Overseas trained teachers approval process

If you are an Australian citizen or a permanent resident of Australia you can be considered for permanent, temporary and casual teaching opportunities in NSW public schools.

To work as a teacher in NSW public schools, you must obtain an approval to teach.

As an overseas trained teacher, obtaining your approval to teach involves the following steps:

1. Obtain a Statement of Eligibility for Accreditation to Teach from the NSW Institute of Teachers

From 1 October 2004, all people wishing to start teaching in a primary school or a secondary school in NSW are required to be accredited with the NSW Institute of Teachers.

The Institute was established to support quality teaching in all NSW schools. Its aim is to advance the status and standing of the teaching profession.

The Institute has been established as an independent statutory authority to oversee a system of accreditation and recognition of teachers' professional capability against professional standards. It also provides a process for the profession to influence the quality of teacher training and continuing professional development.

To apply for an assessment of eligibility for accreditation to teach, go to the NSW Institute of Teachers website.


2. Complete an online application and give your consent to probity checks including national criminal records checks and employment checks.

This may be done concurrently with your application for a Statement of Eligibility for Accreditation to Teach from the NSW Institute of Teachers.

To apply for employment as a teacher, you will need to use our online application facility.

When you have submitted your online application, you will receive an email requesting supporting documentation. These documents are required to process your application and should be sent to Teacher Recruitment, Locked Bag 3003 BLACKTOWN NSW 2148.


3. a.) Undertake an assessment of your English language skills through the Professional English Assessment for Teachers (PEAT), if required:

Demonstrating proficiency in all aspects of English is a requirement to gain an approval to teach.

English language proficiency requirements for overseas trained teachers that the Department is initially accrediting as a new scheme teacher:

If you have not obtained the full four years of required higher education study from a country where English is the main language, you will be required to undertake an English language proficiency assessment. The NSW Institute of Teachers will advise you if you need to undertake PEAT.

The PEAT will assess your ability to use English at the level required to perform the duties of a teacher in a NSW public school. It will assess your English skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking.

Find out more about PEAT, including test dates, venues and fees.

Please note, several amendments have been made to the NSW Institute of Teachers' Policy for English Language Proficiency of New Scheme Teachers for Provisional or Conditional Accreditation.

Amendments to the policy which impact on overseas trained teacher applicants include:

  • the exclusion of the Republic of South Africa from the list of English speaking countries from which applicants are exempt from having to complete an approved test; and
  • exemption to be on the basis of the full four years of required higher education study being completed in a country where English is considered the main language and not the majority of qualifications as identified in the current NSW policy. Teaching experience in a country where English is the main language cannot be considered for exemption purposes.

Teaching experience in a country where English is the main language cannot be considered for exemption purposes for teacher applicants that the Department is initially accrediting as a new scheme teacher.

b.) English language proficiency requirements for overseas trained teachers that the Department is not initially accrediting as a new scheme teacher, including existing teachers:

If you have obtained the majority of your qualifications assessed for teaching in a country where English is not the main language, you will be required to undertake an English language proficiency assessment.  

The PEAT will assess your ability to use English at the level required to perform the duties of a teacher in a NSW public school. It will assess your English skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking.

Find out more about PEAT, including test dates, venues and fees.

Teacher applicants that the Department is not initially accrediting as a new scheme teacher, including existing teachers, who have been employed as a school teacher in Australia or another country where English is the main language, for a period of two years or more, may be eligible for an exemption from undertaking the PEAT. 

You may apply directly to the Department's Teacher Recruitment Unit at teacherrecruitment@det.nsw.edu.au for an exemption. You will need to provide a statement of service to confirm your teaching experience. The Teacher Recruitment Unit will advise you of the outcome of your exemption request.


4. Life in NSW public schools

To assist and prepare you as an overseas trained teacher in understanding the nature of NSW public schools and the role and responsibilities of a teacher in our schools, the following links contain useful information on topics such as the NSW curriculum, student behaviour, cultural awareness, child protection, quality teaching, preparation for teaching and employment opportunities.

4.1 Cultural awareness

4.2 Curriculum in NSW schools

4.3 Employment opportunities and other useful links


5. Preparing for your interview

To prepare for your interview, you should think about your teaching experiences and write down your views on teaching to clarify your thoughts. Learn more about our public schools, the professional conduct and responsibilities of teachers, and our child protection and code of conduct policies.

If you are a secondary teacher, you should read and/or download the syllabus relevant to your area of teaching from the Board of Studies website.

You could also look at the HSC Online site if you anticipate teaching senior students in Years 11 or 12.

If you are a primary teacher, you will be expected to be familiar with the syllabuses in the primary curriculum.


6. Attend a personal suitability interview

The interview is designed to assess your personal suitability, attitudes and ideas on teaching. It takes approximately 40 minutes. The interviewer will ask questions relating to:

Professional knowledge of and about:

  • subject content and how to teach the content to students
  • students and how they learn

Professional practice, including the capability to:

  • plan, assess and report for effective learning 
  • communicate effectively with students 
  • create and maintain safe and challenging learning environments

Professional commitment to:

  • continue to improve your professional knowledge and practice 
  • engage with members of your profession and the wider community.

Interviews for Sydney residents are held at the Blacktown State Office. Interviews for people living outside the Sydney metropolitan area will be held at major regional centres.

If you are eligible for employment as a teacher with the NSW Department of Education and Communities, you will be notified by email within a week of your interview.

 

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