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Principals concerned as teacher shortage bites

Principals across the country are concerned that the latest moves by Government to stem the teacher shortage won’t be enough to fill the vacancies expected for the 2019 year.

The New Zealand Principals’ Federation (NZPF) President, Whetu Cormick, said ‘I am hearing from more and more stressed principals that they cannot secure teachers for vacancies in their schools.’

Cormick said he has long pointed out the importance of raising the status of the profession, after a decade of neglect and has repeatedly suggested a number of factors need addressing including reducing work loads, substantial pay increases, and increased support, especially for severe behavioural issues.

“I accept that this Government has acknowledged that the teacher shortage is a reality across the country and is doing everything it can to address the situation in the short term,” he said Cormick.

“Unfortunately the Ministry has not had a workforce strategy in the past to monitor and plan so that we could be assured of a sustainable workforce for the future. We had no data on which to predict the shortages we are now facing.”

“That will be addressed for the future, but it will take time. Meanwhile, we need to ramp up our efforts to fill the vacancies in front of us.”

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