Primary teachers' union NZEI Te Riu Roa has developed the Beginning Teachers Charter in response to concerns that that just 15 per cent of new teacher graduates are getting permanent teaching jobs.
Many new grads are forced to settle for relief work or short-term positions instead, which often means new teachers fail to receive the support and mentoring they need for full certification within six years of graduating. The union also reports that some schools hire beginning teachers on fixed-term contracts simply so they can try them out, which is illegal.
The charter guarantees that any beginning teachers the school employs will receive the induction and mentoring support they are entitled to. The school also commits to never employing new or beginning teachers on a trial or otherwise illegal fixed-term basis.
NZEI President Louise Green said schools that sign up for the charter will receive a certificate and window stickers to show they support beginning teachers.
"It sends a very strong, positive message to a school’s current and prospective teaching staff.”
The Education Council and New Zealand Principals' Federation have expressed their support for the charter an the union reported "positive conversations" have also been held with the Ministry of Education.
Ms Green said the charter was about creating a shift in practice and awareness, but the long-term answer to a lack of permanent jobs for new graduates depended on the Ministry of Education undertaking workforce planning, which was sorely needed.