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Cowra Public School Participates In Grow Your Own Teacher Program

Written by: The Cowra Phoenix

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Cowra Public School

Cowra Public School has participated in the first round of the State Government’s Grow Your Own Teacher program, an innovative approach to teacher training in regional NSW that has proven wildly successful and is now being doubled to accommodate demand from aspiring teachers.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said the program’s success was no surprise and was a big win for local students.

“Our support staff across the electorate have strong ties to their local community and are already doing fantastic work supporting students in our country schools,” Ms Cooke said.

“This program is removing barriers for them to pursue their dream of becoming a teacher without having to travel away from home, so it’s no wonder it’s proving so popular.”

The Grow Your Own Teacher Training program initially planned to support up to 100 School Learning Support Officers (SLSOs) to upskill and study teaching degrees while working in local schools, its popularity now means the program will double to 200 participants in 2023 alone, with another 300 set to commence in 2024 and 2025.

Minister for Education and Early Learn-ing Sarah Mitchell said the program is part of a range of programs to diversify teacher supply, with SLSOs remaining employed in their school while they complete their study.

“Regional areas are incredible places to live and work, and now thanks to this program more people can train to become teachers without leaving their local communities,” Ms Mitchell said.

Ms Mitchell said there are about 45,000 support staff across NSW schools, representing a large proportion of the work-force and a rich talent pool.

The NSW Department of Education has partnered with Charles Sturt University and Western Sydney University to deliver the Grow Your Own Teacher Training program.

Participants receive a $10,000 training allowance per year (up to $30,000 for the degree) and can work part-time as an educational paraprofessional in their final four semesters of study.

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