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Sustainable solutions to teacher shortages needed

Today the government announced a suite of measures they say will fix teacher shortages. While the announcement demonstrates an acknowledgment from government that more needs to be done, the proposals are insufficient to solve the underlying problems plaguing the teaching profession.

PPTA president Jack Boyle says, “The reason there are teacher shortages are threefold: the salary isn’t competitive with other careers, teacher workload is unreasonably high and the attrition rate for newly graduated teachers is nearing the 50 percent mark within 5 years.

A more holistic approach will be needed to address the issues our profession faces. We need teaching to be the meaningful and respected career that people are proud to pursue. Only then will we be able to recruit and retain the number of teachers required.

The 3280 teachers promised by the government will mostly be needed to replace departing teachers and to cope with roll growth. They are the people required to just maintain the current level of delivery in our schools.

The government’s numbers are based on Ministry of Education modelling which we believe massively underestimates the scale of the shortages.

Saying you’ll magic up a couple of thousand more teachers, without addressing the underlying reasons why there’s a teacher shortage in the first place, is counter-productive.”

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