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Student loan help to attract more teachers

16 October 2003 Media Statement

Student loan help to attract more teachers

Student loan help totalling an extra $4.7 million over four years will be available for new secondary teachers in subjects where more teachers are needed, Education Minister Trevor Mallard announced today.

“This new initiative is part of an extra $22 million going into a package of teacher supply initiatives over the next four years, bringing total funding in this area to about $66 million,” Trevor Mallard said.

“The package represents a comprehensive and coordinated response to meeting the increasing demand for secondary teachers we are anticipating over the next few years.

“Demand for secondary teachers will increase in 2004 as a population bulge moves through secondary schools. The initiatives will also help us meet our commitment to provide schools next year with an extra 362 teachers over and above those required for roll growth.

“Ensuring a good supply of quality teachers is absolutely critical to advancing our government’s education priorities of building an education system that equips New Zealanders with 21st century skills, and reducing underachievement.

‘’ As a government we are intent on ensuring everyone has the chance to reach their full potential through education because it is so important for our growth as a country – both socially and economically.

“Secondary teachers of maths, te reo Maori and physics will receive a payment of $2500 each year in their second to fourth years of teaching to go towards repaying their student loans.

“Teachers in hard-to-staff areas who teach English, chemistry, physical education, computing and biology will also be eligible for these payments.

"This funding will help these teachers get rid of their loans more quickly, and will act as an incentive for teachers to remain in teaching,” Trevor Mallard said.

The payments will be available from 2004. Other teacher supply initiatives include:

- A funding increase of $12.6 million over four years to continue and enhance the teacher trainee allowances (worth $10,000 each) scheme. This scheme is designed to encourage people with certain degrees to become secondary teachers. These degrees are in the targeted subjects of: maths, te reo Maori, physics, biology, chemistry, English, computing and, for one more year, physical education (PE). PE will be taken off the list from 2005 as the number of teachers in this subject has increased significantly.

- A repeat of last year’s successful recruitment exercise, which matched graduates from the South Island and lower North Island with Auckland schools needing teachers. It will also be trialled in schools in the Northland area.
This and other recruitment initiatives, including the use of recruitment agencies and advertising overseas, will by funded by an extra $400,000 a year.

- An extra $783,000 to providers of teacher training over four years to help fund teacher trainee practicums in isolated and Auckland schools. Auckland schools will also be able to claim funding for students doing practicums in Auckland. Providers will also be able to claim funding for up to 30 per cent of their students. Previously the maximum percentage of students was 15 per cent.

- A consultation and feasibility study by the Ministry of Education on setting up distance learning Maori medium education, possibly through video-conferencing.

“As a result of government’s recruitment efforts, the number of people studying to become secondary teachers has increased substantially in the last few years. In 2001 we had 1083 secondary student teachers graduating and 1498 are expected to complete their studies this year.

"These new initiatives certainly make it a great time to think about becoming a secondary teacher.” Trevor Mallard said.


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