Catholic Schools Office Maitland-Newcastle Logo

Programs for Individual Leaders

Early Career Teachers Program

The Catholic Schools Office, Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle (CSOMN) provides a well-designed, high quality growth and development program designed to help our early career teachers (ECTs) thrive in their chosen profession. We are committed to supporting the careers of teachers and offer the Early Career Teacher Program to support teachers as they transition from Graduate to the Proficient Career Stage.

This program supports our ECTs as they continue on their journey of developing a deeper understanding of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers and focuses on four key areas:

1. Professional practices

2. Professional identity

3. Wellbeing

4. Orientation.

The Early Career Teachers Program has been developed by Education Officers (Teacher Accreditation/Professional Learning) and is designed to respond to the needs of our early career teachers across our system of schools. Our Education Officers provide support for ECTs and their supervisors and ensure ECTs receive the professional development and wellbeing support needed as they begin their career. The program includes but is not limited to:

  • The allocation of a designated mentor teacher providing day-to-day support
  • Allocated release time to attend professional learning and development sessions
  • System-led professional learning and network days providing the opportunity to engage with subject matter experts and ECT peers

The ECTs program comprises the following elements:

1. Orientation

Providing an orientation for ECTs to the CSOMN and teacher accreditation is an important step to ensuring ECTs have access to the information and support they need to commence work in our schools.

Orientation includes a one-day workshop at the CSO to familiarise ECTs with the key CSO personnel working with schools, complete an online orientation to teacher accreditation and to gain an understanding of the ECTs program.

2. Mentoring

The mentoring of ECTs by experienced teachers occurs in school and establishes a foundation of ongoing growth and development of the ECTs. This structured support assists the ECT to meet the requirements of accreditation at Proficient Teacher as required by NSW Education Standards Authority, first and foremost developing and refining teaching knowledge, skills and practice and then completing the formal accreditation submission.

The provision of release time for the supervisor and ECT makes an important statement about the value of this work and its significance. The supervisor and ECT will ensure effective use of this time. They will draw up a program that matches the professional demands of the school year and priorities for development of the ECT. The supervisor will be conscious of the developmental nature of this process, knowing when and what to address at a particular time. The allocation of 0.05 FTE (pro rata for part time teachers) release is provided for each ECT in their initial year of service and 0.05 FTE (pro rata for part time teachers) release is provided for each supervisor

3. Professional Learning

The CSO provides professional learning to support the school and the ECT. The focus for the professional learning for supervisors is on mentor training at the beginning of each year and a supervisor/mentee day later in the first year which provides an in-depth look at the accreditation process and documentation.

For the ECTs the professional learning is delivered over a two-year period and covers topics such as behaviour management, pedagogy, planning and programming, health and wellbeing, working with parents and a supervisor/mentee day in the latter part of the first year to provide an in depth look at the accreditation process and documentation.

Introduction to Becoming Accredited at Highly Accomplished or Lead Teacher

This 5-hour NESA registered course supports participating teachers in recognising and understanding how to evidence the positive impact they are having on the practice of their colleagues and ultimately the improvement of outcomes of students. To register your interest, please contact

Participating teachers are invited to join a ‘HALT Hub’ within the Diocese to engage in further professional learning via Zoom and face to face to actively begin planning for their HALT submission in alignment with school improvement goals.

A Coaching Approach to Mentoring

This one-day program is delivered by Growth Coaching Australia and supports participants in utilising the skills and tools of coaching such as the GROWTH Framework, as well as listening and questioning to support colleagues in a way that allows space for respectful sharing of expertise.