HELP debt to be waived for ECTs who work in very remote communities, Tehan says

HELP debt to be waived for ECTs who work in very remote communities, Tehan says

by Freya Lucas

October 17, 2019

Children who attend preschool and school in very remote communities will benefit from teachers who remain in their position for longer, Federal Minister for Education Dan Tehan said yesterday, when announcing new legislation to waive the HELP debt for teachers who worked in such locations.


Up to five years’ worth of HELP debt accrued would be “wiped” when graduates spend at least four years working in very remote education settings.


It is anticipated that the program will also assist more than 3,500 educators in very remote settings annually by removing indexation on their HELP debt.


“Waiving their student debt will be an added incentive for teachers to work in the bush. It will prompt new teachers to consider a stint working in the bush, and will also attract remote community members into a teaching career,” Mr Tehan said. 


In order to be eligible, teachers must work in an eligible preschool or school for at least four years, commencing on or after the start of the 2019 school year, with an equivalent pro-rata rate for part-time teachers. 


Eligible areas are those defined as very remote by the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) Remoteness Structure (Vol 5), which is available on the Australian Bureau of Statistics website


Up to a maximum of five years of tuition fees could be waived for initial teacher education deferred as a HELP loan. This includes a HECS-HELP loan, a FEE-HELP loan, or a combination of both.


More information about the legislation may be accessed here.