Pre-service teacher placements in schools

Advice for schools, pre-service teachers (PSTs) and initial teacher education (ITE) providers about placements during COVID-19.

The Department recognises the need for schools, initial teacher education (ITE) providers and the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT) to work together to maintain the pipeline of teachers entering the profession. It's vital that we support the professional experience component of ITE, especially for pre-service teachers (PSTs) in their final year of study.

Supervised PST placements should go ahead as planned, within the operating guidelines and other COVID-19 guidelines circulated to schools.

PSTs may undertake the following activities as part of their supervised placements:

  • Plan synchronous and asynchronous learning through lessons or units or work. Teach online lessons through a digital platform used by the school, with online supervision and feedback provided by a classroom teacher.
  • Plan and record instructional resources on specific topics in the Victorian Curriculum, which classroom teachers in online lesson planning and delivery or to support asynchronous learning.
  • Support the adaptation or development and implementation of assessment for remote learning contexts.
  • Give appropriate feedback to students for synchronous and/or asynchronous learning tasks.
  • Teach on-site classes under supervision, where on-site teaching is viable.
  • Undertake other standard PST activities in an online environment as appropriate to the school. For example, staff meetings and learning through observation of registered teachers.


Principals retain the authority and responsibility for making decisions about the facilitation of PST supervised placements at their schools.

Host schools can support PSTs on placement by:

  • providing PSTs with access to technology platforms and other modes of interaction between teachers and students
  • enabling PSTs to access any school resources (for example, books, teaching materials) necessary for them to complete their assigned duties
  • assigning each PST a mentor who will engage in regular planning and shared reflection on the PST's teaching
  • arranging for supervision of all online interactions between a PST and a student / students by a VIT-registered teacher, in accordance with the governing Child Safety Standards
  • working with the relevant ITE provider to give a PST access to the devices they need (for example, notebooks or iPads) to conduct remote and flexible learning during their placement

Access to our digital platforms and resources

To make sure PSTs can actively support students and teachers in the remote working environment, schools should complete the request for eduMail for school staff application form for each PST undertaking a placement in their school.

This will provide PSTs with access to our digital resources, including video conferencing software.

Schools should submit completed application forms to from the principal’s education email account. PST accounts will be activated within 24 hours (depending on volume) upon the service desk receiving the completed application form.

Pre-service teachers in schools

In undertaking a placement, a PST must work collaboratively with mentors and parents/carers to support student learning in the remote and flexible learning context.

PSTs are responsible for:

  • complying with the host school's privacy, confidentiality and other legal arrangements and expectations for remote and flexible learning
  • keeping records of their planning for remote and flexible learning in the form of lesson plans and units of work
  • recording and collating evidence of their activities, in the form of a daily log of teaching activity and a reflective portfolio
  • providing evidence of how they have met the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST) in the context of their remote and flexible learning placement


Providers are responsible for:

  • making sure that all the regular systems of support for PSTs, mentor teachers and schools are in place
  • communicating with each PST and mentor teacher often
  • where necessary, working with schools to give a PST access to the devices they need to conduct remote and flexible learning during their placement

Meeting standards in a remote and flexible learning placement

Know students and how they learn

Role of PST

PSTs demonstrate that they know their learners and can differentiate remote learning activities for individual students, including students with disabilities.

Examples of the range of activities

  • adapt and differentiate independent and synchronous learning activities for individual learners
  • develop strategies for engaging with individual learners to understand how they learn in the remote context

Know the content and how to teach it

Role of PST

PSTs work with mentors to develop engaging activities. They demonstrate their understanding of the literacy and numeracy levels of their learners and adapt their online activities.

Examples of the range of activities

PSTs work with mentors to develop both asynchronous and synchronous learning using their knowledge of the student cohort and the curriculum.

Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning

Role of PST

PSTs engage in planning for remote learning supported by lesson plans and the curriculum. They demonstrate the ability to choose effective pedagogies and resources to support student learning.

Examples of the range of activities

  • develop appropriate activities and resources for remote learners in their cohort
  • work alongside mentors to set learning goals and reflect on student learning outcomes
  • use lesson plans to scaffold this process

Create and maintain supportive and safe learning environments 

Role of PST

PSTs work with mentors to engage students in the online learning environment.

Examples of the range of activities

  • develop strategies to engage students in synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities
  • establish supportive classrooms that identify and attend to the social and emotional needs of learners in online learning environments

Assess, provide feedback and report on student learning

Role of PST

PSTs engage in the cycle of teaching, including using assessment of, for and as learning as needed to plan for further learning.

Examples of the range of activities

  • work with mentor teachers to design and adapt assessment tasks for the remote learning context
  • provide group and individual feedback to students

Engage in professional learning

Role of PST

PSTs reflect on their own skills and needs and seek professional learning with their mentor, placement school and wider forums.

Examples of the range of activities

  • attend professional development sessions to develop remote learning skills
  • engage in staff professional development sessions
  • engage with wider forums to share and learn from other teachers developing online and remote learning strategies

Engage professionally with colleagues, parent / carer(s) and the community

Role of PST

PSTs work with mentors and their PLT to reflect on all aspects of the remote learning experience.

They engage with parents to support student learning.

Examples of the range of activities

  • meet online with mentors and PLTs to plan and reflect on student learning
  • work with their mentors to support parents who are facilitating home learning 

Reviewed 17 February 2021

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