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 teachers will take part in a new approach to supporting graduate teachers.

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

  • North Eastern Melbourne
  • Western Melbourne
  • Inner Gippsland.

Primary schools, including 17 combined primary and secondary schools, taking part in the pilot will support 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 need early in their careers. Support includes:

  • extra classroom cover so they can spend more time with their mentor and focus on professional development
  • help connecting with local teachers
  • extra support for those located in rural and remote areas
  • access to new and specialised professional development
  • expanding Graduate Teacher Conferences to include teachers in their second year of teaching in all areas.

Leading teachers

Ten newly recruited Leading Teachers will be available in participating schools. They'll work with schools and teachers to help put the pilot in place.  Their role will also involve creating school-wide support for the professional learning of mentor and graduate teachers.

Support for participating schools

The Department will give schools extra funding to help reduce scheduled duties for graduate teachers and their mentors taking part in the pilot.

This includes:

  • a 20 per cent reduction in the scheduled duties for each first-year graduate teacher starting in 2021 and 2022
  • a 10 per cent reduction in the scheduled duties for each second-year graduate teacher employed in 2022 and 2023
  • a 5 per cent reduction, per graduate teacher, in scheduled duties for mentors throughout the pilot
  • the cost of employing extra teaching staff to cover gaps due to the pilot. Staff will be employed for the duration, rather than through engaging casual relief teachers.

Information for principals

Reduction of scheduled duties

The reduction in scheduled duties gives graduate teachers more opportunity to work with experienced teachers in:

  • observing peers and giving feedback
  • lesson planning and developing 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 also allows them 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 effect timetables will be developed to help schools to plan for implementation.

How you receive the funding

We expect funding will be available through the Student Resource Package. Details will be available during 2020.

Time commitments

Leading teachers and education support staff will be available to provide support.

You may also be invited to co-design professional learning.

During the pilot evaluation, the graduate teachers, their mentors and principal may be asked to take part in a review of their participation and experiences. This will help improve and develop the pilot.

If your school is not able to take part in the pilot, there is an opportunity to opt-out. To opt-out, tell your Senior Education Improvement Leader.

Planning for the pilot

Throughout 2020 the Department will work with schools to:

  • produce and distribute guidelines to schools taking part
  • recruit new leading teachers and education support staff
  • create professional learning with the regions and schools
  • establish school alliances to connect graduates and mentors across schools.

More information

For more information, contact