Exciting New Teaching School for Wilcannia-Forbes

Pictured above: Carmen Walsh (left) and Mary-Ellen Dempsey (right) welcome Ken McCarron, Regional Director Alphacrucis College, to the Catholic Education Office Forbes.

An exciting new Teaching School Hub is being developed through a dynamic partnership between Catholic Education Wilcannia-Forbes (CEWF) and Alphacrucis College (AC).

Catholic Education Wilcannia-Forbes’ Recruitment & Liaison Coordinator, Carmen Walsh, said the new initiative would allow Catholic School Support Staff, High School Leavers, and interested community members to work part-time in a school support role. At the same time, they complete a teaching degree, and the best part is they don’t need to leave their hometown.

“The Teaching Schools Model is an exciting concept that flips the conventional model of teacher training by bringing fully accredited higher education onsite to our very own Wilcannia-Forbes Catholic schools,” Carmen said.

“Students will be employed in CEWF schools as part-time support staff providing them with in-the-classroom experience and invaluable support from teaching staff during their study.”

Recruitment has commenced for the CEWF Teaching Schools Manager position for the Hub based in Forbes, whose responsibilities will include establishing, coordinating, monitoring, and evaluating the quality and continuous improvement of the CEWF Teaching Schools program. The successful candidate will also be responsible for the strategic leadership of the partnership between Alphacrucis College and the CEWF Teaching Schools Hub and provide ongoing support to Trainees throughout their study.

“Specifically, the role focuses on proactively supporting trainees who are enrolled in our CEWF Teaching Schools Program,”  Carmen said.

Deputy Director of Catholic Education, Mary-Ellen Dempsey, says the strategy addresses the challenges of staff shortages currently affecting Western NSW Catholic schools by providing highly trained, workplace-ready graduates for the future.

“We are confident that by training people from our communities, their lifelong ambitions will be to remain in those communities, continuing to enjoy the wonderful lifestyle that regional communities have to offer.”

“We are also acutely aware that the experience undergraduate teachers’ gain in schools is invaluable. We believe the role of a student-teacher will benefit everyone, the experienced teachers they work with, our students and the community. Their work will be a tremendous support to hard-working professionals both in the learning spaces and in preparation, resourcing and organisation. We are very excited about the possibilities,” Mary-Ellen said. The Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes is geographically large and diverse and includes eighteen schools in an area occupying half of New South Wales. To find out more about the developing CEWF Teaching School Hub, contact Carmen Walsh by email – recruitment@wf.catholic.edu.au.