MELBOURNE, Australia — An Australian-first academy for high-performing teachers is set to open in the South-eastern Australian state of Victoria in 2022.
Acting Premier James Merlino on May 4 announced AUD 148.2 million ($114.43 million) from the upcoming state budget would go towards establishing the Victorian Academy of Teaching and Leadership, a new statutory authority.
From January 2022, the authority will deliver advanced professional development for the best teachers across government, Catholic and independent schools from a purpose-built facility in Melbourne’s Central Business District.
Seven regional academies, located in Bairnsdale, Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong, Mildura, Moe, and Shepparton, will also be established by 2022.
“Teaching is a noble profession. Teaching is a profession that changes lives, and we want to see the very best teachers, right here in Victoria,” Merlino said.
He said the academy is based upon similar professional development programs available for teachers in Singapore, which boasts one of the world’s best education systems.
“So the Singapore model you have, for example, a master teacher in physics and that master teacher will then work with the best physics teachers in that system, making them even being better teachers in the classroom,” Merlino said.
“It’s for the highest performing teachers to hone their skills in that elite environment.”
We want Victorian kids to get the very best education — and we know an important way to do that is by having the best teachers,” Merlino said in a statement.
“The new Victorian Academy of Teaching and Leadership will develop our teachers, giving the very latest in understanding and skills, and enabling them to share that with their colleagues and school communities. Not only is this an investment in our teachers, but it’s also an investment in our kids — and their futures.”
The academy’s flagship offering will be the Teaching Excellence Program, a one-year intensive course for up to 500 teachers, which will cover core curriculum areas including English, mathematics, science, and the arts.
Other programs will focus on developing a pipeline of emerging leaders and aspiring principals.
The academy will build on the existing Bastow Institute of Educational Leadership, the professional learning arm of the state’s education department.
The legislation will soon be introduced to state parliament to establish the new authority.
In the past five years, the Labor Government has invested more than AUD 9 billion ($6.95 billion) in building new schools and more than 1,600 school upgrades — creating more than 10,000 construction jobs.
(Edited by Vaibhav Vishwanath Pawar and Ojaswin Kathuria. Map by Urvashi Makwana)
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