A RADICAL overhaul designed to have experts from fields like maths and science teaching in front of a high school class in just six months, has been labelled unrealistic and concerning.
While it's difficult to attract high school graduates to the degree, it's hard to see why a professional would leave mid-career when they earn more than the highest paid teacher salary, Armidale Teachers' Association president Michael Sciffer said.
"There's a lack of detail at the moment in terms of ensuring the same standards that apply to normal teacher qualifications are applied to the fast-track program," he said.
"I totally agree that knowing the subject matter is important, we need science teachers who have science degrees or majors in mathematics, but it's not enough - not everyone who has knowledge has the skills or personal abilities to be a teacher.
"You have to be able to engage with a classroom of 30 teenagers, create interesting lessons and cater to kids with learning disorders or traumatic backgrounds all in the same class."
The starting salary is about $72,000 and is capped at a maximum of $107,000 for an accredited and experienced teacher.
The state government announced on Tuesday it would tear down barriers to teaching careers with a new approach to recruitment and training.
It will involve a tiered approach to create new pathways to secondary school teaching based on a person's knowledge and pre-existing teaching skills.
NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said it's not a silver bullet but the state government has to be innovative about solutions to the teacher shortage.
"At the moment if people want to do post-graduate study it takes two years before they are in a classroom," she said.
"I'm not surprised by those comments from the Teachers' Federation as I think they are about to negotiate on a new award so it's no surprise they would want to negotiate a higher pay.
"I want them to come to the table and be a part of this, we don't call it a silver bullet solution but we have to be innovative to bring people to the teaching workforce."
Ms Mitchell said everyone who comes through the new pathway will have a nationally-recognised teaching accreditation and will be given on-the-job training.
"Two years without a salary is a significant barrier, if we can work through their prior experience and life experience and give them a paid position in six or 12 months it makes it much more attractive to consider teaching," she said.
The detail of the fast-track program will be negotiation with key stakeholders in the next six months.
Mr Sciffer said the state government has a responsibility to ensure an adequate supply of teachers across NSW.
"Every parent should be confident they can send their child to the local public school and have an appropriately qualified teacher in front of a class, but that's not happening," he said.
"The NSW Auditor says there's 200,000 kids to enrol over the next 10 to 20 years just in public schools, I think we have a serious crisis on our hands."
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