Education Minister Nikki Kaye today announced a $3 million package to help increase teacher numbers, with a focus on Auckland.
“I’ve looked closely at teacher supply and listened to what principals and teachers have told me about growing pressure, particularly in Auckland,” says Ms Kaye.
“We will invest an additional $1 million to double the capacity of the popular Auckland Beginner Teacher Project, and $2 million over two years to assist with relocation costs for 200 returning New Zealand trained teachers or overseas-trained teachers.”
The Auckland Beginner Teacher Project (BTP) currently supports up to 40 beginning or provisionally registered teachers to secure roles in Auckland primary schools, so they can have certainty of employment and a guaranteed path toward full certification.
“Previous estimates of vacancies in Auckland schools were around the two per cent mark. However, the teacher supply landscape is changing rapidly. The initiatives already underway have helped relieve pressure in Auckland and elsewhere, but I want to ensure we’re taking all possible steps,” says Ms Kaye.
“Auckland principals asked for the BTP to be expanded, so I’m delighted to be able to support another 40 teachers to start in 2018. The Ministry of Education will work with the Principals’ Association to ensure beginner teachers are targeted toward high-need areas.
“Teachers eligible for relocation grants will be able to access tax-free grants of up to $7,000, depending on the duration of the position and whether they are New Zealand or overseas-trained. Schools employing a teacher through this scheme may also receive a finder’s fee of a maximum of $3000.
“The grants, payable in 2018 and 2019, will be targeted toward filling long-term positions in hard-to-staff areas, subjects or schools.
“A previous International Relocation Grant, in place between 2000 and 2015, was discontinued due to an oversupply of teachers. However, given the current supply pressures, it’s appropriate to reinstate the grant and increase its maximum value, to reflect rising costs.
“These initiatives build on our investment of $9 million in a teacher supply support package announced last year, a further $5.2 million for the Teach First NZ programme through Budget 2017, and $2 million for a new mentoring programme to encourage more teachers to become fully certified.
“I can confirm today that I will also ask the Ministry to review the Voluntary Bonding Scheme, which provides lump sum payments to beginning teachers after three years of continuous employment in eligible schools. I want the Ministry to consider how the scheme might better respond to current teacher supply pressures, so that schools with hard-to-fill vacancies are better able to attract the teachers they need.
“We know the workforce is changing in Auckland and across the country, so it’s important we have a range of options in place to respond to demand.”
- Today’s announcement takes the total amount of Government funding committed to improving teacher supply to almost $20 million over two years.
- The Auckland Beginner Teacher Project (BTP) is a joint initiative between the Ministry of Education and the Auckland Primary Principals’ Association.
- Schools taking part in the BTP commit to providing induction and mentoring over a two year period, and to employing the teacher in a permanent or fixed term position of at least two years to enable them to meet the criteria for full certification.
- The Ministry pays participating schools $24,000.
- 37 teachers from the first cohort of the BTP are currently employed in schools in Auckland.
- The Ministry of Education is working with an additional specialist education recruitment-provider to enhance support for primary and secondary schools in Auckland schools, with a focus on those facing recruitment challenges in shortage subjects.
- Work is also underway to develop a Workforce Strategy that provides more real time information so we can better meet the future needs of schools - the Ministry is establishing a Workload Advisory Group, in consultation with the PPTA and NZEI unions, to contribute to this strategy.