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qualification query primary school teacher





Could someone perhaps help with the following query?


My wife and I are in the process of applying for a 189 visa. We are both teachers, however, because she is pre-primary teacher, she is the main applicant. While she is required to apply for an AITSL skills assessment for migration, as well as passing the IELTS requirements, my questions is: How do I have to have my qualifications verified so I am also able to teach in Australia? And would i also have to have the IELTS requirements? 


I currently have a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours and a PGCE in intermediate phase. 


Any help would be much appreciated.


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Good morning RBR


Me and my wife are both secondary school teachers with her as the main applicant.  All the best with your application.


This is from RIKAMARIE also a member on the forum


Hi All


In 2013 I wrote a post on teaching in Australia: The process explained. I updated it again in 2015, but some of those links are outdated and since the post is still helping teachers until this day, I thought I would do an updated version to help everyone out.


Here is an explanation for teachers from South Africa who want to teach in Australia. There might be information here and there that might be/might not be applicable to your process. Also, teachers who have been through the process, please feel free to add to this post!


Step 1

Apply for unabridged birth and marriage certificates for everyone in the family.


Step 2

Complete the Academic IELTS (International English Language Testing System) test through The British Council


British Council: http://www.britishcouncil.org.za/exam/ielts


You have to achieve a score of at least 7.0 for Reading and Writing and a score of at least 8.0 for Speaking and Listening.


Step 3

Complete your skills assessment through AITLS (Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership).


Application forms can be found on the AITLS website: https://www.aitsl.edu.au/migrate-to-australia


Step 4

Once you have completed the IELTS and the skills assessment, you can lodge an EOI (Expression of Interest) on the Skill select website: https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/busi/Empl/skillselect 


If however, you don't have enough points (60 points minimum), you can apply for state sponsorship (which will add 5 points to your EOI). All the information can be found below on the state websites. Just be aware that not all states sponsors teachers but the lists of sponsored occupations change regularly.


Western Australia



Northern Territory:



South Australia:






New South Wales:









Australian Capital Territory:



Step 5

Once you have state sponsorship and an invitation from Skill select, you can start filling in the visa application.


Make sure when you are filling in the application form that ALL details are correct especially the dates of the documentation. Double and triple check all is correct and that there are absolutely no mistakes on your application.


Also make sure you have all the supporting documents in front of you and ready when submitting the application.


Submit and pay for the application. You should receive a confirmation email that your application has been received as well as the payment.


Step 6

After submitting your application, the online application page should change, and you can now start uploading all your supporting documents.

Make sure all the documents are certified clearly. Upload colour copies.


Step 7

Apply for police clearance certificates and go for your medicals. Your application automatically generates a medical form that you can download (which has your unique reference code on it) and you need to take this along to your medical appointment. There should be link such as “Organise health assessment”.


Step 8

Your case officer is assigned. Your CO will email you (sometimes they don’t if they don’t require any extra information, so make sure you upload as much supporting documents as possible), to let you know which documents are still outstanding.

If your medicals get referred, then you will have to wait for it to get cleared (can take up to 3 months). If they are cleared and no further information is required by the CO, that you will be doing the Pyjama Dance soon when you receive that GOLDEN email one morning.


Step 9

Once you have your visa, some states will allow you to register with them. Unfortunately for some states you physically must be in the state to register and might also first need a Working With children check (information in step 11). Please see the individual state information pages for more information.





















https://www.trb.tas.gov.au/Web Pages/Applying for Registration.aspx





Early childhood teachers (birth to 9 years) MUST apply to have their qualifications approved by ACECQA (http://www.acecqa.gov.au/Assessment-of-equivalent-early-childhood-educator-qualifications

This can be done online and is done quickly.

Early Childhood teachers can consider teaching Kindergarten in day care. Check out the following day care companies’ websites. I have found that they are more than willing to give you the opportunity to teach with them.  Look for the job title ‘Teacher’ as Educator refers to someone that holds a diploma or certificate III in Education.


Goodstart Early Learning - https://careers.goodstart.org.au/search/


YMCA - https://ymca.org.au/get-involved/Pages/Jobs.aspx


Great beginnings - https://greatbeginnings.com.au/careers/


There are plenty more and you can just google ‘teacher day care’ or go on Seek.com.au and search for teaching jobs there.


Step 11

The Working with children check (not all states call it this)


























Step 12


Applying for jobs

Applying for jobs from South Africa can be tricky as most if not all schools prefer you to be immediately available for an interview. But don’t stress if you go over without a job. Here are some tips on securing work fast.

1.       After you have applied for your Working with children check card (WWCC) as well as your teacher’s registration, print out copies of your resume (see below for tips on resumes), teacher’s registration letter and copies of your WWCC.

2.       Do a drop-off of resumes at every single school that you are willing to travel to. Every school has there very own relief teacher application form that you will have to fill in, so take your own pen along. Submit your application along with all your supporting documents. You can also ask to see the relief teacher coordinator, so that you can introduce yourself and leave an impression.

3.       You can also register on relief teacher websites and apps (Class cover, Randstad, relief ruler. Smart teachers etc. A google search will help here, as every state has their own cover they use)

4.       Update your Seek.com.au and Linked In profile as much as possible. Create an online portfolio if you wish (portfolio gen is good for this). An online portfolio showcases all you proudest moments and best achievements as a teacher. Believe it or not, but this is a very popular method of selling yourself and really works! Make sure you upload the portfolio link into your resume and professional profiles (Seek, LinkedIn)



5. You can call schools in the day to ask if they are in need of any relief teachers the following day.

6. Wake up early and be ready in the morning so that your voice is not groggy when answering a call for relief work. Sometimes they sms and you can reply that way.

7. Set up a relief teacher pack for yourself, so that you have work to do with the students (fortunately or unfortunately, however you choose to see it, teachers do not expect or even leave you work to complete with the students, so you are left to deliver any work you see fit (within the constraints of the curriculum of course). Google again will be your friend here for relief teacher packs.

8. Once you have done some relief work, schools will offer you longer blocks of work. As permanent positions become available, you may apply and by then the school knows and trusts you and will be more likely to hire you.

9. Apply for jobs on Seek.com.au and on the government jobs websites.

10. If your application has been unsuccessful, always ask for feedback! Some are more general feedback, but some really give you insightful information as to where you went wrong, and you can concentrate on improving your application next time around.


Applying for jobs – the cover letter

The cover letter will make or break your application. When applying for a job, address the criteria in the job advertisement only!

Use the SAO (Situation, Action, Outcome) or STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Response) method as you have to address the Professional Standards for Teachers in your cover letter too. Here is link to an information booklet explaining these methods. I would highly recommend reading up as much as possible about these two methods.



This document also contains links to other websites that will help you learn how to address a cover letter.

Here is a link to the professional standards for teachers: https://www.aitsl.edu.au/teach/standards


Applying for jobs – the resume



The common mistake we make is that our CV’s are too long and too in depth. As short as possible is key. Have a look at the above link for the perfect CV!

Your CV should be tailored to every application. This sounds like hard work but focus only on the information in your CV that the job advert is referring too. All the other information is useless if that is not what the advert is asking for. You can even use the SAO/STAR method in your CV.


Please feel free to add any information in the comments that I might have missed and feel free to share your journey with everyone.




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You’ll also need an AITSL assessment to be recognized as a qualified teacher here

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RBR, TEAM3 REDEL  has given you very comprehensive information. You first need to decide in which State or Territory you are going to reside. A former South African,  I live in Queensland and work in the state school system. Once you have completed the process and arrive in Australia, you will need to  engage in casual relief employment before you will be considered for a permanent position. To obtain casual and contract work in Qld, you will need to register with TRACER - Teach Relief and Contract Employment Register. However, it will be in your favour to personally visit schools and speak to the deputy principal in larger schools or the principal in smaller schools. Volunteering in your local school is a good way to get a foot in the door. Sometimes it is just a case of being in the right place at the right time. Right now, with a severe flu season, relief teachers are in demand.  You really need to put yourself out there. As for your resume, keep it to a maximum of two pages. Please use the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (aitsl.edu.au) when writing your cover letter. Demonstrate how your experience and expertise meet the standards. 

Generally, teachers are expected to leave a lesson plan, unless the absence is unplanned. Familiarise yourself with the Australian Curriculum -  acara.edu.au . This will assist you in planning resources.


You may apply for positions from overseas in the Independent and Catholic systems. Unfortunately, I am unsure how that process works. 

All the best.

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On 7/11/2019 at 10:10 PM, DN1 said:

You may apply for positions from overseas in the Independent and Catholic systems. Unfortunately, I am unsure how that process works. 



The application process for independent and catholic schools works exactly the same as public schools. It is near on impossible to apply for a job "on spec" from South Africa without already being registered as a teacher with the relevant state board. And as detailed above, the state boards require you to apply in person and do their first aid course etc. in person too.

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