Teacher shortage at 'crisis level' - survey

  • 30/08/2017
Teacher shortage at 'crisis level' - survey
Photo credit: File

More than half of high-school principals say they're facing staffing shortages and have teachers teaching outside their areas of qualification, a new study shows.

The survey from the Post Primary Teachers' Association and the Secondary Principals Association has found of the 220 principals questioned, more than 85 percent said they had to make compromises in staffing because of shortages.

About 54 percent reported having teachers working outside subjects they were qualified in and 67 percent said there was an inadequate supply of teachers.

Nearly a fifth said they were no longer running classes they previously offered because of a lack of staff.

Secondary principals' council chair James Morris said the survey put hard figures on the issue, which was "at crisis level".

"Until now it has been too easy for the Government to dismiss our concerns. They don't believe what we've been telling them, because they haven't seen it with their own eyes," he said.

"Bold moves must be made now to ensure students get access to the teachers they need. We need the right incentives in place to attract and retain the best teachers."

The Government last week announced it was extending a bond scheme for new teachers to all schools in Auckland - where high living costs have been blamed for staff shortages.

Prime Minister Bill English earlier this week said there wasn't "really a bad teacher shortage" but Education Minister Nikki Kaye on Wednesday told TVNZ there was an issue in certain geographical areas and teaching subjects.

She said the shortages had been created over successive Governments, but that National was now taking action.