National Exceptional Teaching for Disadvantaged Schools

The Faculty of Education developed the National Exceptional Teaching for Disadvantaged Schools (NETDS) program in 2009 to address the significant social issue of educational disadvantage through a teacher education program that explicitly focused on the preparation of high-quality teacher graduates. NETDS ensures that the best suited pre-service teachers are equipped to teach and encouraged to select employment in low socio-economic status school settings.

Each year we identify our highest-quality pre-service teachers who participate in a specialised curriculum that better prepares them to teach within low socio-economic status schools. We've partnered with the Queensland Department of Education, Training and Employment and key low socio-economic status schools to help channel these exceptional pre-service teachers into sites where they can have the greatest impact.

We've partnered with Origin Foundation, Eureka Benevolent Foundation and Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation to scale the project nationally. Several other universities have joined us in making a difference, including:

  • the University of Newcastle and the University of New England in 2013
  • Deakin University and the University of South Australia in 2014
  • Victoria University and Western Sydney University in 2015.

Outcomes of the program

  • Approximately 90% of NETDS graduates have secured employment with schools below the Australian mean Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage level of 1,000.
  • Many graduates secure full-time employment in low socio-economic status schools before they graduate.
  • School partners have grown from 3 in 2009 to approximately 60 in 2017.
  • We've developed distinctive workshops focusing on 'real world' issues related to disadvantage.

Awards and grants for NETDS include:

  • 2011 Faculty of Education Teaching Excellence Team Award
  • 2012 QUT Vice-Chancellor's Award for Excellence
  • 2013 Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) Outstanding Contribution to the Profession of Teacher Education Award
  • in 2014, the Origin Foundation received the Outstanding Philanthropic Support Award for Higher Education from the Business/Higher Education Round Table
  • in 2014, the Australian Research Council provided a linkage grant of $495,000, partnered with the Queensland Department of Education, Training and Employment - Exceptional teachers for disadvantaged schools: a longitudinal study of graduates at work in low socio-economic status schools
  • 2015 Award for Programs that Enhance Learning in the Australian Awards for University Teaching (AAUT)
  • 2016 Australian Financial Review Award for Community Engagement, commended for collaborative, long-term approach to the vital task of narrowing education gap in Australia.

Policy impact of NETDS:

  • listed in two federal government submissions to the Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group 2014 as a successful and significant model of high poverty teacher education
  • listed as a Bright Spot in Australian Education by Social Ventures Australia.

For more information about the NETDS program contact Associate Professor Jo Lampert or Associate Professor Bruce Burnett.

NETDS in the news


Faculty of Education

General enquiries

  • Level 2, A Block
    Kelvin Grove
    Victoria Park Rd
    Kelvin Grove

  • Postal address:
    Faculty of Education
    GPO Box 2434
    Brisbane QLD 4001