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Primary teacher oversupply worse than thought

Media Statement
For immediate release
Wednesday, 20 July 2005

Ogilvy: Primary teacher oversupply worse than thought

Education Ministry figures obtained by United Future education spokesman Bernie Ogilvy show that oversupply of primary-trained teachers is worse than previously thought, with fewer than one in two of 2003 graduates having found teaching jobs.

"Only 46 percent of 2003 graduates have found teaching job," Mr Ogilvy said, with the figure below the 56 percent of year 2000 graduates and 50 percent of 2002 graduates revealed recently.

"This is a downward trend and it's now dropped below the 50 percent barrier, which is atrocious. It turns teacher training into a lottery when you're talking less than a 50/50 chance of getting a job at the end of it," Mr Ogilvy said.

"We also know that student teachers start looking for work from around September or October each year, so to see that more than half of these graduates aren't in teaching jobs well over a year later raises serious concerns about workforce planning.

"Now that the 'baby blip' of the early 1990s has passed into secondary schooling, what's going on; where is the planning?" he asked.

"To ensure that the country has a sufficient supply of quality teachers, United Future will fund training providers on the basis of the foreseeable future demand of the school system,

"This would mean increasing the number of trainees funded when there is a shortage, as currently exists in the early childhood and secondary sectors, and reducing the numbers of funded places when there is an oversupply, as is the case with the primary sector.

"This is planning 101," Mr Ogilvy said.

United Future will also ensure that those entering teacher training pass minimum entry standards assessing aptitude and suitability for teaching, and ensure that those who graduate have the necessary skills to teach.

Ends.

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