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Remitting very remote teachers HELP debt - Legislation has passed

3 December 2019

This initiative will remit all or part of an individual's Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) debt from their outstanding HELP debt after they have been engaged as a teacher, including an early childhood teacher, for four years in a very remote location in Australia (using the ASGS Remoteness Structure) at any of the following:

  • an early childhood education and care service that includes a preschool education program
  • a preschool
  • a school providing primary or secondary education

Teachers must complete four years full time in a six-year period, or the pro-rated part time equivalent, commencing on or after the start of the 2019 school year.

The HELP debt to be remitted would be up to the cost of obtaining their recognised teaching qualification in either Commonwealth supported study (HECS-HELP), a full fee-paying place (FEE-HELP) or a combination of both.

The debt to be remitted is limited to the HELP debt outstanding at the commencement of their placement, and to a maximum of five years of education qualification related tuition costs.

This initiative will also waive indexation on an individual's outstanding HELP debt while they are teaching in a very remote area, from 14 February 2019. There is no requirement for an individual to complete any length of service for indexation to be waived. Once they are no longer teaching in a very remote area, indexation on any remaining HELP debt will recommence.

The list of centre based day care services operating in very remote locations can be accessed through the 'very remote Centre Based Day Care services list'.

The list of eligible preschools in New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland and South Australia can be accessed through the 'very remote preschools list (NSW NT QLD SA)'

The list of eligible primary and secondary schools can be accessed through the 'very remote schools list'. Please refer to the 'very remote schools list' for preschools located in eligible locations in Western Australia and Tasmania.

For further information please contact veryremotehelp [at] education.gov.au.