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Efforts to boost teacher supply working well

1 February 2006

Efforts to boost teacher supply working well

Government efforts to boost the number of teachers in schools are starting to take effect as schools prepare for bumper rolls in 2006, says Education Minister Steve Maharey.

Schools will start the year with an estimated 760,000 students and 50,000 teachers, but only about 315 teaching vacancies, less than one percent of all teaching positions.

"When schools start back next week there will be enough teachers available to meet demand," Steve Maharey said. "This is despite having more full-time positions and more students in our schools than ever before.

Steve Maharey said the government had invested more than $52 million over the last three years to promote teaching as a highly rewarding career, and to increase support and incentives available for teachers.

"The results of the government's investment in teacher supply initiatives are hugely encouraging. More people than ever are choosing a career in teaching and fewer people are exiting the profession.

"While school rolls have increased to their highest level ever, the number of primary and secondary school teaching positions advertised has decreased steadily in recent years."

Initiatives to increase teacher supply include:

- Starting salaries for primary and secondary teachers have increased each year since 2003, are now $38,277 and will increase in July to $39,425

- Training allowances, scholarships and student loan support

- More non-contact time to allow for professional development throughout teachers’ careers and to give more time to consider student needs

- Salary incentives and payment of removal expenses to encourage teachers to work in low decile schools in Northland, Auckland, East Coast and the West Coast.

-International relocation grants to encourage New Zealand trained teachers to return and encourage overseas teachers to come to New Zealand

- TV advertising of teaching as a rewarding and highly satisfying career

The government has made a commitment to ensuring that by 2008 there will be no more than 15 children per new entrant class in Primary School.
Additional Information

- Secondary teaching vacancies have continued to fall and are now well under half what they were in mid-January 2003.

- Vacancies for primary teachers in 2006 remain about the same as in 2005, which is lower than expected, given the introduction of classroom release time for teachers time of 10 hours per teacher per term from October 2005.

- Primary teacher classroom release time is aimed at reducing teacher workload. It will allow teachers to undertake professional development in school time or to spend additional time on their students’ needs.

- Since 1999, the government has put over 3040 extra full-time teacher equivalents into classrooms, over and above the extra teachers required for roll growth.

- Budget 2005 added another 420 new teachers around the country, over and above those required for roll growth.

- This year the government will spend over $93 million on teacher professional development initiatives

- Mean salary of full-time permanent state school teachers increased by 23 percent between April 1999 and April 2005

- Steve Maharey said that any schools that had difficulty filling a vacancy could contact the Ministry of Education for assistance.

ENDS

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