FAQs

Get answers to your questions about the application and selection process.

Eligibility

I am a graduate. When am I eligible to apply for approval to teach?
I am commencing my teacher education studies in 2019 (or later). What academic requirements do I need to meet to be approved to teach in NSW public schools?
I am an experienced teacher. Am I eligible to apply for approval to teach?
Am I eligible to apply for the GRP: Aboriginal Initiative?
I am an international student. Can international students apply for approval to teach?
How do I get my qualifications assessed?
Do I need to sit an English proficiency test?
Do I need to have passed the literacy and numeracy test before I can apply?
I have a criminal record. Can I still become a teacher?

The application process

What is the closing date for applications for approval to teach?
Will I need to provide my academic transcript to support my application?
What documents do I need to provide to support my application?
I am of Aboriginal descent and I am applying for approval to teach. What will the department need me to provide with my application for approval to teach to identify as an Aboriginal person?
Do I need to provide certified copies of my supporting documents?
Am I able to defer the date that I am available to start teaching?
Can I change any of the information on my application?
How do I change the location preferences on my application?

Attending an interview

How and when do I book an interview?
How do I organise a GRP Aboriginal initiative interview?
Where are interviews currently held?
What documents do I need to bring to my interview?
What if something happens after I've booked for an interview and I can no longer make my allocated interview time?
How can I prepare for the interview?
What are the possible outcomes of my interview?

Employment as a teacher

What is the difference between casual and temporary employment?
I am a university student. When can I commence casual teaching?
How long is limited (interim) approval to teach valid for?
How can I obtain casual or temporary employment as a teacher?
What paperwork do I need to show a school when I start casual teaching?
What is the difference between a limited approval and a full approval to teach?
How can I find permanent teaching positions?
How are new graduates appointed to vacancies?
Can I work in other areas of the NSW Department of Education if I do not meet the requirements for approval to teach in NSW public schools?

I am a graduate. When am I eligible to apply for approval to teach?

You can apply for approval to teach in NSW public schools when you are in the final two semesters of your teacher education studies  provided that you:

  • have Australian citizenship or permanent residency*
  • are currently completing the last or second-last semester of a NESA accredited initial teacher education program through a university in NSW or ACT or at La Trobe University (Wodonga Campus) or Griffith University.

* International students can apply for casual and temporary teaching approval in accordance with the work rights granted under their visa.

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I am commencing my teacher education studies in 2019 (or later). What academic requirements do I need to meet to be approved to teach in NSW public schools?

An important new requirement for students commencing their studies in 2019 is that you must demonstrate a minimum credit average (or equivalent) by the conclusion of your program of study. As such, it is important that you work towards meeting and maintaining a minimum credit average from the commencement of your studies.

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I am an experienced teacher. Am I eligible to apply for approval to teach?

Yes, as an experienced teacher from a school system outside of the NSW Department of Education, interstate or overseas you are eligible to apply for approval to teach provided you have:

* International teachers can apply for limited approval to teach in accordance with the work rights granted under their visa.

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Am I eligible to apply for the GRP: Aboriginal Initiative?

As a university student approaching in your final two semesters of study, you are eligible to seek employment as a teacher in schools with significant Aboriginal student enrolments under the GRP: Aboriginal Initiative if you can answer 'yes' to at least one of the following questions:

1. Have you completed any course(s) and/or unit(s) of study in which you learned about Aboriginal people, Aboriginal culture or Aboriginal education:

  • as part of a university teacher education program
  • through a TAFE course
  • through a private training provider
  • other?

2. Have you undertaken any professional experience in schools with significant Aboriginal student enrolments?

3. Have you worked with Aboriginal communities or Aboriginal students as a community worker, teacher or an education support worker either in paid employment or as a volunteer?

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I am an international student. Can international students apply for approval to teach?

Yes, provided you hold a valid visa for employment in Australia. You will not be eligible for full approval to teach or permanent employment if you do not hold Australian citizenship or permanent residency. If you are an international student on a temporary visa you can still apply for casual and temporary teaching approval, in accordance with the work rights granted under your visa.

In addition, prospective graduate teachers who have completed their qualifications assessed for teaching in a country other than the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, United States of America, New Zealand or Canada, may be required to undertake an assessment of their English language proficiency. NESA will advise you on your letter of accreditation if you need to undertake an English language assessment.

Note: the department does not sponsor teaching visas.

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How do I get my qualifications assessed?

NESA will assess your qualifications and issue you with a letter of accreditation advising you of the subjects you are accredited to teach in NSW.

You must register with NESA and apply for a letter of accreditation before you can submit your application.

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Do I need to sit an English proficiency test?

All teachers need to have demonstrated proficiency in all aspects of English, i.e. reading, writing, speaking and listening. All teachers who have completed their qualifications in a country other than the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, United States of America, New Zealand or Canada may be required by NESA to sit an English proficiency test as part of their accreditation requirements.

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Do I need to have passed the literacy and numeracy test before I can apply?

From 1 July 2016, all students completing a teacher education course across Australia will need to have passed a national literacy and numeracy test administered by the Australian Council of Educational Research (ACER) before they complete their course to be eligible for Provisional Accreditation from NESA.

You do not need to have undertaken the test before you apply for approval to teach, but you will need to have passed the test in order to be eligible for full approval to teach in NSW public schools. New graduates issued with a limited approval will not have this approval extended if they do not pass the literacy and numeracy test.

Contact NESA for further information on gaining Conditional or Provisional Accreditation.

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I have a criminal record. Can I still become a teacher?

Having a criminal record may not necessarily preclude you from becoming a teacher. You should contact our Teacher Approvals team for advice on your individual circumstances.

Please ensure that you provide accurate and honest information in your application. The department undertakes employment screening checks including a criminal record check on all applicants, with any criminal matters revealed by this check considered on a case by case basis.

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The application process

What is the closing date for applications for approval to teach?

There is no closing date for applications. However, as a graduate, we recommend that you apply for approval to teach in your final two semesters of your study.

If you wish to apply after you graduate, you can apply through the experienced teacher pathway. Other qualified teachers, including interstate graduates and overseas trained teachers can also apply for approval to teach with the department through the experienced teacher pathway.

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Will I need to provide my academic transcript to support my application?

You need to provide your academic transcripts and enrolment to date initially, and then on successful completion of your studies, your final academic transcript* is required for your full approval to be issued.

Any offer of permanent employment with the department is conditional on the department receiving a final academic transcript confirming completion of your studies prior to your entry on duty.

All you need to do is complete the Authorisation for the Release of Academic Transcript form (PDF 74KB) and submit to your university. Your university** will then forward your transcript directly to the department.

If you have already received your final academic transcript, you can send a copy directly to newgradtranscripts@det.nsw.edu.au.

*Note: final academic transcript is the official university transcript confirming successful completion of your studies.

**Note: The University of Technology Sydney, Australian Catholic University and Western Sydney University have advised that they are unable to provide transcripts directly to the department. Students from these universities will need to provide their own transcripts directly to the department.

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What documents do I need to provide to support my application?

    Your application must include the following documents and any additional mandatory documents required:

  • completed and signed Declaration for Child Related Work – National Criminal Records and Informed Consent form (PDF 352KB)
  • Four specific forms of proof of identity
  • evidence of change of name (if applicable)
  • evidence of Australian citizenship or permanent residency or visa permitting employment (if applicable)
  • a typed-up supporting statement which you will need to bring to your interview
  • academic transcripts of: completed degrees or other tertiary qualifications; or results to date for current degrees, or other tertiary qualifications (internet extracts can be accepted if certified by the university)
  • for university students - copies of all of your professional experience/practicum reports to date including your final professional experience/practicum report (when completed).
  • All of the above documents need to be uploaded to your online application.

    Depending on your circumstances you may be prompted to supply more documentation.

    If you have already applied for approval to teach and it has lapsed or are upgrading your approval from limited (interim) approval to teach to full approval to teach, you will still need to upload the documentation listed above in your application for approval to teach.

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I am of Aboriginal descent and I am applying for approval to teach. What will the department need me to provide with my application for approval to teach to identify as an Aboriginal person?

You will need to provide your Confirmation of Aboriginality documentation and a signed statutory declaration, as defined in the Confirmation of Aboriginality Guideline when submitting your application for approval to teach.

The department’s Aboriginal Employment Unit aboriginal.employment@det.nsw.edu.au can provide additional advice and assistance to teachers of Aboriginal descent who wish to apply for approval to teach.

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Do I need to provide certified copies of my supporting documents?

Certified copies of supporting documents are not required for your application. The department will accept scanned copies or photographs of original documents.

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Am I able to defer the date that I am available to start teaching?

As part of the approval to teach application, your availability date refers to your availability for permanent employment and this can only be after you have completed your studies. For example, a mid year graduate will have the availability date of 1 July (current year) while an end of year graduate will have 1 January (following year).

If you are going to be taking time out before you seek permanent work we recommend that you continue the application process and enter the date you intend to be available in the future or make your employment application inactive by emailing Teacher Approvals. Once you have a teaching approval, an inactive application does not preclude you from working as a casual or temporary teacher, nor does it affect your priority date for permanent employment.

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Can I change any of the information on my application?

You can make changes to your personal information in your online application at any time before attending your interview.

To update your details on the online application system: retrieve your application using your application ID and password provided to you by email when you first registered your details on the application system. Please do not make changes to names or date of birth.

To request other changes after you will need to contact us. Please include your full name and application number on any correspondence to ensure that changes can be made to your application. Please indicate ‘Changes’ in the subject line of your email.

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How do I change the location preferences on my application?

If you wish to make changes to your location preferences before your interview, retrieve your application and select the ‘amend details’ option at the bottom of the page.

If you wish to make changes after your interview, you will need to contact us via email at interviews@det.nsw.edu.au. You must clearly indicate the staffing areas and/or schools that you wish to add or delete, as well as your full name and application ID.

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Attending an interview

How and when do I book an interview?

You will be invited, via email, to book your interview once your submitted application has been assessed and validated.

The best time to attend an interview is when you are ready. Don’t come too early as you may not have gathered enough experience to readily answer the questions and demonstrate your skills and knowledge.

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How do I organise a GRP Aboriginal initiative interview?

You do not need to book online through the application process. You will need to email interviews@det.nsw.edu.au advising of your preferred time and location. In many locations, these interviews may only be available once a year. However, additional GRP Aboriginal Initiative interviews will be scheduled in Sydney (Parramatta) to meet demand.

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Where are interviews currently held?

Interviews for all applicants are conducted at various locations across NSW.

Interviews are held regularly in Sydney (Parramatta), Newcastle and Wollongong. In smaller regional centres interviews may be available less frequently. Interviews will be held subject to demand.

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What documents do I need to bring to my interview?

    You will need to bring the following documents to the interview:

  • Photo ID, such as a valid drivers licence, passport or student ID card
  • For university students, you will also need to bring a completed typed-up supporting statement (PDF 295KB) ensuring all sections are completed and a copy of your professional experience/practicum reports to date. Note that if you are attending a GRP Aboriginal initiative interview, then you need to bring a completed typed-up GRP: Aboriginal initiative supporting statement (PDF 356KB).

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What if something happens after I've booked for an interview and I can no longer make my allocated interview time?

Try to avoid making changes to your interview date and time if possible, as it may lead to delays in finalising your application. If you have a genuine need to change your interview time, you must do this online by retrieving your application.

It is not possible to cancel or change an existing booking within five days of the scheduled interview date. You should email interviews@det.nsw.edu.au.

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How can I prepare for the interview?

The selection criteria and interview questions will be based on the Australian Professional Standards for Teaching. During your interview you should reflect on your personal teaching philosophy, the department's policies, your knowledge of the current NSW curriculum and the department's child protection procedures in order to demonstrate your competence as a graduate teacher in relation to the Standards.

Remember to present yourself professionally at your interview. This is your opportunity to demonstrate your skills and abilities as a teacher.

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What are the possible outcomes of my interview?

If your application and interview are successful, you will receive full approval to teach with the NSW Department of Education. Some applicants receive approval to teach on a casual/ temporary basis only and must reapply for full approval after successfully completing a period of work experience. Some applicants are not approved to be employed as a teacher in NSW public schools.

The Teacher Approvals team will notify you via email of the recommendation your interviewer has made regarding your suitability for employment as a teacher.

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Employment as a teacher

What is the difference between casual and temporary employment?

The majority of graduates and interstate or overseas teachers will commence their teaching careers in the NSW public education system as casual or temporary teachers.

There are opportunities for casual and temporary teaching in most areas of NSW and you will greatly increase your chances of obtaining employment if you seek teaching engagements in non-coastal country areas, rural or remote schools or in south western and western Sydney.

As a casual teacher you are employed on a day-to-day basis replacing permanent teachers who are absent or participating in other activities. Casual teachers are paid a daily rate, based on their NESA accreditation as a teacher, which is loaded to include a component for sick leave and vacation pay.

As a temporary teacher you are employed full-time for four weeks to a year or part-time for two terms or more. Temporary teachers receive most of the entitlements of permanent teachers, including annual salary, on a pro-rata basis.

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I am a university student. When can I commence casual teaching?

If you apply for approval to teach, you may obtain a limited (interim) approval to teach if you:

  • have obtained teacher accreditation with NESA
  • hold a valid paid WWCC clearance
  • have successfully completed all of the professional experience/practicum components (including any internship) of your teacher education program and provided your final professional experience/practicum report to the department
  • have booked and successfully completed your interview
  • are not aware of any reason why you will not be awarded a recognised teacher education qualification at the completion of the current semester of study.

To apply for limited (interim) approval, retrieve your application using your application User ID and password, select ‘Request Interim Approval’ and follow the prompts.

If you have requested limited (interim) approval online and you meet eligibility requirements including the provision of all documents and a clear employment screening check, your request will be processed and your approval forwarded to you as soon as possible.

A limited (interim) approval is not issued immediately. Your application will be reviewed to confirm that you have met all requirements before it can be issued.

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How long is limited (interim) approval to teach valid for?

Your limited (interim) approval will be valid for six months from the date of issue. This enables you to work as a casual or temporary teacher.

If you have a visa restricting your employment in Australia, your approval to teach will be limited in line with your visa conditions.

If you are eligible for your limited (interim) approval and have a firm offer of employment in a NSW public school, ask your school principal to contact Teacher Approvals at grp@det.nsw.edu.au and request a fast track of your approval.

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How can I obtain casual or temporary employment as a teacher?

Applicants who have received their approval to teach in NSW public schools can register with ClassCover, the department's preferred service for booking casual teachers.

teach.NSW JobFeed advertises a wide range of temporary teacher vacancies every week.

Teachers who have approval to teach may also contact schools directly and advise of their availability for casual and temporary teaching.

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What paperwork do I need to show a school when I start casual teaching?

You will need to provide your teaching approval letter which will be sent to you via email once you have successfully completed all of the steps involved in the approval to teach application process, including the interview.

You will also need to meet mandatory training requirements in order to be employed as a casual teacher in a NSW public school.

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What is the difference between a limited approval and a full approval to teach?

You may receive a limited approval to teach depending on your circumstances. For example, you are yet to complete your university studies or you hold a visa restriction.

A limited approval to teach enables you to work as a casual or temporary teacher.

A full approval to teach, in addition to casual and temporary work, enables you to apply for permanent teaching positions in a NSW public school. Your full approval to teach is only valid for five years from the date of issue if you have not been employed as a teacher in a NSW public school during that time.

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How can I find permanent teaching positions?

Advertised permanent vacancies are published through I work for NSW and are also published through the teach.NSW JobFeed service.

You can refer to the Staffing Procedures for the Teaching Service in NSW Public Schools for more information on how schools are staffed on a permanent basis.

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How are new graduates appointed to vacancies?

In 2016, the NSW Department of Education and the NSW Teachers Federation signed a new staffing agreement. The agreement maintains the department’s commitment to making ‘priority placements’, including placements of high-achieving new graduates.

High-achieving graduates are identified as a result of their practicum/internship report, interview and transcript results. If you are identified as a high-achieving graduate you may be matched to a permanent teaching vacancy in a school, and receive an offer of employment.

You can maximise your opportunities for a suitable match by increasing the locations in which you are willing to work in your application and by applying for advertised temporary and permanent positions through teach.NSW JobFeed.

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Can I work in other areas of the NSW Department of Education if I do not meet the requirements for approval to teach in NSW public schools?

Yes. You would need to meet the recruitment requirements for the relevant position to gain a role. You can explore other opportunities on I work for NSW.

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Contact us

Before sending us email enquiries please refer to the other Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on this list.

If you need further help you can contact us. Please include your full name as it appears in your online application and quote your application ID in any communication you have with the department. Always include a meaningful subject heading that reflects the nature of your enquiry.