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Govt Spin Won't Solve Teacher Shortage

Govt Spin Won't Solve Teacher Shortage

Monday 26 Jan 2004 Deborah Coddington Press Releases -- Education

ACT New Zealand Education Spokesman Deborah Coddington today accused the Government of driving teachers away from the profession, after 270 teacher vacancies were still being advertised in the same week that secondary schools are due to reopen their doors.

"Our best teachers are leaving in droves, and the teacher shortage has reached crisis point. Teachers, feeling undervalued by the Government, are saying, `that's it, I've had enough'," Miss Coddington said.

"I don't blame them. Principals and teachers are being swamped with excessive paperwork. Labour needs to get out of the business of creating endless bureaucracy, and allow our teachers to tend to their classes.

"Education Minister Trevor Mallard denies there is a crisis, yet will not come clean with what's really going on. He says teacher vacancies are `fewer than last year', but his weak excuses and spin don't change the fact that schools are starting the year short of teachers.

"Struggling to fill the gaps will stretch more teachers to breaking point. The tension will hurt already over-burdened principals and Boards of Trustees. Above all, this situation is unfair on students.

"Short-term measures - such as targeted scholarships and retention bonuses - will not work. ACT would reward merit and excellence in teaching by allowing schools the freedom to pay good teachers more - this would make a real difference in attracting and retaining high-quality teaching professionals," Miss Coddington said.


For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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