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Ogilvy: Government in denial over 200 missing teac

Ogilvy: Government in denial over 200 missing teachers

The Government is in denial over the crisis that sees New Zealand secondary schools short of nearly 200 teachers three weeks into the new school year, United Future education spokesman Bernie Ogilvy said today.

"Just this week there were 199 actual teaching jobs advertised in the Education Gazette, and each one of those 199 jobs is a damning indictment of the Government's short-sighted approach to education," Mr Ogilvy said.

He put it to Education Minister Trevor Mallard in Parliament today that secondary schools were facing a crisis. Mr Mallard denied this.

This is simply not good enough, Mr Ogilvy said later.

"The Minister might well come up with other figures to put a better spin on it, but job ads are job ads. They speak for themselves.

"This is a Government that supposedly puts a high value on the market, well the market is speaking loud and clear - and it's saying there are nearly 200 secondary teachers missing from this country's classrooms.

"How will this crisis be addressed in the long term when the average age of the men and women at the chalk face is 49, and the number of secondary trainee enrolments has fallen by 10.5 percent since 1999?

"And while the teaching profession is slowly greying, we have the incredibly worrying statistic that of the teachers who resigned their positions in term four last year, a staggering 39 percent were actually leaving teaching itself.

"If the Government continues to ignore these realities, then this crisis will only go from bad to worse," Mr Ogilvy said.

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