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Minister welcomes latest stats on school staffing

Hon Chris Carter
Minister of Education

18 February 2008

Embargoed February 19, 2008 Media Statement

Minister welcomes latest stats on school staffing

Results of a survey showing 95 percent of primary and intermediate schools were fully staffed with the new school year well underway were welcomed by Education Minister Chris Carter today.

Education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa surveyed 500 principals on the issue after concerns over staff shortages late last year.

The survey shows 94 percent of schools found it “moderately difficult” to “moderately easy” to find staff.

“While teacher supply does remain tight, particularly in the area of experienced teachers, the survey shows predictions on teacher supply expressed in some quarters were exaggerated,” Chris Carter said.

Principals said they had relied to a degree on filling positions with new and beginning teachers but said they felt “very confident” they could provide the induction programmes necessary to support them.

“Experience is valued in all professions and teaching is no different but there is certainly a place for younger, less experienced people who are entering a new career and bringing all the enthusiasm that goes with that,” Chris Carter said.

Staffing in secondary schools appeared to be in line with past years. Vacancies remained in technology and to a lesser extent in mathematics and science but in general, vacancies by subject were also in keeping with past years.

While the new 1:18 teacher ratio kicks in next term, of the country’s 1883 primary schools, 1168 need less than .5 of a full time teaching equivalent to meet the requirement while 878 need no new staffing.

“It’s good to know the vast majority of our primary and intermediate schools are fully staffed as the year gets well underway,” Chris Carter said.


ENDS

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