LOVE: Keith Leyshon, new principal at Tamworth High School, is three weeks into his first regional NSW teaching gig, moving here from Newcastle, and is loving every minute of it so far. Photo: Peter Hardin

LOVE: Keith Leyshon, new principal at Tamworth High School, is three weeks into his first regional NSW teaching gig, moving here from Newcastle, and is loving every minute of it so far. Photo: Peter Hardin

How teaching in Tamworth is better than expected

How teaching in Tamworth is better than expected

Education
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He's been here for three weeks and already Keith Leyshon has fallen in love with Tamworth. It's the regional love story the NSW Government hopes will become m...

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He's been here for three weeks and already Keith Leyshon has fallen in love with Tamworth.

It's the regional love story the NSW Government hopes will become more popular as it introduces a new program to encourage ambitious teachers to relocate to the country and stay.

This is Mr Leyshon's first time working in a regionally-based school, after moving here from his most recent stint in Newcastle to become Tamworth High School's new principal.

So far, the friendliness of the community has captured him, as has the innovative and forward-thinking initiatives already on offer at the school.

"The move has been really, really exciting. I couldn't have asked to walk into a better school, and Tamworth High has great students, great staff, and some programs I'm quite excited about," he said.

"Don't get me wrong I love Newcastle, but it doesn't have that tight community feel that Tamworth does."

The move meant he could further his teaching career, to become a principal.

"I've been a deputy for nine years, so I saw the opportunity to come out here to be a principal, and so I decided with my wife, after a long discussion, to make the move to Tamworth."

This move is something the NSW Government hopes to see more of after the introduction of a new program fast-tracking teachers' pathways to become school leaders.

The Fast Stream program, announced by Premier Gladys Berejiklian and her deputy John Barilaro, will see 30 excelling teachers and 20 teaching graduates able to apply to turbo-charge their careers to the level of principal within 10 years.

This is a significant cut, almost halving the time it takes to become principals through traditional means.

Ms Berejiklian said the "rigorous" program will require participants to learn from leading teachers at selected schools, participate in a regional placement and excel in a leadership position.

"The Fast Stream program will raise education standards across the state by training our best teachers in our best schools and then requiring them to continue teaching in areas of higher need," Ms Berejiklian said.

Mr Barilaro hopes that once these teachers experience regional living, they'll stay.

"Once these teachers get a taste of rural living, the hope is that they will stay regional and take up the better quality of life we have on offer," Mr Barilaro said.

From his perspective, Mr Leyshon said country schools like his have everything, and would thoroughly encourage others to make the move too.

"Everything is here that you ever thought you would need," he said.

The story How teaching in Tamworth is better than expected first appeared on The Northern Daily Leader.

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