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Secondary teaching job applications hit new low

Media Release
2 July 2008
Secondary teaching job applications hit serious low - PPTA

Job applications in the secondary sector are dropping to worrying levels, Secondary Principals’ Council chair Graeme Macann says.

According to the PPTA’s 2008 secondary staffing survey (attached), which covers 184 schools, the pool of applicants has become a puddle.
Approximately three quarters of jobs advertised allowed no choice of candidate, either because no-one applied or only one person had.

Mr Macann says media focus on an increase of overseas teachers in schools has been misleading because the number of overseas applicants was similar to other years. The higher proportion was because the number of New Zealand trained applicants was dropping dramatically.

“Let’s not dump on overseas teachers. New Zealand has some fantastic teachers from overseas. The problem is the Ministry has no realistic strategy for recruiting New Zealand teachers.

“While the Government insists that secondary and primary teachers are paid the same, secondary schools are not going to attract the specialist teachers they need.

“There has been a serious shortage of teachers in subjects like technology for a while, but now we are looking at shortages in areas like science, maths and English. Recruitment is rapidly becoming one of the most frustrating parts of a principal’s job,” he said.

Mr Macann felt it was high time the Ministry of Education got to grips with the problem.
This included:

• Paying secondary teachers what the market demands - which is at least $10,000 more than the current rates.
• Bringing back studentships (ie paid bonded tertiary study) for all areas that are under supplied.
• Addressing workload issues – particularly those associated with NCEA

“Something needs to happen to help fix the situation before we get to the point where there is nobody who wants to teach in our secondary schools,” he said.


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