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Phoebe Loomes

Perrottet's plan to attract top teachers

Premier Dominic Perrottet says the NSW government will adopt its own version of Teach for Australia. (Bianca De Marchi/AAP PHOTOS) (AAP)

Dominic Perrottet says an ambitious pilot program will attract university graduate high achievers to a teaching career, as the NSW government looks to modernise the profession.

The NSW premier says the government will adopt its own version of Teach for Australia, already in place in other states and territories, in the hope of persuading the best and brightest to enter the profession.

A pilot version of the program will offer 50 students the opportunity study a Masters of Teaching at the Australian Catholic University while also teaching in a public school, allowing them to earn an income as they learn.

"If we have the best and brightest teachers, that will lead to having the best and brightest kids - and that's what this is all about," Mr Perrottet told reporters on Tuesday.

There are barriers for university graduates in other professions who want to become teachers, and the offer of a teaching job while studying a masters will streamline the transition, Mr Perrottet said.

NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said the government had been working with Teach for Australia since 2020.

"It's all about modernising the teaching profession," she said.

"This is a program that's worked successfully in other states and indeed has been operating in Australia for about 10 years.

"We were also really clear that we wanted a specific program for NSW that would meet the needs of our students and of our staff as well."

People will have to complete one quarter of the masters degree before going into the classroom to teach, Ms Mitchell said.

She dismissed suggestions from the teachers' union the pilot would result in unqualified teachers in classrooms.

The program failed to address the unsustainable workloads and uncompetitive pay which had driven many teachers from the workforce, and would not result in a meaningful bump in teacher numbers, NSW Teachers Federation president Angelo Gavrielatos said.

Teach for Australia had failed to meaningfully retain staff, with less than 50 per cent of teachers in the Victorian program still working as teachers three years after their placements, according to government data.

Mr Gavrielatos said he had written to Mr Perrottet urging him to abandon plans to impose a 2.53 per cent award pay cap for three years on the state's teachers, as cost of living pressures continue to bite.

"Delivering a real wage cut to teachers will only make it harder to recruit and retain the teachers we need."

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