Support for early career teachers

Gloria Taylor
Deputy Secretary

The Union has long been a strong advocate for the provision of appropriate support for those beginning their teaching careers. This position has been reflected in our approach to various government submissions, education committees and forums and campaigns and negotiations with employers.

Major education authorities including the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Learning (AITSL), NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) and ACT Teacher Quality Institute (TQI) also emphasise the importance of early career teacher induction, but is this translating to genuine support at the school level?

The OECD’s Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) 2018 reported some disturbing comparative trends in Australian school education including in the areas of new teacher induction and mentoring.

A mere 18% of Australian beginning teachers indicated that they had mentoring programs and only 28.3% claimed access to induction activities. This coupled with excessive workloads and administrative demands left teachers feeling unprepared to embrace their new profession.

Broad provision for mentoring and support has been negotiated and incorporated in most NSW/ACT teacher enterprise agreements (EAs) and more specific provisions are included in Work Practices Agreements (WPAs) in Catholic systemic schools.

In AIS independent schools EAs, the provisions relate to support for accreditation at Proficient Teacher level that may include a mentoring teacher.

The NSW and ACT Catholic Systemic Schools Enterprise Agreement provisions refer to participation in an induction program, mentoring and appropriate classroom release for both the Graduate Teacher and their mentor(s). In many agreements the achievement of Proficient Teacher level is linked with pay rises, making it increasingly important to do this in a timely manner.

All NSW/ACT Catholic dioceses but Wilcannia-Forbes have Work Practice Agreements (WPAs) that include specific provisions for mentoring, release time and induction. The clauses or descriptions of these provisions are listed for your information on p16.

The Union encourages all members to become familiar with your entitlements. We are aware that some diocesan budgets have been underspent in induction for early career teachers. Ensure that you are getting your benefits.

Along with our industrial support the Union has a comprehensive professional learning program to assist with accreditation at Proficient Teacher level. For information about resources and forums visit or email

Talk to your colleagues about the benefits of joining the IEU. Strong Union density leads to better member outcomes. We aim to achieve excellent early career teacher induction programs in all schools. If you have inadequate support, contact your organiser.