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Schools face teacher supply crisis

Schools face teacher supply crisis

National says the secondary school teacher shortage means schools will start their year in a fortnight with hundreds of classes lacking a properly qualified teacher, and hundreds of other classes having only marginally qualified overseas teachers.

“Last year education was an absolute mess, this year is set to be worse,” National Education Spokesperson Dr Nick Smith said.

“Education Minister Trevor Mallard repeatedly rejected teacher supply concerns as just industrial flag waving when there is a very real problem that will impact on tens of thousands of students.

“The responsibily for this mess lies squarely at the Government’s feet. Last year’s debilitating industrial dispute sapped so much teacher morale that many have decided to get out. The Government’s poor implementation of NCEA has caused huge frustration for teachers and turned them into paper pushers.

“The Government has also starved the secondary sector of funding, making the job for teachers and schools more stressful.

“National carefully planned for the demographic bulge in the primary sector in the 1990s, by expanding teacher training numbers to ensure no class went without a properly qualified teacher. That demographic bulge has now moved to the secondary sector but this Government has failed to plan for it.

“It is madness, when we have so many primary teachers in search of work, that the Government is training three times as many primary teachers as secondary teachers,” Dr Smith said.

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