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New initiatives to get more teachers into schools

24 November 2002 Media Statement

New initiatives to get more teachers into schools

Education Minister Trevor Mallard today announced two new initiatives to get more teachers into secondary schools to accommodate predicted roll growth, and to help schools fill the additional 373 teacher positions announced earlier this year.

These initiatives will also supplement the 1765 secondary teacher trainees currently in training, up 120 from 2001.

The first initiative is designed to attract more experienced New Zealand teachers back from overseas through greater use of recruitment agencies and advertising.

Three agencies, with links to experienced NZ secondary teachers working in the UK, are being contracted by the Ministry of Education.

“Under this initiative the agencies will work more extensively with secondary schools to encourage them to use their services to fill vacancies. The agencies will also be actively encouraging NZ teachers working in the UK to return to take up jobs at the beginning of next year,” said Trevor Mallard.

The agencies will receive a fee per placement and will reduce their charges to schools. New Zealand-trained teachers are the main target.

The second initiative is targeted at Auckland, which is experiencing markedly higher growth in secondary school rolls, compared to the rest of the country, due to population changes.

“This exercise is about matching up graduates from secondary teacher education programmes in Dunedin, Christchurch and Wellington, who do not yet have teaching jobs for next year, with Auckland schools who still have positions available in particular subjects,” Trevor Mallard said.

This initiative provides for about 27 graduates to fly from South Island colleges and Wellington to Auckland tomorrow (Nov 25), for job interviews.

Trevor Mallard says it’s also very important to increase the number of secondary trainees who go straight into teaching positions after graduation.

Figures for those who completed their secondary teacher education studies in 2000 show that only 51 percent obtained teaching positions at the beginning of 2001. Sixty-six percent of 2001 secondary graduates had teaching jobs at the start of this year.

“I would like to see the figure increase again for 2003. If graduates do not have teaching positions soon after graduation they may move into other types of employment, have to resort to relief teaching, or end up going overseas to teach. We need them here in our secondary classrooms,” he said.

To help meet the demand for more secondary teachers the Ministry of Education has been co-ordinating a range of initiatives, costing around $37 million over three years. These include:
- scholarships
- training allowances for priority subjects
- recruitment incentives
- retraining for former secondary teachers
- returning teacher allowances
- national relocation grants for teachers to move to teaching jobs in other parts of the country
- conversion courses to enable existing primary teachers with degree qualifications to teach in secondary schools
- international relocation grants for New Zealand teachers living abroad and suitably qualified overseas-trained teachers.

ENDS

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