Teachers in Gippsland will benefit from a brand-new multi-site academy of teaching and leadership excellence, as Victoria leads the way in raising the bar on teacher quality.

Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing today announced that the Andrews Labor Government will invest $148.2 million in establishing the Victorian Academy of Teaching and Leadership, a new statutory authority.

Regional hubs for the academy will be established in Bairnsdale, Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong, Mildura, Moe and Shepparton.

The authority will deliver a new Australian-first program of advanced professional learning for high-performing teachers in government, Catholic and independent schools.  The Academy will begin operations and the delivery of new programs from January 2022.

The Victorian Academy of Teaching and Leadership will also be based in a purpose-designed CBD site, alongside the seven regional Academies – ensuring rural and regional teachers are able to access high-quality professional development regardless of their location.

The CBD location is expected to be open early next year and the Geelong site by mid-2022 – with the rest of the locations operating by the end of 2022. Once established, the new Academy’s programs will provide an unprecedented opportunity for our best teachers to further develop their skills and become recognised as state-wide leaders in teaching excellence.

These teachers can then share their expertise and knowledge with their own school communities, ensuring every classroom and every child benefits from this investment.

The Academy’s flagship offering will be the Teaching Excellence Program, a one-year intensive program for up to 500 teachers per year across all sectors, 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.

Through the Academy, our teachers will also have access to the latest research in the science of learning and discipline based content knowledge, giving them the skills to ensure our kids are growing up as creative and critical-thinkers. Not only will they benefit from emerging research and understanding, the Academy will also enable our best teachers to learn from one another – with a focus on sharing best practice, ideas, experience and resources.

The Victorian Academy of Teaching and Leadership aims to build on the existing Bastow Institute of Educational Leadership with a new focus on professional learning for Victoria’s highly skilled teachers.

In the past five years, the Labor Government has invested more than $9 billion in building new schools and more than 1,600 school upgrades – creating more than 10,000 construction jobs.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino

“We want Victorian kids to get the very best education – and we know the most important way to do that is by having the best teachers.”

“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, it’s an investment in our kids – and their futures.”

Quotes attributable to the Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing

“This academy will give every teacher the best opportunity to further develop their skills, knowledge and teaching styles, which will have a significant and positive impact on the students in their care – especially in the Latrobe Valley and East Gippsland.

Great teachers make a lifelong difference in students’ confidence, abilities and outcomes, and so it’s really important that we in turn support our teachers to reach their best.”