Ministry rejects union’s claim of teacher shortage

The Ministry of Education is surprised by NZEI’s claim that New Zealand’s teacher shortage is heading towards disaster point by 2030, says Deputy Secretary of Early Learning and Student Achievement Ellen MacGregor-Reid.

NZEI’s projections, which were provided by the Ministry of Education, show that the number of primary school students is set to increase by 40,000 between 2017 and 2030. 

"We are aware of the projections that’s why in Budget 2018, $370 million was set aside to fund 1500 more teacher places by 2021 to meet population growth," says Ms MacGregor-Reid

"Addressing teacher supply is a priority. Last year the Education Minister announced a $9.5 million teacher supply package to address immediate pressures by supporting more graduates into permanent teaching positions, supporting experienced teachers back into the profession and recruiting new graduates into teaching. A further $20 million was provided in Budget 2018 to continue to fund these initiatives over the next four years."

To increase teacher supply we have:

  • Funded 890 teacher education refresher places to remove cost barriers so that teachers can return to teaching faster. 
  • Paid 137 overseas relocation grants making it easier for New Zealand teachers to return home. 
  • Expanded the Auckland Beginner Teachers programme to 60 places in 2018 with another 60 places available in 2019.
  • Increased the number of new teachers training through Teach First NZ to 80 in both 2018 and 2019. 
  • Expanded the Voluntary Bonding Scheme to encourage new teachers to work in decile 2 and 3 Auckland schools, and nationwide in identified subjects and Māori Medium Kura. Around 300 teachers who started their role in 2018 will be eligible.

"To attract people to the teaching profession we have proposed increasing salaries for new teachers in the current bargaining round," says Ms MacGregor-Reid

"We have offered a cumulative increase of 14.7 percent for graduates with a teaching degree ($47,980 to $55,030) over three years and a 14.2 percent cumulative increase for graduates with a subject degree and graduate teaching diploma ($49,588 to $56, 638) over three years.

"That means the starting salary for qualified teachers would be $50,280, increasing to $55,030 in 2020.

"We’re also working with the sector to develop a workforce strategy, which includes improving recruitment and retention - the first education workforce strategy in 30 years."

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