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Shortages of teaching staff loom


author:NZ Herald

A teacher shortage may be on the horizon with gaps already appearing in the maths and science fields, and a lack of desire from teachers to step into middle management as older workers retire.

Research from the Post-Primary Teachers' Association found a quarter of management jobs advertised early in the year had zero or one applicants, while the numbers of teachers applying for jobs overall had decreased for the third year in a row.

Both the survey and figures from teacher training organisations show a serious shortage of teachers in maths and science. The head of one teaching programme has written to the Secretary of Education with her concerns. "I think we are heading towards a shortage of teachers," Dr Ngaire Hoben, the director of Secondary Teacher Education at Auckland University, told the Herald yesterday.

"There is no financial inducement to go teaching, yet there are plenty of jobs. It is a very serious issue."

In her letter, Dr Hoben pointed out the very low numbers of applicants to teach maths and physics, and suggested scholarships to attract more of those students to teaching.

Auckland University graduated just four physics teachers in 2014, and 39 maths teachers. AUT had no maths or physics teachers, with other universities also reporting low numbers in comparison with physical education (PE) or social science graduates.

Teach First NZ, a programme that aims to recruit high-flyers to teaching, said universities often wanted to keep maths or science graduates to do research, rather than encourage them to teach. Numbers completing those degrees were low to begin with.

Principals who responded to the PPTA survey, which involved 172 schools, agreed. Read More

EduSearch.co.nz 2012