement during the internship program to be under the “permission to teach” regulations.
The interns will be “supernumerary” teachers, in addition to the normal staffing allocation.
There are several matters to be resolved before the interns start in schools in 2023. The QTU is seeking to ensure that any industrial and professional implications of this pilot (including workload, remuneration and legal issues for those involved such as supervisory teachers and mentors) have been appropriately considered and resolved via an internship agreement. This work is ongoing.