Fears of worsening secondary teacher shortage in 2023

Source: 1News

A lack of graduates, Covid-19, and people moving overseas has seen a shortage of teachers in New Zealand.

File image: School students.

In turn, students are disrupted, according to Onehunga High School principal Deidre Shea and Auckland Primary Principals' Association president Wendy Kofoed.

"We're currently have very significant issues in schools getting qualified educators and relievers to cope with the increasing need in our Auckland schools and that's putting pressure on the staff that we do have," Kofoed told Breakfast.

She says its common practice at the moment to split classes of children across different teachers on a weekly and sometimes daily basis.

"That's having an effect on students' learning and that's also concerning for teachers."

"Some schools have had to move back to online learning, or hybrid learning or keeping year groups at home and that's also compounded by the fact we can't get those sort of long-term relievers," Kofoed said.

Weighing in on the issue, Shea told Breakfast that in the secondary education sector, there's always been a shortage of teachers in some areas.

"But it's most definitely got worse and as you're probably aware compounded by the fact that in 2021, more people entered into the post-graduate or the one year teacher training programme for secondary but in 2022 this year fewer are training.

"So that shortage that we're currently feeling is going to be worse in terms of employing for 2023."

She said with borders re-opening there's hope teachers can be hired from overseas to provide the best learning for students.

"In schools what we're trying to do of course is ensure young people get the best possible opportunities."

READ MORE: Over 25K Covid cases reported in NZ schools in last 10 days

Shea said the disruption of Covid among other things has meant students are distracted in the classroom.

"Some of them [students] aren't engaging in school work well because of course for the last two and a half years, particularly in areas like Auckland, their schooling has been interrupted seriously.

"That regularity and that routine, the protective factor if you like of school has been eroded," she said.

The Ministry of Education has been contacted for comment.