Government late addressing teacher shortages

The Government is suddenly trying to address severe teacher shortages.

NZ Herald:  Overseas teacher recruitment drive doubles

The Government has more than doubled its target for recruiting overseas teachers to fill a shortfall of 850 teachers next year.

Only three weeks after the Ministry of Education announced a target of recruiting 400 overseas teachers by the start of next year, Education Minister Chris Hipkins has raised the target for 2019 to 900.

He has allocated an extra $10.5 million, on top of $29.5m earmarked last December, for a package of measures including:

• More overseas relocation grants of up to $5000 for immigrants and $7000 for returning Kiwis, plus $3000 to cover the school’s recruitment costs.

A new grant to encourage schools to employ newly graduated NZ teachers. At present only 80 per cent of new graduates get teaching jobs despite the teacher shortage.

• Expanding the current short-term policy of free refresher courses for teachers returning to teach after an absence so it can also be used by overseas teachers to meet certification requirements with the Teaching Council. Teachers required to repeat or re-sit aspects of the programme will also have their fees waived.

• Changes to the criteria to enable more schools to appoint unregistered teachers as teachers with “limited authority to teach” in a specified subject or area.

• Additional funding for agencies to process more overseas teacher applications.

Hipkins said new analysis by the Ministry of Education showed that 650 extra primary teachers and 200 extra secondary teachers would be needed in 2019 to meet a rising level of demand, driven mainly by a forecast growth in the number of students in schools.

NZ Herald: Schools doubt new goal of recruiting 900 overseas teachers

Schools say a new package to recruit more teachers is too late for the next school year and won’t be able to attract the target of 900 overseas teachers.

Ministry of Education deputy secretary Ellen MacGregor-Reid said the new grants “will be targeted where there are shortages of teachers in some subjects and locations”.

However Auckland Secondary School Principals Association chairman Richard Dykes said eligibility criteria for the new grant would not be available until November, which would be too late to have much impact on recruitment for the new school year.

“It’s great to see the Government doing something, but it’s really frustrating that it’s taken until this late in the year to do it, because the impact is going to be very limited,” he said.

“It would have been extremely useful in July when I was busy trying to get skilled teachers to come into Auckland.

“To say I’m not going to find out about this until November is just not good enough, for goodness sake! It’s too late.”

It does seem ridiculously late in the year to try and get more teachers from overseas.

Chris Hipkins on Q+A last night:


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  1. Reply
  2. robertguyton

     /  15th October 2018

    National failed teachers and students. Now, that failure has to be addressed and it won’t be easy to do.

  3. artcroft

     /  15th October 2018

    I thought we were going to build a high wages economy by reducing immigration quotas and instead paying better wages to attract kiwis into these jobs. Not another promise broken Skippy?

    • Corky

       /  15th October 2018

      ”better wages to attract kiwis into these jobs.”

      Arty, are you getting a relapse of Spur Fever? Mention of the above is too close to the concept of performance pay for teachers. There can never be shining stars in a socialist state. Especially not for teachers who are charged with indroctrnating the next generation of Labour supporters…and journalists.

  4. Rickmann

     /  15th October 2018

    I wonder how many of the newly recruited overseas teachers will be male. The latest figures I remember seeing was that only 16% of the involved in education in NZ were male and the percentage is falling. In my own case, when twice applying to help out the “drastic teacher shortage” I was very bruskly told that over 10 years of teaching in some of Japan’s top universities (Waseda, Yokohama National, Nihon and Jochi), running my own school for 10 years along with training programs for some Jan’s top corporate groups was not good enough for “the world’s best education system” and that I would have to get recertified.

    No thanks. Several of my Kiwi staff at my school in Yokohama and colleagues at the novelties I taught at had all left NZ because of the aggressive feminism in the NZ system and the outright hostility to “males”, but that is not unique to education these days.

  5. Blazer

     /  15th October 2018

    Typical Bridges.National ignored the situation as they do for…9 years and now has all the answers!!
    Hopeless bunch of self interested non performers.

  6. NOEL

     /  15th October 2018

    Yah gotta chuckle over this one.
    Teachers union down played the pay rise with other issues promoted the major concerns.
    Now Gummit says it will deal to the major issue but not the pay increase.

  7. Gezza

     /  15th October 2018

    In today’s Herald:

    US teacher says system prevents him getting NZ job despite teacher shortage
    An American teacher says immigration rules have prevented him from getting a job in New Zealand, despite a desperate teacher shortage.

    Jake La Jeunesse, 35, a high-school English teacher, says Wellington-based recruitment agency Education Personnel has not put his name forward for a single job although he has had NZ teaching registration since January.

    He moved to Auckland last month to join his wife, who has started a research job at Middlemore Hospital, but he has so far only been able to get relief teaching work at an adult English language school.

    His email correspondence with Education Personnel consultant Roslyn Bourke shows that he Inquired about numerous jobs that were advertised since January, but that Bourke told him the schools “will not respond until all NZ candidates have been considered”.

  8. Traveller

     /  15th October 2018

    You have an Education Minister who takes a month of leave when his partner has a baby, and a leadership who has prioritised this over the multi factorial education problems of teacher admissions, retention and salary negotiations.

    This is NOT what ministers do. The “human face” of government needs to be focused on the nation’s children, not specifically their own.

    There is something deeply tragic about the gross incompetence of this government.

    They have things arse about face

    • Blazer

       /  15th October 2018

      Please explain the advances in the education portfolio in the 9 years National handled it…and of course the performance of Hekia Parata.

      Gross incompetence…writ LARGE.

      • Corky

         /  15th October 2018

        Objective testing of school children

        • duperez

           /  15th October 2018

          Congratulate Hekia Parata for the great innovation objective testing of school children? How? Through National Standards which were based on teachers’ judgements, many of which were subjective?

          And no objective testing happened before? I’m sure in the archives we have our kids’ assessment folders from the middle 90s to the early 2000s with objective tests, including stuff like PAT papers.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  15th October 2018

      6 weeks, I think, Traveller.

  9. David

     /  15th October 2018

    Stop reducing class sizes and you wouldnt have a shortage, ridiculous having 23 kids or less in a class.
    Tell me when you or your kids were at school was the number of kids in the class ever relevant or was it the quality of the teacher. From memory when I was at school 32 was the max class size.


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