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Teacher graduates Give Teaching Profession A Miss

Katherine Rich MP
National Party Education Spokeswoman

Teacher Grads Give Profession A Miss

Employment rates for primary education graduates are so bad that nearly two in every three new teachers never make it into a school classroom in the first year after graduating, says National's Education spokeswoman, Katherine Rich.

Information on the Ministry of Education's teacher supply and demand projections, released under the Official Information Act, show that between 2000 and 2005 there were 16,343 primary teacher graduates, but more than 10,300 of those were not employed as teachers in New Zealand schools 12 months after they'd completed their course.

"When graduates were tracked for their second and third year after graduation, on average, only half of them had been employed as teachers.

"The loss to the education sector and New Zealand is huge. Some 40% of experienced teachers are due to retire in the next 15 years and we need at least that number of smart newcomers to replace them.

"There is already a dire shortage of teachers, with many schools reporting they are desperate to find staff for this year.

"This country spends tens of millions of dollars each year offering scholarships and contributing to the cost of training thousands of graduates, only to lose them post graduation.

"Minister Chris Carter should urgently investigate ways of improving the appalling recruitment rates for primary education graduates before thousands of the recent crop of 2,500 graduates are also lost from New Zealand classrooms."


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