SA preschool teachers to retain loading allowance when working in country areas
For teachers working in country South Australia – including those working in Department of Education preschools – the loading allowance will become an ongoing payment from 2024.
This means anyone who is eligible to receive the allowance in the 2024 school year, including those who currently receive it, and those who move to a regional school or preschool, will receive the country incentive zone allowance for as long as they stay in a country incentive allowance zone.
Currently, the Country Incentive Zone Allowance expires after five or eight years, depending on the remoteness of the location teachers worked in.
This change, the SA Government hopes, will help attract teachers to work in the country, and support teacher retention in regional areas, ensuring staffing continuity to support student learning.
“Growing up in a small country town I know first-hand the important role teachers play in regional communities,” said SA Education Minister Blair Boyer.
“Retention beyond five years has been an issue in our country schools and preschools, as teachers choose to move back to the city after they’ve gained some initial experience. By making the allowance ongoing, our government hopes that staff in country locations will choose to stay longer – providing staffing stability to schools and preschools,” he added.
“Working in the country can be a life-changing experience for teachers and leaders, and we hope more people will be encouraged to stay in the country or take up the opportunity to make the move in the years to come.”
The announcement delivers on a pre-election commitment to make the country incentive ongoing for teachers who go and work in regional schools.
Teachers do not need to apply for the allowance, it will automatically be applied to fortnightly salary payments.
Annual payments for zones include:
Zone 2 – $1,989 (eg. Berri, Bordertown, Port Lincoln)
Zone 3 – $3,508 (eg. Keith, Kingston, Robe)
Zone 4 – $6,187 (eg. Hawker, Kimba, Roxby Downs)
Zone 5 – $10,023 (eg. Coober Pedy, APY Lands)
Country teachers make up about a quarter of South Australia’s teachers in public schools and preschools. Each year there are about 200 public teaching vacancies advertised in country schools and preschools, with the next recruitment round set to open in Term 3, which begins on 24 July.
Further changes to the scope of the country incentive are being discussed with the AEU as part of negotiations for a new enterprise agreement.
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