Government announces support for teachers in remote areas

The Commonwealth Government today introduced legislation to waive the HELP debt for teachers who worked at very remote schools, including early childhood teachers.

Minister for Education Dan Tehan said the program would wipe up to five years’ worth of HELP debt from students who spend at least four years working in very remote education settings.

The program will also assist more than 3,500 educators in very remote settings annually by removing indexation on their HELP debt.

To be eligible teachers must work in an eligible school for at least four years, commencing on or after the start of the 2019 school year, with an equivalent pro-rata rate for part-time teachers. Eligible areas are those defined as very remote by the Australian Statistical Geography Standard Remoteness Structure, which is available on the Australian Bureau of Statistics website, schools would also generally be aware of their status.

Up to a maximum of five years tuition fees could be waived for initial teacher education which was deferred as a HELP loan. This includes a HECS-HELP loan, a FEE-HELP loan, or a combination of both.