Strategies are being developed to address a shortage of teachers in Adventist schools in Australia.
A working party of education and church leaders established by Adventist Schools Australia (ASA) has recommended a range of strategies aimed not only at attracting new teachers into the system but also at retaining existing teaching staff.
Teacher retention is a significant challenge for all school systems and the Seventh-day Adventist education system is no different. The working party has recommended strategies to better track and understand retention issues, and to improve communication and support for new employees.
Between 60 and 80 new teachers are needed each year to keep up with current student growth, so attracting young people into the profession remains a top priority. ASA surveys of Year 12 students from Adventist schools show that teaching is continually in the top two career choices.
The working party has recommended strategies to provide career guidance and promote teaching to young people, while continuing to work closely with Avondale University to encourage enrolments, including drawing attention to the various scholarships available to support school-leavers to study at Avondale.
“Adventist education in Australia is clear about its focus. Our purpose is to reveal Jesus, our vision is to be a thriving, Christ-centred learning community and our mission is to enable every student to flourish,” said ASA national director Dr Daryl Murdoch.
“The recommendations from the working party provide a valuable roadmap to ensure that we have a sustainable supply of well trained, committed Christian teachers to staff our schools into the future.
“We would be delighted to see more people joining the ministry of Adventist education. Generous conference scholarships are available to incentivise choosing teaching as a career of service for God for high school graduates and career changers.”