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Rolls expected to increase for 2003 school year

Rolls expected to increase for 2003 school year

Schools open tomorrow (January 29) with an estimated 743,200 New Zealanders expected to go to school this year, about 8,620 more than last year, Education Minister Trevor Mallard said today.

Total primary enrolments this year will be around 486,760, up by 500 on last year. Secondary enrolments will be around 256,450, an increase of around 8,120 on last year.

“The estimated school rolls are based on 2002 rolls and population changes. Actual school rolls will not be known until the March and July data collections. Because of the growth in secondary school rolls, special measures have been implemented to reduce actual vacancies and fill any gaps on a temporary basis,” Trevor Mallard said.

“As part of the teachers’ employment agreement settlement last year, the Government promised it would provide 373 extra teachers, over and above what’s needed for roll growth, and this partly explains the higher level of vacancies that schools may experience. There is also a worldwide shortage of teachers, and in New Zealand a population bulge is moving through secondary schools which is expected to peak in 2006-07.

“The TeachNZ unit of the Ministry of Education will be providing advice and support to schools so they are aware of the wide range of help available, including the assistance of three recruitment agents.

“Schools, if they have vacancies, may decide to make internal adjustments or extend the hours of part-time teachers. They could also employ relief teachers while they finalise permanent appointments or until returning New Zealand teachers or overseas teachers can take up their positions. There is also a pool of secondary teachers in Auckland for any emergency situations that might arise.

“In terms of primary schools, it’s expected that around 9,840 new entrants will be enrolled at schools next week. They’ll be among an estimated 59,050 children who will start school for the first time throughout the year, around 440 more than last year.”

At a regional level, half of new entrants to school this year will be in the Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions. Proportionately, the biggest increase in the number of students is in the Auckland region.

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