Research shows that high-performing systems take an intentional approach to the recognition of school leaders and a consistent, whole-system approach to building the capability of educators through the design and delivery of quality professional learning.

The Victorian government has long recognised the importance of strengthening these aspects of the Victorian system, along with the need to create an ongoing supply of exceptional educators to meet the changing needs of Victoria’s students. 

Beginning in 2016, the Department of Education undertook a detailed analysis of international models, including a review of successful models already delivering results in Finland, Canada, Hong Kong, India and Singapore.

Based on this review, the government developed a strategy to create a world-class authority that would establish a consistently high standard of professional learning for the sector, recognise and develop the skills and expertise of Victoria’s educators, and share their evidence-based practices with teaching communities across the state.

In January 2022, the Victorian Academy of Teaching and Leadership (Academy) was launched to bring this strategy to life.

The Academy is a new, unique concept in Australian education with 3 ambitious objectives:

  1. To create a national benchmark for quality professional learning for educators, and be an internationally recognised model for developing, evaluating and sharing new teaching methods and practices.
  2. To provide a voice to promote greater recognition for the expertise and commitment of our educators and increase appreciation among the public for the immense positive impact that Victoria’s educators have in our children’s classrooms every day.
  3. To draw on the recognised expertise of the former Bastow Institute of Educational Leadership (Bastow), leading academics and globally recognised authorities, to create, deliver and increase access to professional learning that will take Victoria’s highly skilled educators from great to exceptional.

To meet its professional learning objectives, the Academy offers specialised programs dedicated to leadership and teaching excellence.

Leadership excellence

The Academy’s leadership excellence offerings draw on the world-class expertise of the former Bastow. Recognised for more than a decade for its progressive professional learning for government school leaders and its high-quality learning experiences, Bastow was integrated into the Academy in late 2021 to ensure that Victoria’s current and potential educators continue to receive the nation’s best professional learning.

Bastow’s deep understanding of the Victorian education sector, innovative course design and responsive learning approach continue to inform the design and delivery of the Academy leadership excellence program.

Teaching excellence

Teaching excellence offerings create environments where exceptional teachers can share experiences and learn from one another, develop new skills and approaches that make great teachers exceptional and help develop high-impact, evidence-based teaching methods that can be put to work in any classroom in the state.  

The flagship Teaching Excellence Program (TEP) is a year-long professional learning program providing 500 highly skilled educators per year with a unique opportunity to refine their skills in the art and science of teaching. Participants hone their evidence-informed teaching approaches in collaboration with leading Australian and international educators and academics. TEP is provided by a team of master teachers who are highly skilled specialists in their chosen discipline. 

Recognising regional needs and access

The Academy recognises that the needs of regional educators and the challenges faced by their individual learning communities are very specific, and often differ from those of their metropolitan colleagues.

In addition to its 2 Melbourne locations, the Academy is building 7 dedicated regional sites; providing easier access for busy educators, reducing the need for extensive travel, and providing purpose-built education spaces for the delivery of customised Academy offerings that respond to the needs of local educator communities. This is designed to progressively increase the number of highly skilled, high-performing educators in regional areas.

Classroom-tested, evidence-informed teaching practice

The Academy is committed to promoting evidence-informed practice. All Academy programs benefit from the Academy’s Evaluation and Evidence Centre, which will connect the Academy with the latest research findings and rigorously evaluate the Academy’s impact on teacher and leader quality.

The Centre will make evaluation findings and case studies accessible to educators in all schools.

Last updated 21 February 2023