Ballarat is set to host a regional site of the Victorian Academy of Teaching and Leadership. Photo: FILE

Ballarat to host top teacher school

May 17, 2021 BY

AN Australian-first academy for high-performing teachers is set to open in Victoria in 2022 with Ballarat chosen to host a regional site of the initiative.

Last week Acting Premier James Merlino announced $148.2 million from the upcoming state budget will 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 CBD.

Seven regional academies, located in Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong, Bairnsdale, Mildura, Moe and Shepparton, will also be established by the end of 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,” Mr 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.

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.

Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison, herself a former teacher, welcomed the announcement.

“We all want all children to receive a world class education, and quality teaching and learning is at the centre of that,” she said.

“By supporting our teachers in their professional development and leadership skills, we are ensuring that students get the quality education they deserve.”

The proposed academy will build on the work of the existing Bastow Institute of Educational Leadership, the professional learning arm of the state’s education department.

Legislation will soon be introduced to state parliament to establish the new authority.