"Perfect storm affecting teacher supply!!"

By NZAIMS inc referencing NZ Herald article | Posted: Sunday October 15, 2017

Balmoral principal Malcolm Milner connects the dots on the simultaneously contributing factors to a dramatic teacher shortage across New Zealand.

A quick scan of published article on "the teacher shortage" reveals, population growth, low morale, lagging salaries, low public perception of the profession by potential trainees, few teacher trainees, low graduate numbers, exodus of teachers from high cost areas, exodus of teachers because of burnout, Communities of Learners requiring significantly more teachers in the daily running of schools and redefined registration requirements for relievers are all simultaneously contributing to the dramatic teacher shortage across New Zealand.

The current online edition of the Education Gazette lists 225 advertisements for at least 287 primary and intermediate teachers in Auckland alone. (counting two vacancies for all notices that advertise more than one vacancy but don't specify how many jobs are vacant.) Schools are frequently listing one vacancy when the school has multiple vacancies to fill. This practice reinforces the bureaucratically promoted view, "there is no teacher shortage."

Data using the same methodology for the first Gazette in October over the past 13 years, provided by the NZ Educational Institute, show that the previous peak was 216 Auckland vacancies in October 2008.

In October 2012, when New Zealand had a net migrant outflow to fuel a mining boom in Australia, Auckland Vacancies dropped to a low of 117. However, October 2017 rose to 213, and now 287, as reversed migration has net inflows of about 70,000 a year. It is common to hear that schools have 6-10 vacancies, may not receive enough applications to meet that number and the issue of applicants suitability is certainly spoken of by many school leaders. Poaching of staff is common and financial inducements are being offered by schools in a financial position to do so, simply to fill the vacancies.

The New Zealand wide availability of jobs has enticed young people out of all tertiary education and particularly those professional training courses connected to education delivery. Training providers advise there are fewer applicants and limited finance to train teachers.

Teacher trainees numbers have tumbled from an already low, 2012 - 13,615 amid a population exodus migrating out of New Zealand, to 2015, 9750 trainees in preparation for the New Zealand population increasing by more than 70 000 during 2017. To contextualise this statistic, migrant population is, young, thus, contributing to unexpected and disproportionate increases in school-age children.

Malcolm Milner connected the dots when he said, "You have this perfect storm going on, we have been talking to the Ministry [of Education] for three years about this looming crisis, as professional bodies and as involved principals, and they haven't taken it on board."