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MoE’s latest attempt to fix teacher shortage

The government has announced it will fund 240 student places in a new programme that enables teachers to earn while they work towards their teacher qualification. The programme is the latest in a string of moves to attract more kiwis into the profession.

A new employment-based initial training education programme will have 80 secondary school teacher trainee places each year from 2021 over four years, with the first cohort likely to graduate at the end of 2022.

“We know on-the-job training is an attractive option for those wanting a career change and for many university graduates as well,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said.

“This is one of a range of new initiatives announced in the Wellbeing Budget to make sure we train the teachers New Zealand needs to educate our young people.

“School leaders have been keen to support teachers to learn on-the-job, meeting immediate supply needs while students learn.

“The number of New Zealanders enrolling in initial teacher education (ITE) plummeted by about 40% under the previous National Government.

“Since 2017, the number of teachers has increased by over 1,000. This shows that people are interested in joining the profession, and we want to make sure we offer people in different circumstances a range of pathways to become a teacher.

“Our teacher supply modelling shows a rapid growth in secondary school-aged students in the coming years. That’s why this initiative is aimed at boosting staff numbers in secondary schools around the country, including a focus on attracting teachers who speak te reo Māori. TeachFirst NZ is the only employment-based initial teacher education programme currently available to trainees. While it’s an extremely popular and successful programme, we want to develop other new and innovative programmes to give teacher trainees more options,” Chris Hipkins said.

The Ministry of Education is holding sessions with key stakeholders including principals and providers who have an interest or experience in employment-based ITE programmes in Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch over the next month.

Ministry spokeswoman Ellen MacGregor-Reid added last week that “the Education Workforce Strategy is identifying new roles that will be needed in the future to support teachers to focus on their teaching”. Citing new data, she said more people are training to be teachers, more teachers are entering the workforce and more teachers are staying in the profession as of 2018 than previous years.

“Last year nearly 400 more domestic students started beginning teacher training compared to 2017 – a 9.8% increase. This included a 16% increase in primary enrolments. There were 4,300 domestic students who started teacher training overall.

“The total number of teachers increased by over 1,000 (672 primary and 332 secondary), adding to the 70,000 strong teaching workforce. There were also around 2,000 more beginning primary teachers employed (13% increase), and around 1,200 more beginning secondary teachers employed (6% increase).”

The jury’s still out on what 2019 data will show. 

Links for more info:
More information on the new employment-based ITE programme can be found here.
Further information on the $95 million teacher supply package in the Wellbeing Budget is available here.


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