The Government has announced it will spend $3 million trying to boost teacher numbers amid growing concern educators are leaving Auckland due to the high cost of living.
Education Minister Nikki Kaye today announced a package that includes an extra $1m towards expanding a programme to get teachers started in Auckland jobs and another $2m to help 200 teachers move from overseas to New Zealand.
It follows the release of statistics from the New Zealand Education Institute showing two-thirds of Auckland teachers are considering moving out of town due to the high cost of living.
“Teachers have been warning for years about the teacher shortage in Auckland and the impact this will have on children’s education, and it’s beyond time for action,” Balmoral School principal Malcolm Milner said in July.
Ms Kaye said the Government has been listening to concerns.
The funding will double the capacity of the Auckland beginner teacher project, which helps 40 provisionally registered teachers lock down jobs in Auckland primary schools.
It will also restart the international relocation grant, which has funded about 200 teachers from overseas, including expats, to move to New Zealand between 2000 and 2015 before being discontinued.
The Government would also be reviewing the voluntary bonding scheme, which gives payments to new teachers after three years at eligible schools.
The Education Institute says only 12 teachers last year applied for the grant, which can earn new teachers up to $17,500 for staying in Auckland.
The union today criticised the Government for failing to promote the scheme actively since 2010.
“It is bizarre that while there is so much publicity about the teacher supply crisis, the Government has kept quiet about a major tool for helping to address it,” president Lynda Stuart said. NZN