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Survey does not show teacher staffing “crisis”

29 May 2008 Media Statement

Survey does not show teacher staffing “crisis”

The Minister of Education says a new survey by education union NZEI Te Riu Roa reflects similar results to one carried out by the Ministry of Education and neither shows a teacher staffing “crisis”.

Chris Carter was responding to a survey of primary principals by the NZEI Te Riu Roa union released today that showed 93 percent of schools were fully staffed.

The figure in a Ministry of Education survey at the beginning of the school year showed 99 percent of schools were fully staffed.

“While the percentages are fairly close, the differences in the surveys were that almost 2000 principals responded to the Ministry survey while 373 responses from principals were included in the NZEI survey,” Chris Carter said.

Of the 373 that responded in this latest survey, more than half – 52 percent – said they had ‘no problem’ finding staff to meet the new ratio of 1 teacher to 18 students introduced for new entrant classes at the beginning of this term.

“NZEI has been talking about a teacher staffing “crisis” since last year yet still one doesn’t seem to have eventuated,” Chris Carter said.

This year, 712 new teaching positions were created in primary schools, 276 in Auckland alone, to meet the new staffing ratio.

“While there are staffing pressures in education, as with many parts of the workforce, this survey provides more evidence that the sector is in fact coping well,” Chris Carter said.

“The vast majority of the additional positions in primary schools have been filled; and I fully expect our schools to continue their positive management of staffing needs.

The Ministry of Education monitors teacher vacancies on a fortnightly basis, conducts extensive teacher recruitment campaigns nationally and internationally, and provides free advertising for schools seeking staff through the Education Gazette.

ENDS

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