Teacher shortage: Increasing enrolment, tighter school budgets


According to a NZEI Te Riu Roa survey of 622 primary and intermediate school principals, 14 percent of schools expect to be short of registered teachers next year.

Kevin Bush, APPA President and Te Hihi School Principal, joins The AM Show to discuss the repercussions of tighter school budgets.

Between property fees, admin costs and utilities – one of the few areas schools can cut comes down to teacher salaries or hours.  

“When it comes down to it the one area we can cut… is around teaching and learning.”

Mr Bush explains that given school budget contraints, “there are other jobs out there that pay more.”

With 287 unfilled teaching roles across Auckland, some schools have been forced to consolidate classes to the point where 70-80 pupils are being taught by two qualified teachers and a trainee.

According to a recent survey of 622 principals, 44 percent of them expect to cut teacher aide hours for 2018.

The Ministry of Education has previously recruited educators from overseas from countries like England and Canada to fill the teacher gaps.

I think next year is going to be even worse.

The ministry also had several initiatives aimed specifically at the Auckland market, including an Auckland Beginning Teacher Project to find expert junior class teachers, a specialised recruitment agent and an international relocation grant to help overseas teachers move to New Zealand.

Watch the full interview with Kevin Bush above. 

The AM Show with Duncan Garner, Amanda Gillies and Mark Richardson, weekdays 6-9am on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.