School operations

Career Start

Time release for graduate and mentor teachers

Graduate teachers and mentors receive time release from face-to-face teaching duties to engage in Career Start activities, including practice-focused mentoring, learning alliances and professional learning.

Career Start time release is allocated in addition to any reduction to face-to-face teaching duties provided as part of the 5% weekly reduction in scheduled duties per the Victorian Government Schools Agreement (VGSA) 2022.

As part of school workforce planning, schools should consider how they can best facilitate the time release for their graduate and mentor teachers. Career Start funding is provided to employ teachers to cover the year-long reduction in graduate and mentor teachers’ duties, and ad hoc use of casual relief teachers should be avoided. This will ensure the time release is regular and scheduled, and minimises disruption to teaching continuity in the classroom.

Schools will receive additional funds via the Student Resource Package to facilitate the reduction in face-to-face teaching duties. The time reduction for graduate teachers will be funded at a rate equivalent to a Range 2, Level 4 classroom teacher. Similarly, the time reduction for mentor teachers will be funded at a rate equivalent to a Range 2, Level 6 classroom teacher.

Career Start graduate teachers

Graduate teachers participating in the Career Start program in 2024 will receive time release from their face-to-face teaching duties.

Career Start time release for graduate teachers is indicated as a per-week average, but schools are encouraged to tailor the time release week-to-week across the term to meet the fluctuating needs of their staffing profile and ensure graduate teachers can attend full-day workshops and related Career Start alliance activities. Schools can speak to their Learning Alliance Leader for examples of how to implement time release and to discuss how to tailor it to their context.

Table 1 details time release for different school types on a weekly average and 10-week termly basis.

Table 1: Weekly and termly time release for graduate teachers
School typeCareer Start average weekly reduction to face-to-face teaching dutiesTotal reduction in face-to-face teaching duties for a 10 week term
Primary, Special and P9/12 schools1 hour and 57 minutes19 hours and 30 minutes
Secondary schools1 hour and 34.5 minutes15 hours and 45 minutes

A pro-rata time allowance applies to graduate teachers employed on a part-time basis.

For more information on Career Start participation requirements, refer to: the Use of time release guidance chapter.

For more information on the Victorian Government Schools Agreement, refer to Industrial Agreements.

Career Start mentor teachers

Mentor teachers benefit from being involved in Career Start with access to dedicated time release and professional learning focussed on evidence-based best practice. Career Start mentorship is an opportunity to develop leadership capabilities and provides a pathway to middle leadership for experienced teachers.

Mentor teachers receive a 1 hour weekly reduction in face-to-face teaching duties. Mentors supporting more than one Career Start graduate teacher will receive the 1 hour weekly reduction for each graduate they mentor.

Includes time release and maximum face-to-face teaching time for graduate and mentor teachers

Reviewed 28 May 2024

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