Saturday, November 27

Auckland high school principals concerned about teacher shortage


Auckland high school principals are concerned that they will not be able to find enough teachers to cover the growing enrollment next year.

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Auckland’s high school principals are concerned that they will not be able to attract enough teachers to the region to meet the growing demand.
Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

A Ministry of Education forecast provided to RNZ said schools nationwide would have 804,758 children next year, 9,000 more than this year, including 7123 more in secondary schools.

The forecast said secondary schools would be entitled to 262 more teachers to meet the growth, including 115 in Auckland.

Auckland Secondary Principals Association President Steve Hargreaves said schools will not be able to find enough qualified, high-quality teachers next year.

“I don’t know how we are going to meet that demand,” he said.

Hargreaves said students were not graduating from teacher training programs in the number and subjects needed, and very few foreign teachers were able to enter New Zealand.

“Having a person in front of students is one thing, but having the person in front of them that students deserve and need is something else entirely. I’m sure in technology, math, physics, chemistry, I reo Maori, we are definitely going. to be short of teachers, “he said.

Hargreaves said the ministry’s forecast did not count the number of teachers needed to replace those who retired or took parental leave.

He said his own school, Macleans College, had survived this year thanks to teachers who had come out of retirement to help out, but he doubted those teachers wanted to stay much longer.

“We can’t keep doing that and I think Covid is something else they have in mind. Older teachers don’t want to be in schools with Covid emerging,” he said.

Figures from the ministry say that 40 percent of Auckland schools will have more enrollments next year, up from 50 percent in 2021, while 46 percent would have fewer students, up from 43 percent this year.

They said that nationwide 1,000 schools would be entitled to more teachers next year and 1,000 less.

The forecast said 97 schools would be entitled to three or more full-time equivalent teachers to meet the list growth next year and 35 schools would see their right to have teachers dwindled by three or more full-time equivalent teachers.

The figures showed that so-called contributing elementary schools, which did not enroll 7-8 year olds, would have about 2,739 fewer enrollments next year, reducing their right to teachers by 207.

But the entire elementary and middle schools, which enrolled 7-8 year olds, would grow by 2,800 children and would be entitled to 49 more teachers.

The Education Ministry said it would update its teacher supply forecasts next month.

He said the overall outlook for teacher supply was positive and initiatives included 465 scholarships each year to help people study teaching, a bonding scheme to attract new graduates to lower decile schools in Auckland and up to 300 places. for foreign teachers to enter New Zealand. through the border exception process.


www.rnz.co.nz

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