Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Education investment pays off for teacher numbers

A multi-million investment package in teacher supply announced in September last year has already exceeded its goal of 1,000 new teachers, Education Minister Jan Tinetti announced today.

The Minister, who is attending the New Zealand Area Schools Association Conference this week, said the Government had invested strongly in teacher supply.

“And we’re delighted to have secured 301 domestic teachers in training or ready for the classroom and more than 1,055 experienced overseas teachers who have arrived in the country to begin teaching,” Ms Tinetti said.

“We are committed to attracting and retaining the best to teach our young people and set them up to succeed and have a life full of choices.”

The $24 million package included initiatives to boost the teaching workforce by around 700 international teachers and 300 new domestic teachers.

“Moves to attract domestic teachers include more than doubling the number of scholarships to support people to retrain as teachers, funding 100 teacher trainees to be placed in schools in Tāmaki Makaurau and Te Tai Tokerau while studying remotely, and placing 128 beginning and returning teachers in schools who struggle to recruit with incentives to stay,” the Minister said.

“The Overseas Relocation Grant of up to $10,000, Overseas Finders Fee of $3,450, and waiving the fee for 2,400 teacher International Qualification Assessments have been successful in reducing the financial barriers to attracting and recruiting teachers from overseas, including returning New Zealanders.

“In a global shortage there is high international demand for teachers, so we need to make sure New Zealand is an attractive place to have a rewarding teaching career.

“Overseas trained teachers are a valued part of our education workforce. The majority bring five or more years’ experience and diversity to our classrooms and communities.

“Attracting overseas teachers is the fastest way to boost our number of experienced teachers but improving the availability of domestic teachers to meet demand is also a top priority we continue to progress. Most recently our 14.5% increase to teacher salaries marks our continued focus,” she said.

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