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Remitting very remote teachers HELP debt - these initiatives are subject to the passage of legislation

22 February 2019

Subject to passage of legislation 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 for four years in a school in a very remote location in Australia (using the Accessibility and Remoteness Index of Australia).

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 eligible schools can be accessed through the 'very remote schools list'.