Education Minister Chris Hipkins says there has been a good uptake of the overseas recruitment drive for teachers but schools are dragging their heels with the recruitment process.

According to the Minister, speaking at the annual New Zealand Principal Federation (NZPF) conference this week in Wellington, there have been more than 2000 responses and of those, 315 have been assessed and are ready to teach and a third have started the interview process.

But NZPF president Whetu Cormick told Newstalk ZB that while the overseas recruitment drive was a fantastic short-term fix, what schools wanted most were Kiwi teachers who understood the schooling context in Aotearoa. Cormick said it was important to address teachers’ pay and support to make teaching an attractive option for “young home-grown Kiwis straight out of high school”.

“We want home-grown New Zealand teachers who are culturally responsive,” he said.

Earlier, Cormick told Education Central that overseas teachers typically come with a willingness to understand the cultural context, schooling context and the curriculum of New Zealand schools,

“But even then, they may not be prepared for the realities of teaching our beautiful children in South Auckland.”

He says it’s up to schools to manage the transition and orientation process into this context; there’s no funding or programmes available to help with this.

President of the Secondary Principals’ Association, Michael Williams agrees.

“For some overseas trained teachers on paper they have the quals but their ability to ‘fit’ into the New Zealand educational style is difficult,” he told Education Central earlier.

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