The package allocates $1 million to double the capacity of the Auckland Beginner Teacher Project (BTP), which at the moment “supports up to 40 beginning or provisionally registered teachers to secure roles in Auckland primary schools, so they can have certainty of employment and a guaranteed path toward full certification,” according to a press release from Minister Kaye’s office.
The other $2 million dollars will be spent restarting the international relocation grant, which incentivises overseas-trained teachers or returning expat New Zealand-trained teachers to relocate back here. There are questions regarding whether the fund could simply provide a bonus to teachers who were intending to come home anyway, which the Minister has acknowledged can’t be ruled out.
Before being discontinued in 2015, the grant funded 200 teachers, both overseas and New Zealand-trained, to move to New Zealand between 2000 and 2015.
Simon Collins of the NZ Herald reports that Labour spokesperson Chris Hipkins said: “The reinstatement of relocation grants makes sense. They never should have cut them in the first place.”
“I’m not convinced that 80 places will be enough in Auckland”, Lynda Stuart told Education Central when asked whether doubling the BTP capacity would meaningfully ease the crisis in Auckland. “Given the concerns that we’ve raised concerning shortages. We would like to see the scheme extended further, because we know that [the teacher shortage issue] is becoming significant in other parts of the country too.”