Department of Education

Remote Teaching Service


The Remote Teaching Service is made up of a dedicated group of more than 200 teachers living and working in 38 remote communities in Western Australia. They deliver flexible and innovative education programs to ensure students in remote areas are not disadvantaged by their location and have access to high quality learning programs.

The Remote Teaching Service offers a range of professional opportunities for people who are creative and resilient. If you are flexible and like working as part of a team you have the opportunity to be part of this innovative learning community. Skills and interests in literacy, numeracy and English as an additional language/dialect (ESL/D) are highly valued.
Working in a remote community offers some challenges which include isolation, cultural differences, varied accommodation and occasionally unreliable power and water. However, there is great potential to thrive both personally and professionally while experiencing a unique lifestyle.

Having a positive attitude that makes the most of the diversity of the schools and communities ensures you have an enjoyable and successful experience.

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Making the most of your remote experience

Living in a remote community

Living in a remote Aboriginal community may be very different to anything you have experienced before. You are embarking on a unique and challenging journey that many teachers have considered as ‘the time of their life’.

You have the opportunity to:

  • create and implement targeted education strategies
  • become an important and highly regarded member of an Aboriginal community
  • learn another language or dialect
  • gain a better understanding of the customs and traditions of another culture
  • experience living in the Australian outback.

You also have spare time at weekends to try a few different things such as camping, painting, photography, gardening and growing your own vegetables, reading, watching DVDs and playing computer games. All Remote Teaching Service communities have satellite and internet access. You may like to consider buying a telescope and gazing into the magnificent night sky.

In short, you will be immersed in a diversity of language, landscape, culture and community.

Teaching in a remote community

Teaching in a remote community offers you a wealth of opportunities. Many teachers who have worked in the Remote Teaching Service say it is the highlight of their teaching careers.

You are part of creative and innovative practices every day and work in environments where flexibility is paramount. No two days are ever the same.

As a member of a smaller team, you may be involved in whole school planning and decision making, participate in school based leadership roles, share personal interests and talents in specialist programs as well as learn about new subject areas.

Generally a class size in a remote school is smaller than traditional metropolitan classrooms. This enables you to develop deeper relationships with students and families. There are opportunities to teach multi-aged groups and, in many schools, you remain with that class for two or more years.

Employment in the Remote Teaching Service is predominantly through merit selection and a typical contract in the Remote Teaching Service is for three years. During that time you may be offered the opportunity to advance your career by acting in higher positions. This is a great way to extend your knowledge and skills, and develop a better understanding of what it takes to be a leader in a public school.

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Housing and transport

Rent free housing is provided for all teachers in the Remote Teaching Service along with a furniture and white-goods package.

You also receive a range of other benefits and allowances which include the reduction of other costs such as electricity, water, gas and telephone. The amount varies depending on the location.
The quality of housing across remote communities ranges from satisfactory through to 5 star. A program to build new houses and maintain existing houses is ongoing. Remember that these communities are remote and urgent repairs may take some time.

Your housing may be part of the community, usually within walking distance of the school and sometimes within its boundary. This proximity to the community allows you to develop close and supportive relationships with community members.

Maintaining a positive attitude is essential to your enjoyment of teaching in a remote location. If you are allocated an older house, your ability to settle in may depend on your ability to make this house your home.

It is important to remember weather conditions in remote environments may be unfamiliar to you. Following the holidays, if a sandstorm or cyclone has ‘visited’, your house may not be in the condition you left it and some minor repairs, cleaning and gardening may be required.

Transport

When you join the Remote Teaching Service the travel costs for you, your partner and dependents are met as well as costs for the removal of your furniture, effects and car.

In some circumstances, you are able to transport free a motorcycle and/or small (six metres maximum) boat. Fair and reasonable excess ‘location specific’ luggage provisions are also included for some locations.

The school provides a 4WD vehicle for transporting staff and students on school activities. You have the opportunity to do a 4WD course through the Department which is a prerequisite for driving this vehicle.

For your personal travel and exploring the surroundings, a strong 4WD to cope with rough roads, straying animals and river crossings is highly recommended.

Unleaded fuel and diesel is readily available as well as a replacement unleaded fuel called ‘opal’ which works well for most cars.

Find out more about Housing and Transport entitlements.

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Schools in the Remote Teaching Service

Many remote schools are located in places that are unique and beautiful - however they also provide extremely challenging work environments and lifestyle experiences.

Schools in the Remote Teaching Service are some of the most isolated in the world and can be located up to 2000 kilometres from regional centres. They may be in community settings or small towns, and the vast majority of the schools have a predominantly Aboriginal population.

You can expect differing cultural, social, climatic and recreational environments. It is important to be prepared and research the schools and areas you may be interested in. A number of Remote Teaching Schools also has their own websites. Visit Schools Online.

For further location information visit MAPS on the Department of Aboriginal Affairs website.

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Benefits and allowances

Teaching in a remote school is unique to any other teaching experience. Personal and career benefits range from being a highly regarded member of the community to receiving extensive professional learning and networking experiences.
As recognition for the commitment to high quality education in isolated and challenging locations, and the extra duties and responsibilities undertaken by teachers in the Remote Teaching Service, a range of allowances and benefits for teachers and school leaders are unique to the Remote Teaching Service. Information on regular teacher benefits.

The following are some of the additional benefits you receive:

1. Permanency and ongoing employment for fixed-term and graduate teachers on appointment and completion of the first two years of the three year contract
On completion of your three year contract you are offered a position in the metropolitan area or other location of your choice subject to the availability of positions. If you are already a permanent teacher with the Department and own a substantive position in the metropolitan area or a country area and choose to apply for a position in a remote school you hold your substantive position for the duration of your Remote Teaching Service appointment. Permanency is awarded after two consecutive years of satisfactory service. Extensions beyond a three year contract are at the discretion of the principal and regional executive director.

2. Locality and financial allowances of up to $20,870 a year
In addition to your fortnightly salary you receive a locality allowance and a financial allowance. This reflects the degree of the school's isolation, environmental setting and quality of life factors.

3. Flexible leave conditions
Flexible leave conditions form part of the Remote Teaching Service incentives. The table below shows how much paid leave you can earn based on your tenure in the Remote Teaching Service. This is in addition to other leave entitlements such as vacation leave during school holidays, parental and sick leave, and long service leave.

Length of continuous teaching service Remote Teaching Service leave entitlement
On completion of six semesters (three years) continuous teaching service 10 weeks additional paid leave
On completion of eight semesters (four years) continuous teaching service 22 weeks additional paid leave
(this includes the 10 weeks entitlement after six semesters)
After the completion of eight semesters (four years) for each completed semester of continuous teaching service One calendar week of additional paid leave for each semester

Accessing Remote Teaching Service Leave
Remote Teaching Service leave should be cleared prior to an employee taking up a new appointment at a school outside of the Remote Teaching Service.  However, under special circumstances you may be able to:

  • Access pro-rata Remote Teaching Service Leave
  • Take the leave at a later time or in separate portions, but still within three years of leaving the Remote Teaching Service
  • Cash out the Remote Teaching Service Leave accrual either in part or whole

All requests for approval of special circumstances are to be forwarded through the Principal to staffing@education.wa.edu.au where the request will be forwarded for consideration by the Executive Director, Workforce.
 

Rent-free housing and relocation costs
Housing is provided free for the duration of the appointment.

In some circumstances, you are able to transport free a motorcycle and/or small (six metres maximum) boat. Fair and reasonable excess "location specific" luggage provisions are also included for some placements.

You also receive payment towards the travel costs associated with parental leave and bereavement leave.

Find out more about Housing and Transport.

Find out more about the conditions and allowances of teaching in a Remote Teaching Service school visit: School Education Act Employees’ (Teachers and Administrators) General Agreement 2014.

Information on how to apply.

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Contact the Remote Teaching Service

Remote Teaching Service

Ph:     (08) 9264 4880 or (08) 9264 4404
Email: rts@education.wa.edu.au

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How to apply to the Remote Teaching Service


Click here to find out how to apply to the Remote Teaching Service.

Remote Teaching Service
http://det.wa.edu.au/careers/detcms/navigation/teachers-and-school-leaders/career-opportunities/remote-teaching-service/

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