Alternative Pathways


Alternative pathways into teaching broaden the entry points into the teaching profession by allowing individuals to work while they complete their teaching qualification. Alternative Pathways recruit high performing individuals and place them in the schools that need them most.

High Achieving Teachers Program

The Australian Government supports alternative pathways into teaching by funding the High Achieving Teachers Program.

Commencing in 2020, the High Achieving Teachers Program will offer two alternative, employment-based pathways into teaching for high achieving individuals, committed to pursuing a career in the teaching profession.

Each pathway will proactively recruit and select high achieving university graduates with the knowledge, skills and experience that schools need. Program participants will be placed in teaching positions in Australian secondary schools experiencing teacher workforce shortages. In schools, program participants will receive a high degree of training and support while they complete an Australian accredited teaching qualification and develop into high quality teachers.

The Government has contracted Teach For Australia and La Trobe University to deliver the two pathways under the High Achieving Teachers Program. Both providers were selected following an open and competitive tender process conducted in 2018. 

Teach For Australia will recruit two intakes of at least 120 program participants per intake, with a focus on recruiting individuals with a background in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Teach For Australia will place program participants in teaching positions in secondary schools in the Northern Territory, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia. While in schools, program participants will work as teachers, for two years, and receive a high degree of support while they complete a Master of Teaching (Secondary) delivered by the Australian Catholic University. The Government will provide $14.9 million in funding to Teach For Australia to deliver the program.

La Trobe University will recruit and place two intakes of at least 40 program participants per intake in Victorian secondary schools, with a focus on schools in regional Victoria. La Trobe University’s Nexus Program will target high achieving individuals with a strong commitment to the community in which they will work. Participants will commence the program in supported teaching positions, before transitioning to dedicated classroom teachers, while they complete a Master of Teaching (Secondary) over the two-year pathway. The Government has committed $6.3 million towards La Trobe University’s delivery of the program.

Both Teach For Australia and La Trobe University will commence recruiting program participants in 2019. 

Teach for Australia Program

Ahead of the High Achieving Teachers Program commencing in schools, the Government will continue to support the Teach For Australia Program. Since 2009, the Government has provided more than $77 million in funding to Teach For Australia to provide ten cohorts of their employment-based pathway into teaching. From 2020, Teach For Australia will receive Australian Government funding to deliver one pathway of the High Achieving Teachers Program. 

The Teach For Australia Program has placed around 830 teaching associates in more than 180 schools in Victoria, Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory, the Northern Territory and Western Australia, filling hard-to-staff teaching positions, including in STEM subjects. Over 40 per cent of the associates have been placed in regional, rural and remote communities, while the remainder were placed in disadvantaged metropolitan schools.

Read more about the program and request further information on the Teach for Australia website.


The Government will commission an independent evaluation of the High Achieving Teachers Program in 2021 - 2022. The evaluation is expected to be finalised in 2023.

The Government has previously commissioned two evaluations of the Teach for Australia Program.

In 2017 dandolopartners evaluated the Teach for Australia Program. Their report, available below, looked at the program’s impact in meeting the Government’s objectives.

The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) conducted an early evaluation of the Teach for Australia Program, delivered in three phases between 2010 and 2014. Their evaluation reports are available below.