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Outdated Pay Structure Cause of Teacher Shortage

26 January 2004

Outdated Pay Structure Cause of Teacher Shortage

Teacher shortages will be an annual fixture until the education system's outdated pay structure is dumped, Education Forum policy analyst Norman LaRocque said today.

"New Zealand faces yet another teacher shortage, despite Education Minister Trevor Mallard's quick-fix pre-election union pay out last year. Throwing money at the problem is not the solution. The centralised, 'one size fits all' pay system deters high quality recruits and pushes good teachers out of the profession.

"The system results in good teachers being paid too little and weaker teachers being paid too much. There is too little differential in salaries to attract good teachers to hard-to-staff schools. It also results in particular shortages of teachers in 'hard to staff' subject areas - typically those where there is competition from other sectors.

"New Zealand must move beyond a pay method designed early in the last century, and replace it with an innovative system that addresses the realities of schools today," Mr LaRocque said.

- The Education Forum is a pro-market education advocacy group.

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