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Rural and Remote Education Inquiry Briefing Paper

Rural and Remote

Education Inquiry Briefing Paper

12. Career structures


While the turnover

of rural and remote staff is still high compared to metropolitan schools,

there has been some slowing in teacher turnover since the recent economic

downturn and the tightening of the employment market (Boyan & Bandy 1998,

page 153). The consequence of teachers staying for longer periods in rural

and remote schools means that their access to professional development

is reduced. Some States and Territories provide a points scheme (see table

above, 'Comparison of Australian State and Territory Teacher Allowances

and Incentives') whereby career enhancement is possible through a rural

or remote appointment. In Western Australia however, Level 111 (management)

positions are determined through 'merit based selection'. In this instance,

an appointment in a rural or remote school can actually impede career

enhancement because merit is determined to some extent by training and

professional development. Whilst additional points were once allocated

to Level 111 staff in rural and remote schools, they must now compete

with their metropolitan counterparts for transfer positions. Remote schools

may become the posts of 'last resort' making it more difficult for incumbent

staff to transfer back to metropolitan schools (Butorac 1998, page 4).


to the Inquiry


111 positions (management) are all promotions on merit. Country teachers

have difficulty accessing professional development and their lack of connectedness

means that it is more difficult to obtain promotion (Michelle White,

Australian Education Union (WA), oral submission, 1999). The level

111 teacher concept is meritorious however rural teachers have an additional

hoop and hurdle to address in overcoming the vigorous selection process.

The whole ritual impacts on their teaching time and time spent with students

and detracts from the education program. The criteria for application

are unreasonable (Butorac 1998, page 4).


updated 2 December 2001.