By: Sam Thompson

Chris Hipkins has said it is a problem Labour inherited from National. (Photo / NZ Herald)

Schools are considering innovative ways to tackle the teacher shortage.

There are around 370 teacher vacancies in both our primary and secondary schools, most in Auckland.

Auckland Primary Principals Association president Kevin Bush said last year there were schools that had two teachers and a teacher aid, covering three classrooms.

“There’s a chance of overcrowding or large class sizes. One of the things schools may do is shuffle the number of classes and add a few more kids to each class if they can’t find a teacher for a class room.”

As a last resort some schools may consider sending kids home if they can’t find teaching staff.

However, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said there’s a range of support that schools can access and they need to be talking to the Ministry of Education.

“Ministry can provide support with recruitment. They can also provide support for additional short term limited authority to teach positions. There’s some financial support available to schools that need it.”

Hipkins, who last December announced a $9.5 million package to try and fix the shortage, said the Government will work with schools.

“We’re going to do everything we can to support schools to recruit the teachers that they need. This is something that we inherited from the previous government. They had nine years under which this problem started to develop and got worse.”

Source: Newstalk ZB

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