Meeting the Challenge: Teacher SupplyWyatt Creech Education
Meeting the Challenge:
Teacher Supply - an Update.
In August 1996 the Ministry of Education published a document
on the future provision of teachers for New Zealand schools.
The paper, Meeting the Challenge: Teacher Supply, showed
that because of roll growth, the raising of the school leaving
age and the Government's decision to improve teacher/pupil ratios,
over 800 additional teachers would be needed for the 1997 school
The Government has been preparing for this and in the 1996/97
Budget announcement $2.022 million was devoted specifically to
continue existing teacher supply initiatives which include relocation,
retraining and recruitment strategies. In addition, the Minister
of Education announced on 27 August 1996 that a further $14.024
million over the next two years has been devoted to meet the challenge
of teacher supply.
As the 1996 year draws to a close, it is timely to review progress
towards ensuring sufficient teachers for all schools for next
year. At present there is no need to revise the predictions made
earlier. However, the Ministry is closely monitoring the situation.
As expected, the main areas of difficulty will be in Auckland
and Northland. A teacher vacancy survey in November indicated
that for 1997 in these districts there were 564 vacancies. Teachers
to fill these vacancies can be found from within New Zealand and
by the recruitment of overseas teachers. Information from the
Dunedin and Christchurch Colleges of Education, for example, is
that 237 graduates trained for teaching are still actively seeking
positions for next year. In addition, many overseas teachers
with very good qualifications are eager to come to this country
Support for new and overseas teachers is part of the response
to meeting the teacher supply challenge. The Ministry of Education
is working to develop additional staffing support for certain
newly appointed teachers. From the beginning of 1997 each new
overseas teacher will be allocated the equivalent of a half day
a week for for the first ten weeks of teaching in this country.
Individual cases for additional support will be considered on
their merits by the Ministry of Education's School Staffing Section.
There is a similar support provision equivalent to a full day
each week for the whole of the first year for beginning teachers.
A major concern is the late advertising and interviewing undertaken
by some schools and a possible reluctance to recruit overseas
teachers. It is the responsibility of each board of trustees
to ensure that it has sufficient teachers. The Ministry of Education
is offering boards extra help to achieve this, but boards do need
to take timely action to appoint teachers for next year.
The Ministry of Education has in place twenty teacher supply initiatives
for the 1997 school year. They are planned to make sure that
former teachers are aware of the need for them to return to the
classroom, that they have access to retraining if necessary, that
overseas teachers are recruited as needed and that there will
be an ongoing supply of new graduate teachers. These actions
are outlined below.
Initiatives developed to increase the supply of teachers to all State and State Integrated Schools
- A multi-media TeachNZ advertising campaign to encourage
former teachers back into the profession and attract graduates
to the service began in mid October. Television Advertising began
on 3 November 1996. Information packages are available from an
0800TeachNZ (0800 832 246) number. By 2 December 1996 the campaign
had attracted about 1900 responses. A TeachNZ Internet site is
- For the beginning of 1996 the Colleges of Education were contracted
to run 12 week retraining programmes for 400 primary teachers
to update them on the latest curriculum and teaching methodology
developments. Further retraining courses are being run throughout
the country and additional funding of $2.136 million will enable
this initiative to continue.
- All teachers who graduate from an official College of Education retraining programme are eligible for the 0.2 FTTE Beginning Teacher Time Allowance, which allows for ongoing support and professional
guidance. Schools may also apply on a case by case basis where ongoing professional support is required. (FTTE refers to Full Time Teacher Equivalents. A 0.2 FTTE allowance is equal to one fifth of a teaching week, that is one day each week.)
- A video is currently being developed for distribution to those teachers who register their interest in attending a retraining programme. It aims to provide a general overview of the latest curriculum and teaching methodology developments across the school sectors.
Limited Relocation Scheme - From 1997
- From 1 January 1997 all overseas teachers recruited for more than 20 weeks to any State and State Integrated school, will be eligible for a Limited Relocation Grant of up to $3000 (inc GST). This initiative operates outside of the collective employment contracts. Application forms are available from the School Staffing Section of the National Office of the Ministry of Education.
- In order to facilitate easy entry into New Zealand for highly
qualified, suitable teachers, the Minister of Immigration has,
until 30 June 1997, waived the requirement whereby teachers must
be offshore before applying for Long Term Work Permits. In addition
to this, job offers are considered as evidence of a case made,
making local labour market checks unnecessary. Australian nationals
or citizens do not require work permits to teach in New Zealand.
Recognition of overseas teaching experience
- All overseas teachers appointed to a State and State Integrated
school after 15 September 1995 may have their full overseas teaching
service in a state school credited towards their New Zealand salary.
This initiative operates outside of the collective employment
- New Zealand trained teachers who have spent time teaching
overseas in state schools, are also entitled to full service credit
when appointed to any New Zealand school.
Staffing Time Allowance for all overseas teachers - From1997
- All State and State Integrated schools appointing an overseas
teacher at the start of the 1997 school year to their first teaching
position in New Zealand will be entitled to additional staffing
support, from the date of appointment, equivalent to 0.1 FTTE
(full time teacher equivalent). This additional staffing support
will be for a maximum period of 10 school weeks. Application forms
are available from the School Staffing Section of the National
Office of the Ministry of Education.
Beginning Teacher Time Allowance - From 1997
- All overseas year one teachers will be entitled to a full
Beginning Teacher Time Allowance or 0.2 FTTE currently available
to all New Zealand trained beginning teachers. The Beginning
Teacher Time Allowance will be approved for a maximum of 12 months.
If a teacher is entitled to a full Beginning Teacher Time Allowance,
the additional support component to all overseas teachers (see
above) is included in this time. In other words, the maximum
support that will be approved for any overseas teacher in 1997
is 0.2 FTTE.
School Based Relief Teacher Retraining Initiatives
- A seeding grant of up to $5000 per school was made available
to all schools for onsite relief teacher orientation/retraining
programmes. This initiative was designed to encourage a school
or cluster of schools to develop and implement programmes specific
to local or individual needs. Since May 1996 in excess of $804,000
has been allocated to over 345 schools. Reports from schools
indicate that this initiative has been highly successful in increasing
local relief pools. Retraining teachers have also found the school
based learning programmes to be valuable and supportive.
Video for Overseas Teachers
- A video 'A Guide to Teaching in New Zealand' which provides
a general overview of New Zealand culture and curriculum across
the school sectors, has been developed for distribution to overseas
teachers who have won appointments in New Zealand schools. Ministry
approved agents have been supplied with copies.
Increase in EFTS places
- For 1996 Government has increased the number of Equivalent
Full-Time Student (EFTS) places by 688 or 10.1%. In 1995 there
were 6811 EFTS pre-service teacher education places funded, this
has increased to 7499 places in 1996, and will rise to 7767 in
1997. 1500 EFTS places in 1997 will be targeted at compressed
primary and one-year secondary teacher training initiatives.
- For 1996 Government has also set aside a total of 783.9 EFTS
for the preservice training of Maori immersion and bilingual
teachers. In addition to this an extra $17.6 million was reserved
in the 1996/97 budget for Maori Education over the next three
years. Current policy work is centring on the recruitment of
Maori students into teacher training to improve the supply of
Maori medium teachers.
Compressed primary training courses for graduates
- Nine tertiary providers have already won bids for a contestable
pool of equivalent full-time student (639 EFTS) places for accredited
compressed graduate primary teacher training in 1997. Further
bids are now invited. All courses must have the appropriate quality
controls in place and be accredited by the New Zealand Qualifications
Authority, or bodies with the delegated authority, or the New
Zealand Vice-Chancellors' Committee. They must also be approved
by the Teacher Registration Board.
Initiatives developed to increase the supply of teachers to 'Priority Staffing' Schools/Positions
'Priority staffing' primary, intermediate, and area schools include
all decile 1 schools throughout the country, and decile 2-4 schools
in the Northland, Auckland, Tokoroa, Gisborne, Wairoa and West
Coast areas. Other schools may apply to the Ministry for 'priority
staffing' status on a case by case basis. (In this instance 'priority
staffing' positions may be approved on evidence of at least
one advertisement in the Education Gazette and a
'Priority staffing' secondary schools include all decile 1 schools
and decile 2-4 schools in the specified geographical areas as
outlined above, provided the relocating teachers are employed
to teach in the following subject areas for at least 80% of their
teaching time: Maths, English, Sciences, Maori and/or Design
Technology. Unlike primary schools where designation according
to the criteria is automatic, all secondary schools must have
their designated status confirmed by the Ministry. Other schools
may also apply on a case by case basis.
Limited Relocation Scheme - where teachers relocate from
within New Zealand
- All teachers without a family recruited from within New Zealand
for more than 20 weeks to any designated 'priority staffing' school,
will be eligible for a Limited Relocation Grant of up to $3000
- To date, 380 claims at a cost in excess of $695,000 have been
reimbursed to teachers who have relocated internationally or from
within New Zealand to 'priority staffing' schools.
- From 27 August 1996 where a designated school employs a teacher
who must relocate from within New Zealand and attracts a $3000
Limited Relocation Grant, (and provided that school does not already
have Staffing Incentive Allowance status as per the Collective
Employment Contracts), a $2500 (inc GST) Recruitment Allowance
This Recruitment Allowance may be used to meet a Boards recruitment
expenses, and/or provided it is not used to enhance teacher salaries,
may also be used for the reimbursement of a teacher's additional
Relief Teacher Limited Relocation Grant
- Designated 'priority staffing' schools who employ limited
tenure relief teachers (employed to teach for at least 6 and no
more than 20 weeks), are eligible for reimbursement of the teacher's
actual and reasonable relocation costs of up to $1500. A teacher
may only claim one reimbursement of this kind in any two year
Agency Status for the Recruitment of Overseas Teachers
- A process by which recruitment agencies for overseas teachers
may attract official status as a Ministry approved agency has
been established. This status allows designated schools who enlist
the help of an approved agent to receive a 'finder's
fee' of up to $1300 (+ GST) towards the cost of any placement
fees. This process is managed for the Ministry by the New Zealand
School Trustees Association.
To date approved agencies include: Multi Serve Education Trust
(Auckland), Education Personnel (Wellington), Ilminster Intermediate
(Gisborne), AGM Associates (Auckland), Matipo Primary School (Auckland),
Oasis Education Ltd (Auckland), Auckland College of Education,
Timeplan Education Group Ltd (Auckland/London) and Ian Young Education
Ltd (Wellington), Bill Harvey, International Placements and Immigration
(Auckland office to be established)
- There are 3 ways by which a 'priority staffing' school may claim a finder's fee:
- where a Ministry approved agent is contracted to place an overseas teacher.
Or where a school wishes to undertake their own recruitment of an overseas teacher they may either:
- as announced in the 2 September 1996 Education Gazette, choose
to travel overseas to find and interview teachers, in which case
a 'Finder's fees' of up to $1300 (+GST), may also be claimed
from the New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA) provided
the various criteria are met. Under this initiative schools
must apply to the Ministry for approval prior to embarking
on a recruitment drive, and the finder's fee is only payable
where a teacher is successfully appointed. Retrospective
approvals will not be made; or
- with prior approval from the Ministry, designated schools may
claim reimbursement of expenses of up to $1300 (+GST) from NZSTA
for onshore recruitment expenses of an overseas teacher eg toll
calls, tele-conferencing, faxing. Receipts will be required.