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Ministry Teacher Vacancy Survey Results

The staffing situation in New Zealand schools is well under control according to this year’s survey of teacher vacancies undertaken by the Ministry of Education.

The snapshot survey was undertaken on the first day of the school year, and the results were released today by Education Minister Trevor Mallard.

The survey shows 87% of schools posted nil vacancy signs at the beginning of the year, a similar level to last year (89%).

“Of course, as is the case every year there were some problem areas, but this is quite natural when we are talking about an overall workforce of well over 40,000 teachers,” he said.

“Across the board, however, we are currently in a very satisfactory position. I know it reflects a lot of hard work and good planning by principals and boards of trustees throughout the country, and I would like to pass on to them my personal thanks for the efforts they have made.

“I am especially gratified that 98.6% of all primary schools and 100% of secondary schools responded to this year’s teacher vacancy survey** undertaken by the Ministry of Education.”

Trevor Mallard said that even though there were expected to be more secondary students this year, the impact on the number of secondary teaching vacancies at the beginning of the year remained relatively low, representing just 1.1% of all secondary teaching positions. Primary vacancies comprised 1% of all primary teaching positions.

Re-advertised vacancies, often referred to as ‘hard to staff’ positions, remained at 0.2% as a proportion of all teaching positions, the same level as last year.
In terms of covering their vacancies, the most common method used by both primary and secondary schools was by using trained relief staff employed for ten weeks or less.

There were 2,190 beginning teachers employed in schools on day one of the 2001 school year, comprising 1,457 primary teachers and 733 secondary.

As in previous years, rural areas and schools with more Maori students or with lower socio-economic decile ratings had higher proportions of vacancies.

Southland and Northland topped the proportion of vacancies, each with 1.6% of all teaching positions vacant.

In secondary schools maths and science positions each accounted for 14% of the vacancies, followed by teachers of technology (12%).

Trevor Mallard said the results of this year’s survey showed how the roll growth in primary schools during the latter half of the 1990s was now beginning to flow into secondary schools.

“While the level of vacancies remains relatively low, there will need to be continued strong efforts by everyone concerned in the secondary school sector to ensure that the coming roll growth pressures are managed with similar success over the next few years.”

Ends


Copies of the survey are available on the Ministry of Education website www.minedu.govt.nz


** The Ministry has undertaken a Teacher Vacancy Survey of state and state integrated schools each year since 1997. It asks principals how many vacancies and re-advertised vacancies they have and what measures they are taking to cover them, and how many beginning and overseas teachers they have. Secondary principals are also asked to indicate subject areas.

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