The Government is investing more than $9 million over the next four years to address teacher supply pressures. Education Minister Hekia Parata has today announced several initiatives to boost the number of teachers in high-demand subjects and locations.
“Right now we have enough overall numbers of teachers, but not necessarily in the areas or subjects that we need them in,” she says.
“The Government will offer an extra 100 Teach NZ Scholarships worth $1.8 million per year for science, technology and maths (STM) subjects to lift the number of graduates in these areas by the end of 2017. These scholarships have a proven track record of quickly boosting supply in particular subject areas.
“We will also invest nearly $1 million in an Auckland programme to employ 40 new teachers through to full registration. The programme, developed with the Auckland Primary Principals Association, is an important step in ensuring new teacher graduates are employed and retained in the profession, and the pipeline of teacher supply is secured.
The Ministry of Education has been working with principals and sector groups to identify solutions to teacher supply, including national and international recruitment drives. The recruitment campaigns will be boosted and more focused on bringing Kiwi teachers back home.
The Education Council is also pulling together a working group to consider whether aspects of the Teacher Education Refresh programme need adjusting to meet the needs of teachers keen to return to teaching while still working towards a full practicing certificate.
“While there is no one silver bullet, these initiatives will help to ease pressure,” says Ms Parata. “Communities of Learning have the potential for schools to work together on recruiting teachers, instead of competing against each other, and provide new opportunities for existing teachers that strengthen the overall workforce. But for now, we continue to work at an individual school level.”