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The Minister of Education Nikki Kaye has today announced new measures to enhance teacher quality and supply.

In a speech at Onehunga High School, Ms Kaye told principals that alongside funding 90 additional teachers through the Teach First NZ initiative the following measures are being taken to improve the supply and quality of teachers:

The Government is committing $2 million for the Education Council to create an induction and mentoring programme for eligible provisionally certified teachers to convert up to 700 teachers to gain full registration. Cabinet has agreed to lift the moratorium on new teacher education programmes in January 2018. Confirmed the Education Council will be going out to tender for the provision of Teacher Education Refresher courses with the aim of  reducing the costs which may be prohibitive for some teachers working towards full certification.

“We are committed to continuing to strengthen the teaching profession, by improving both the quality of teachers and building and maintaining the stable workforce that young New Zealanders deserve,” says Ms Kaye.

“The overall number of teachers in New Zealand is over 100,000 across schooling and early childhood education and I am advised that this is a reasonable number to support our education system. Of those 100,000 around 6,450 hold a provisional practising certificate.

“However, I have also listened closely to what principals and others have been telling us and the evidence of pressures in some subjects and geographical areas. Today's announcement demonstrates that we are prepared to continue to support schools to get teachers in those harder to staff areas.”

The new mentoring programme follows recommendations made by the Joint Working Group on Secondary Teacher Supply in their 2016 report.

It will be available to eligible provisionally certified teachers nearing the end of their certification. However, teachers in high demand locations which include some urban and rural areas and subjects, such as the sciences, maths, technology, te reo Māori and Māori medium, will be prioritised.

The programme will support teachers to achieve full certification. Induction and mentoring is available to all teachers when they first gain their provisional certificate. However, we know that some teachers can miss out of this initial support because of the way they are employed.

“By providing further support to teachers whose provisional certificate is nearing expiry we hope to encourage more of them to stay on in the profession and gain their full certificate. Many of these will be relieving and part-time staff who are an essential part of the education workforce.

“It’s estimated that over the next two years this scheme could support up to 700 provisionally certificated teachers to become fully certificated.”

Alongside the mentoring scheme a freeze on new teacher education programmes, which has been in place since 2000, is being lifted from 1 January 2018.

The moratorium was put in place to gain control over the quantity and quality of initial teacher education programmes.

“Significant quality assurance has now been put in place and we are open once again to applications of good quality from innovative providers,” says Ms Kaye.

Today’s announcements are in partnership to the $5.2 million dollars being committed to extend Teach First NZ as part of Budget 2017. All of these add to the $9million package of measures announced in 2016 to address teacher supply and quality. These include:

A UK recruitment campaign which has identified almost 500 UK teachers who are interested in moving to New Zealand to take up positions in the next 12-18 months. Some have already arrived and are now in schools. 100 extra TeachNZ scholarships for graduates in the sciences, technology and mathematics (STM) to qualify as teachers have already been filled this year. These new teachers will be available to start working in schools from the beginning of 2018. Thirty Teach First NZ teachers started in Auckland secondary schools at the start of this school year, and 18 of these are STM teachers. A social media campaign promoting teaching to STM graduates was launched in September 2016. The campaign has attracted around 176,000 visits, resulting in 1,038 queries to ITE providers about the programmes of study available. The first phase of the ‘Bring a Kiwi Home’ campaign, aimed at encouraging New Zealand teachers working overseas to return home to teach, has been completed. While it is too early to measure its success, the videos associated with the campaign have been viewed 14,310 times. The campaign will start up again in a few months.

“There is no one measure that will enable the right quality teachers to be in the right place at the right time which is why we have a range of initiatives to address supply pressures,” says Ms Kaye.

“Having listened to principals, the Education Council and those on the front line of recruitment we are working to support more teachers to stay in the profession as well as encourage more high calibre graduates into teaching.

“We have a dedicated and committed workforce in schools and early childhood centres right across New Zealand, who are valued and respected. Teaching should rightly be a profession that young New Zealanders aspire to enter through passionate role models who are at the top of their game in every classroom.”

Questions and Answers:

1. What evidence do you have that further mentoring near the expiry of their provisional practising certification will encourage more teachers to become fully certified?

Teachers working in part-time and short-term reliever roles are employed across multiple schools, which can make it difficult to accumulate sufficient structured teaching experiences to meet the requirements for full certification. Existing induction and mentoring programmes already in place, in the main, focus on beginning graduate teachers with provisional certification in their first two years of practice. These are designed to enable them to meet the requirements for full certification.

Having an in-school option to complete an induction and mentoring programme is likely to encourage more teachers to take the opportunity that will enable them to move to full certification rather than leaving teaching.

2. Who is eligible for this new support?

Teachers who are most at risk of losing provisional certification and who meet certain criteria:

A suitable mentoring programme is not in place and provisional certification expires within the next two years Provisional certification has expired in the last six months The teacher has at least 1 year of the 2 year induction and mentoring programme already completed, and Recent teaching experience in the New Zealand education system.

3. Who will the mentoring programme give preference to?

The programme will give preference to:

Teachers in locations under particular teacher supply pressure Relieving and part-time teachers Teachers working in Māori medium settings Teachers filling roles in the sciences, technology, maths and te reo Māori Teachers helping to backfill staff filling new roles in Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako.

4. How many teachers is this likely to support?

There are currently up to 800 teachers whose provisional certification is due to expire in the next 24 months but not all of these teachers may be eligible for the programme. The estimate is that up to 700 may get full certification.

5. Do you know why teachers allow their certificates to expire?

Provisional certification can expire for a range of reasons, including not having a suitable mentor, taking time off to have children, travelling overseas before being employed as a teacher, or not recording sufficient evidence to demonstrate the standards they have to meet.

6. Who will act as the mentors?

Experienced teachers who have full certification. Where schools collaborate one teacher may work with more than one provisionally certificated teacher. Schools will identify the best solution for them in consultation with the Education Council.

7. Why is the moratorium being lifted on new ITE programmes?

Since 2000 quality assurance processes have been strengthened. The Committee on University Academic Programmes (CUAPP) and NZQA provide one step in the process of approving programmes, with the Education Council responsible for a further and final step in approving all initial teacher education programmes.

Removing the moratorium will make it easier for providers to start adjusting their programmes to meet any new requirements following the Education Council’s review of initial teacher education.

8. Why was a freeze put in in the first place?

The moratorium was established in response to concerns about the rapid growth in the number of tertiary providers offering initial teacher education qualifications, together with the number and quality of the programmes they offered.

9. Will this encourage more students to train as teachers?

Lifting the moratorium provides an opportunity for tertiary providers to adjust their programmes or develop more innovative models that address issues that have been well canvassed with the sector. New programmes may provide more attractive study opportunities for tertiary students currently considering their career options.

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