The Government has announced a one off $9.5 million package to boost teacher supply. It addresses immediate pressures by supporting more graduates into permanent teaching positions, supports experienced teachers back into the profession and recruits new graduates into teaching.
This is the first stage of a comprehensive programme to alleviate teacher shortages and build a strong and engaged workforce. It is in addition to other initiatives currently underway to address teacher workloads and raise the status of the profession.
Voluntary bonding scheme
The eligibility of the Voluntary Bonding Scheme will be expanded to beginning teachers starting in decile 2 and 3 state and state integrated schools in Auckland next year. It will also include new teachers of science, technology, maths and te reo Māori nationwide and all new teachers in Māori medium settings. Up to 450 teachers are expected to be eligible and this will cost the cost the Government $3.757 million.
Auckland beginner teacher project
Expanding the Auckland Beginner Teacher Project by 20 places will increase the employment of beginning teachers in permanent or fixed-term roles in Auckland primary schools and will support them to become fully certificated teachers. This takes the total number of new teachers supported to enter Auckland primary schools in 2018 to 60.
The additional 20 places for the 2018 year will cost $0.48 million.
Teacher Education Refresher (TER) course
The TER will be funded for the first 6 months of 2018, costing $1.250 million in 2018. We expect this will cover around 500 teachers. This will help retain experienced teachers whose practicing certificates are about to expire, and attract back teachers who haven’t taught for 6 years.
Teach First NZ
The Government will expand the Teach First NZ programme, adding another 35 places in 2019.
The Teach First NZ programme recruits top graduates and professionals into schools where they teach while completing a postgraduate teaching qualification. There is typically higher numbers of Māori and Pasifika recruits, and specialists in shortage subjects.
People selected by Teach First NZ go through an intensive 8-week preparation for teaching and are then employed for two years in schools that serve low-income communities.
As participants work as teachers in secondary schools from the start of the programme, Teach First NZ is able to get well qualified trainee teachers working in schools straight away, particularly in shortage subjects.