Expansion of Nexus program to primary schools

La Trobe University has welcomed today’s announcement by the Australian Government of $7.9 million to expand its innovative and award-winning employment-based teacher training program, Nexus, to primary schools.

The current Nexus program, launched in 2020 as part of the Government’s High Achieving Teachers Program, is a first-of-its-kind pathway into secondary teaching, that enables people to transition from other careers, while gaining practical experience in a school setting.

La Trobe Dean of Education Professor Joanna Barbousas said she was delighted that the success of Nexus had been further recognised and supported with significant funding that would allow expansion of the program to primary schools in Victoria and NSW.

“Our current Nexus program has been an extraordinary success in preparing teachers for employment in regional, rural and hard to staff schools across Victoria,” Professor Barbousas said.

“With teacher shortages now reaching into primary schools, preparing teachers through evidence- informed approaches and gaining hands-on classroom experiences, will set them up to make a difference in regional, rural and hard to staff schools.

“Graduates of our Nexus program are exceptionally passionate and committed to working in schools – a huge win for students and their communities.”

The funding will cover establishment of a new Nexus Primary Pilot program in which 105 aspiring primary teachers in Victoria and New South Wales will work in primary schools in regions experiencing teacher shortage, while undertaking the Master of Teaching (Primary). In addition, they will receive support and tailored instruction to address the unique contextual teaching needs of their respective urban, regional or remote locations.

Participants will also engage in intensive course content to best prepare them for being embedded in schools as well as practical application in school contexts. These will include the evidence-informed Science of Learning and Reading (SOLAR) for which La Trobe is world-leading, Trauma-informed Education and Practical Classroom Management.

Incorporated within the Master of Teaching Primary program is critical knowledge required for teachers when they are assisting a pupil to read or write, when they maximise learning through developing an understanding of how humans learn using evidence-informed theory, and when they understand and implement classroom management as learning, not as a practice to mitigate poor behaviour.

Nexus is delivered as part of the High Achieving Teachers Program with the support of the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment and the Victorian Government Department of Education and Training as part of its investment in Initial Teacher Education.

The Victorian cohort of Nexus Primary participants will commence their studies in February 2024 and the New South Wales cohort in July 2024.

Media: Claire Bowers – c.bowers@latrobe.edu.au - 9479 2315 / 0437279903