Department program

Graduate teacher pilot – supporting graduate primary teachers in their first years in the classroom

From 2021 to 2023, up to 700 graduate primary school teachers will have the opportunity to take part in a new program to support graduate teachers.

The Department is piloting the 'Transforming the First Years of the Teaching Career' program in select primary schools in three regional areas:

  • North Eastern Melbourne
  • Western Melbourne
  • Inner Gippsland.

Participating primary schools, including 17 combined primary and secondary schools, will provide further support for graduate teachers through mentoring, professional learning and high-quality training.

Support for participating graduate teachers

The pilot will help graduate teachers develop the skills they require early in their careers. Support includes:

  • reduced face to face teaching time so graduate teachers can focus on professional learning and mentoring
  • help connecting with local teachers
  • extra support for those located in rural and remote areas
  • access to new and specialised professional development
  • expansion of Graduate Teacher Conferences to include teachers in their second year of teaching in all areas.

Support for participating schools

The Department will provide participating schools with additional funding to help reduce scheduled duties for graduate teachers and their mentors.

This includes:

  • a 20 per cent reduction in face-to-face teaching for each first-year graduate teacher starting in 2021 and 2022
  • a 10 per cent reduction in face to face teaching for each second-year graduate teacher employed in 2022 and 2023
  • a 5 per cent reduction, per graduate teacher, in face to face teaching for mentors throughout the pilot

Leading teachers

Ten new leading teachers will be placed in three regional areas to assist with the implementation of the pilot and work directly with schools and teachers, establishing cross-school alliances to support the professional learning of mentor and graduate teachers.

Information for principals

Reduction in face to face teaching

The reduction in face to face teaching will provide graduate teachers increased opportunity to work with experienced teachers in:

  • peer observation and feedback
  • lesson planning and development of classroom materials
  • obtaining materials for future lessons/units of work
  • assessing students and analysing assessment data
  • preparing for and meeting with parent/carer(s)
  • developing wellbeing strategies.

It will also allow graduate teachers to take part in face-to-face, online and school alliance professional learning.

Graduate professional learning

The professional learning will build capability for:

  • behaviour management strategies
  • assessing and analysing student learning data
  • professional health and wellbeing
  • supporting students with additional needs.

The professional learning will also build understanding of Department priorities and how these can improve professional practice, including through the use of the Framework for Improving Student Outcomes (FISO) and Victorian Teaching and Learning Model (VTLM).

Effect on timetables

Scenarios and advice about how the pilot may affect school timetables will be developed to assist schools to plan for pilot implementation.

How participating schools will receive funding

It is expected funding will be made available through the Student Resource Package. Further details will be provided during 2020.

Time commitments

Participating schools may be invited to participate in co-designing some components of the pilot. As part of the evaluation, participating graduate teachers, mentors and  principals may be asked to review their participation and experiences.

Planning for the pilot

Throughout 2020 the Department will:

  • produce and distribute guidelines to participating schools
  • recruit new leading teachers and education support staff
  • create professional learning co-designed with schools
  • establish school alliances to connect graduates and mentors across schools.

More information

For more information, please contact