Chris Hipkins unveils plan to lure offshore teachers home

The Government has announced plans to hire more than 850 new teachers.

"We know that some schools and parents, particularly in the Auckland area but also in pockets around the country, are concerned that not enough teachers are coming into the system, and we are determined to pull out all the stops to meet next year's projected shortfall," Education Chris Hipkins said on Sunday afternoon.

By 2019, the Ministry of Education estimates it'll need another 650 primary and 200 secondary school teachers to keep up with growing rolls. But it's struggling to keep people in the profession, with pay lower than it used to be and conditions getting worse, teachers say.

"We're committing an extra $10.5 million, on top of the $29.5 million already announced since late last year, to ramp up teacher recruitment initiatives and increase funding for schools - bringing funding to $40 million this year to fill vacancies," said Mr Hipkins.

"Our immediate focus is to get sufficient quality teachers in place for the next school year. But longer-term workforce planning is already underway, and the analysis being refined will support this work to address what is expected to be a need for even more teachers in a few years' time."

Immigration NZ has emailed 6000 Kiwi teachers currently living overseas, and will also be running a social media campaign to try and lure them back.

Mr Hipkins says included in today's new funding will be:

  • up to 230 grants of $10,000 for schools to get more graduate teachers into classrooms
  • $5 million more available for overseas relocation grants and finder's fees
  • easier access to up to $3000 per teacher finder's fee to help schools offset recruitment costs
  • an expansion of the Teacher Education Refresh subsidy
  • letting more schools access the Recruitment, Retention and Responsibility National Fund.