Beginning teachers and induction

Early Career Insights: Education Quarterly, Issue 8 2023

Federation has lobbied consistently for meaningful support and induction programs to be provided to early career teachers, and additional resources such as Beginning Teacher Support Funding.

An induction should take place within the initial weeks and months after appointment to support the beginning teacher in familiarising themselves with the many responsibilities of their new role, such as workplace routines, curriculum, planning, behavior management programs, and getting to know staff, students and the wider school community.

It is best practice for teachers, particularly those in the early stages of their career, to be given opportunities to work collaboratively with a more experienced teacher mentor so they can be adequately supported in planning, assessment, reporting and accreditation.

All beginning teachers, irrespective of their approval and accreditation status, should be supported, including being involved in induction programs. Few other professions have the same expectations placed on them in their first years of service as teachers new to their profession. A thorough induction program, together with reduced timetabled loads and responsibilities can ensure early career teachers feel supported, experience success, and remain in the profession.

In an attempt to address the teacher shortage, the Department made changes to the approval to teach process in 2019, enabling preservice teachers to gain interim approval to teach in their final year of study. Unfortunately, Department policies such as Beginning Teacher Support Funding do not reflect these changes, with teachers on interim approval ineligible for this funding and support. This, along with the teacher shortage, leaves those on interim approval particularly vulnerable to not receiving adequate support during their career’s early stages.

Although some schools support their beginning teachers with reduced workloads and inductions irrespective of the teacher’s approval and accreditation status, there have been many reports of early career educators receiving little to no support.

Federation continues to pursue betterments for early career teachers with both state and federal governments and the Department.

Members can call Federation’s Professional Support team on 1300 654 369 for advice if they have concerns relating to their induction programs and other associated beginning teacher matters.