Supply of secondary teachers in STEM-related disciplines

The NSW Department of Education’s plans and strategies to respond to the demand for secondary teachers in STEM-related disciplines are limited by incomplete data and underperforming scholarship and sponsorship programs, according to a report released today by the Auditor-General for New South Wales, Margaret Crawford.

The Department does not collect sufficient information to monitor what disciplines teachers actually teach nor does it predict supply and demand for teachers by discipline and location. This restricts the Department’s ability to track and forecast the supply and demand for secondary teachers in STEM-related disciplines.

The Department does not allocate all available scholarship and sponsorship places and around 30 percent of recipients do not complete the term of agreement. In addition, the Department has little oversight of access to practicum placements for pre-service teachers, in areas of need.

The Department has recognised these gaps and is enhancing its workforce planning model and incentive and scholarship programs. It is also working with universities to collect data on placements to help target support where needed.

The report makes three recommendations to further improve the effectiveness of the Department’s workforce planning capabilities and scholarship programs and strengthen partnerships with universities. 

Further information

Barry Underwood, Director, Office of the Auditor-General, on 0403 073 664 and email