Principals and teachers called for immediate action to help alleviate the dire shortage of teachers but the government isn’t playing ball says principal of Naenae College and member of the Secondary Principals’ Council, John Russell.
“I find it worrying that the Minister of Education can say that he knows there won’t be enough teachers to staff schools from the start of next year, and still take no action. I appreciate that this is a major cost item and he has lots of things on his plate but there needs to be a strong signal to the market now that teaching is a valued and financially viable career option.”
“80 percent of my colleagues say they will have to make compromises on appointments for next year and many will start the year with unfilled vacancies. Children at secondary schools are paying the price for these shortages.”
“That means children without teachers, children being taught by people who weren’t trained in the subject they have to teach, and children who can no longer take the subjects they want. Every child should have access to a world class education – I’m ashamed that here in New Zealand we’re getting to the point where that’s not possible.”
“We were hopeful the new government would see our call for a 5% pay increase for teachers as the cry for help it is. Despite a rapidly worsening shortage of secondary teachers, successive governments have taken no steps to improve pay, which has fallen far behind what is needed to recruit and retain secondary teachers,” Russell says.