Schools in regional and remote contexts

This fact sheet provides information about what schools need to consider when attracting, recruiting and retaining teachers in regional and remote areas.

When developing induction programs for early career teachers who are new to the area, schools can consider the following elements:

  • Engage a community support mentor to be involved in the recruitment and induction process. The community support mentor may work with the new teacher before their arrival around their interests and help align them with people and groups that already exist in the community by using local government arrangements and local service clubs.
  • Invite the early career teacher to attend the interview in person.
  • Build in time to tour the school and the community. Incorporate the community into the interview process to provide more context for the early career teacher and help them make an informed decision about relocating. This might include an informal introduction to existing staff and members of the school council.
  • Start communicating with the early career teacher from when the application is received. This will build trust with the applicant.
  • Include another early career teacher as part of the interview process to address questions and provide examples of their experience.
  • Consider the cultural protocols that exist in both school and community contexts. Where possible, engage a cultural capabilities mentor to support early career teachers. This can be a local trusted and knowledgeable person who can provide a cultural map to help with entry into the school and community.
  • Consider the wellbeing needs of the early career teacher
    • Is the early career teacher settled in their new environment?
    • Can they navigate the township confidently?
    • Can they access the support systems they need?
    • Ensure that early career teachers are aware of the school’s ‘teacher wellbeing’ programs and frameworks.
    • How is the early career teacher supported in their roles and responsibilities?
  • Monitor job scope for early career teachers (ensuring that due to limited resources, additional duties are not given to an early career teacher).
  • Consider a ‘multiple mentor’ model where an early career teacher has a range of mentors to cover both school and community.
  • Develop a professional learning plan for early career teachers that considers travel, costs and relief teaching. For more information on professional learning, you can access the AITSL guide ‘Connecting regional, regional and remote teacher to high quality professional learning’.
  • Examples of professional learning may include:
    • classroom management
    • subject specific content
    • trauma informed practice
    • working with learners from culturally and diverse backgrounds
  • In larger locations clusters/community partnerships can be established to consider new starters from across disciplines (‘health / social work’) to work and be inducted together. This can unlock some of the expertise and perspectives across a community.
  • Flexibility to support the individual needs of the teacher should be considered. e.g additional travel days.