How can I speed up getting my South Australian Authority to Teach?

If you’re a new teacher in Adelaide or South Australia who is waiting for their Authority to Teach to be processed, you’re not alone. There’s a long list of paperwork and approvals that need to be checked and processed before you can work in South Australian public schools, and this is the final step.

This process can certainly take some time, and you may be under a lot of pressure to get this final step done as soon as possible. If you think that it’s taken too long for your paperwork to be processed, there are some things that you can do:

  1. Double-check to make sure that your application was correct.
  2. Call HR.
  3. Contact one of the schools that you want to work at.

Double-check to make sure that your application was correct.

This one might seem obvious, but if your South Australian Authority to Teach is taking a long time to come through, it might be that you recorded some of your details incorrectly. To submit your application for your Authority to Teach, you need to apply for it through the South Australian Department for Education’s Edujobs site

It could be that some of your paperwork didn’t upload correctly, or maybe you saved your application as a draft and didn’t formally submit it. It may also be that you put down an email address or phone number that you don’t just very often, and you have received your Authority to Teach and you weren’t aware. 

Pre-service teacher sitting on steps alone worrying about finding a university y teaching placement.

Making sure that you double-check all of these things yourself may seem like it’s not all that useful. After all, your Authority to Teach letter is essential if you want to work for the South Australian Department for Education, so you’ve made sure that you put a lot of effort into it. In reality, though, things go wrong. You also want to make sure that you can confidently say that you’ve done everything that you can before you move on to the next step:

Call HR.

If you’re sure that all of the details and information in your Authority to Teach application are correct and it’s still been weeks or even months since you’ve heard back from the Department, it’s worth making a call to their HR department.

There are a range of different contact details to use depending on what you want to ask. This helpsheet gives all of the details about who to contact for each individual query. You can email HR, but the best option is often to call because then you can be sure that someone has acknowledged your query. 

You may be on the phone for a long time, as HR gets many requests every day. When you do get through to someone, be prepared with all of the information that you know about your Authority to Teach application such as when it was initially lodged and how long it has been. 

Be aware that HR may not be able to do much to help actually speed up this process. Sometimes applications get missed, and by calling you can help to get the ball rolling again. In many instances though, you will only be able to learn where your application is in the process and that the Department for Education acknowledges that your application has been received. 

If you really want to speed up the application process, the next step will be the most impactful:

Contact one of the schools that you want to work at.

You can’t work in a South Australian public school until you have your Authority to Teach. While you are frustrated that this process is taking so long, so are all of the schools that want to employ you!

If you really want to speed up the approval of your Authority to Teach, reach out to a school that is desperately looking for teachers and tell them that you are willing to work, but are still waiting on your Authority to Teach. Their phone call to HR asking to have your Authority to Teach sped up can mean a lot more than if you did it yourself. 

Many schools are desperate for relievers, and the Department for Education is aware of this. If a Principal or other leader at a South Australian school calls up HR saying that they have a teacher that they want to employ but they are still waiting on their Authority to Teach, your application is much more likely to become a priority. 

There have been many times where I’ve seen Principals call up about a specific teacher’s Authority to Teach and it has been approved the next day. Some of the daily organisers for the more understaffed relief teacher clusters are also well-known for being able to speed up this process if you’re willing to work for them. 

If you are really serious about speeding up your Authority to Teach, you need someone from the Department for Education who is on your side. Showing the Department that you need your Authority to Teach as quickly as possible because you already have offers of work is the quickest way to get your application processed.

Are you still waiting for your Authority to Teach? Did you manage to get yours successfully fast-tracked? Let us know in the comments below!

Elise is an enthusiastic and passionate Australian teacher who is on a mission to inspire and support fellow educators. With over a decade of experience in the classroom, Elise leverages her expertise and creativity to provide valuable insights and resources through her blog. Whether you're looking for innovative lesson ideas, effective teaching strategies, or just a dose of inspiration, Elise has got you covered.

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