In recent years, Australian and international education policy has focused on improving outcomes in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects. However, research has identified a shortage of qualified secondary teachers in STEM-related disciplines. This is projected to worsen due to a combination of student population increases, an ageing workforce, and fewer people going into teaching. Shortfalls are likely to be more acute in rural and remote areas, and areas of low socio-economic status.
The Department of Education (the Department) has a variety of strategies to encourage teachers to practise in locations or disciplines of need. These include scholarships for tertiary students going into teaching, sponsorships for teachers seeking approval to teach additional disciplines, and incentives to attract teachers to rural and remote locations.
This audit assessed the effectiveness of the Department's workforce plans and strategies in responding to the demand for secondary teachers in STEM-related disciplines. We assessed:
how well the Department tracks the supply and demand for secondary teachers in STEM-related disciplines across NSW
whether the Department has effective strategies to attract and retain secondary teachers in STEM-related disciplines.