By: Simon Collins
The Government has announced its plans to try and fix the country’s teacher shortage, and that includes cutting a bonus proposed by their predecessors.
Education Minister announced the $9.5 million package today that will boost teacher supply.
The package comes on the back of months of pleading from schools about shortages in staff, particularly in areas like Auckland and in subjects such as science, technology and maths.
Education Minister Chris Hipkins said they’ll use the money to directly fund teachers in most-needed areas.
However, it will see cuts to a plan by former Education Minister Nikki Kaye to pay a bonus of up to $17,500 to all beginning teachers who work in any Auckland school for at least three years.
The package will extended the grant through the voluntary bonding scheme for beginning teachers to Auckland schools in decile 2 and 3.
The bonus currently applies only in decile 1 and isolated schools. Kaye had planned it to all Auckland schools, at a cost which Education Minister Chris Hipkins said would have created a $37.5 million “hole” in the education budget.
Hipkins’ package includes:
- Expanding the eligibility of the Voluntary Bonding Scheme (VBS) to beginning teachers who start in decile 2 and 3 schools in Auckland next year.
- Expanding VBS nationally to new teachers of science, technology, maths and te reo Māori.
- Expanding the Auckland Beginner Teacher Project to increase the employment of beginning teachers in permanent or fixed-term roles in Auckland primary schools and to support them to become fully certificated teachers. The scheme has helped 40 schools to employ beginning teachers before their rolls grew enough to justify an extra teacher.
- Help to retain experienced teachers whose practising certificates are about to expire, and attract back teachers who haven’t taught for six years, by covering the cost of the Teacher Education Refresher course.
- Financial support to schools needing to attract and retain teachers with limited authority to teach in skill areas that are in short supply.
- Promoting and making it faster, easier and cheaper for overseas teachers from the UK, Ireland, Canada, South Africa and Fiji to come and work in New Zealand.
“Together with a commitment to address teacher workloads and to raise the status of the profession, this is the first stage of a comprehensive programme to alleviate teacher shortages and build a strong and engaged workforce,” Hipkins said.
A survey this week found that 14 per cent of primary schools nationally, and 20 per cent in Auckland, will start next year at least one teacher short.
More information on the teacher supply package is available at: http://www.education.govt.nz/teacher-supply
Source: Newstalk ZB