Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership Requirements
Are you a teacher or perhaps aspire to have such a high demand occupation for migration to Australia? Sitting on the Medium to Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) are the following teaching occupations:
- Early Childhood Teacher 
- Secondary Teacher 
- Special Needs Teacher 
- Special Education NEC Teacher 
- Teacher of the Hearing Impaired 
- Teacher of the Sight Impaired 
Studying to be a teacher
Have you already completed your bachelors and don’t want to start again? Some universities allow entrants into Masters programmes without the need for a relevant bachelors degree. More often than not, the Master of Secondary will not ask for prior qualifications in education, as having a background in another subject proves beneficial to providing education.
For example, the Master of Teaching (Secondary) course at UWA states under its entry requirements:
To be considered for admission to this course an applicant must have:
(a) a bachelor’s degree, or an equivalent qualification, as recognised by UWA; and
(b) a major relevant to secondary teaching curriculum majors offered by UWA; and
(c) the equivalent of a UWA weighted average mark of at least 60 per cent.
Applicants who have an Australian teaching qualification or equivalent as recognised by UWA are not normally eligible for admission
If you have already completed your Bachelors an an unrelated field, check with your preferred university about the entry requirements for your preferred course to be sure. In some cases it may be possible to arrange additional subjects to be completed which can be taught in a secondary school setting.
If your occupation is on this list, there are a few visa options that could be open to you. For many of these options, such as the Skilled Independent 189 visa and Skilled Nominated 190 visa, attaining a suitable skills assessment is a fundamental part of your application.
Commonly, there are three types of requirements for all the above occupations; educational, professional and English language. Whilst educational and English requirements are the same through all the 6 listed occupations, professional requirements which directly relate to the occupation’s roles and responsibilities, differ accordingly.
Requirements and application forms for individual occupations can be found in detail on the assessing body, Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) website.
Study assessed by AITSL as comparable to at least four years full-time (or part-time equivalent) higher education (university) level study in Australia, that results in a qualification/s. AITSL does not discriminate the field of study here – the four years of study do not need to have been in teaching.
Professional requirements are where AITSL assesses qualifications and experience that are occupation specific. Each teacher occupation has slightly differing professional requirements surrounding their specialisation. Please visit AITSL for more details.
To meet the English requirements for your AITSL skills assessment you will need to have taken the Academic version of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), and meet minimum score for each component as follows:
- Minimum of 7.0 for reading
- Minimum of 7.0 for writing
- Minimum of 8.0 for speaking
- Minimum of 8.0 for listening
The IELTS test scores must appear on a single IELTS test result and the test must have been taken within 24 months of the date of application. Note that this is shorter than the general DIBP acceptance that an IELTS test result has three years validity.
Alternatively, the applicant must prove that they have completed at least four full years of study in higher education (university) in Australia, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom or the United States of America. This study must have resulted in award of qualification(s) that is comparable to the educational level of an Australian bachelor degree or higher and must include a recognised initial teacher education qualification.
Evidence of supervised teaching practice
All occupations have an element of supervised teaching practice as part of the requirements. Evidence must be provided via an official document from the university awarding the initial teacher education qualification that fulfils the following:
- On an official university letterhead
- Signed and dated by a university representative
- Details the duration of the supervised teaching practice that has been completed
- States the age range of the student taught
Supervised teaching practice must have occurred with school students in a school setting to qualify. This is where many overseas qualified teachers strike trouble for their university may have a shorter supervised periods during the degree.
There is a minimum number of days the supervised practice must be undertaken (please see the individual requirements based on your occupation)
Recent graduates from Australian universities
Applicants who have completed qualifications at an Australian university in the 6 months prior to submitting an application are not required to provide a final award certificate. The following documents must be still be provided:
- a final academic transcript for each year of study
- an official statement confirming completion of study by the university registrar
For studies completed in Australia more than six months before lodging your skills assessment a final award certificate must be sent in.
Occupation specific notes
Early Childhood Teacher:
An early childhood (pre-primary school) teacher is degree qualified to teach students between the ages Birth to 8 years in education programs prior to and in the early years of primary school.
Teaching students between the ages of 13 and 18 years in secondary schools
Special Needs Teacher:
Specialist qualified teacher for working with students with particular learning difficulties in primary, middle and secondary schools
Special Education NEC Teacher:
Specialist qualified teacher for working with students with particular learning difficulties not described in other special education teacher occupations – not special needs, hearing impaired, sight impaired- in primary, middle and secondary schools.
Teacher of the Hearing Impaired:
Specialist qualified teacher for working with hearing impaired students in primary, middle and secondary schools
Teacher of the Sight Impaired:
Specialist qualified teacher for working with sight impaired students in primary, middle and secondary schools
The applications are done in paper and certified documents of original documents must be sent in with a completed application form. Original documents that are sent cannot be recovered, so be careful! The AITSL quotes around 10 weeks to assess your application. Also, a little heads up, the appeal costs as much as the application at AUD$635. This is set to go up in July 2017. Get it right now and on the first try! Good luck!
LOOK OUT! VISA FEES TO INCREASE
Visa application fees are set to increase from 1 July 2017. The hike for most visas are not terribly major but if you have a family in tow, it does make the costs heftier.
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Managing Director, Australian Immigration Law Services