Teacher Demand and Supply Planning Projection - 2021 results Publications
This publication presents an updated set of results from the Teacher Demand and Supply Planning Projection.
Author(s): Ministry of Education
Date Published: December 2021
The fourth annual release of the Teacher Demand and Supply Planning Projection has been developed under unprecedented levels of uncertainty. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact multiple aspects of the education workforce. Most notably we are facing uncertainty around border settings (both in Aotearoa New Zealand and internationally), the wider economy and teachers’ response to the vaccine mandate. The Projection is constructed to forecast the number of teachers required by schools in the future, and to compare this with an estimate of how many teachers are projected to be employed by schools in the future.
- The supply of teachers has been fundamentally disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our 2021 estimates suggest that regular (permanent and fixed term) primary and secondary school teachers are staying in the profession at a historically unprecedented rate: 93.2% secondary and 92.0% primary teachers are estimated to remain in the profession at the end of 2021, compared to 89.6% secondary and 90.0% primary in 2020. This is a ‘spike’ in retention rates well above historical norms: average retention rates over 2014-2019 are c. 89% for primary and secondary teachers.
- The demand for secondary teachers is projected to grow year-on-year out to 2025. In contrast, the demand for primary teachers is projected to grow marginally until 2023, before dropping year-on-year in the longer term.
- In the secondary sector, we are anticipating that supply could either exceed demand or be short of it, depending on how the current pandemic environment impacts teacher retention rates into 2022 and (potentially) beyond. In a ‘slow’ scenario, high retention rates of secondary teachers are assumed for 2022, before scaling back towards pre-COVID-19 retention rates from 2023 and returning to pre-COVID-19 rates from 2024. In this scenario, supply will be sufficient to meet demand between 2022 and 2024. In a ‘fast’ scenario, low retention rates of secondary teachers are assumed for 2022 relative to the usual observed pre-COVID-19 rates, before returning to pre-COVID-19 retention rates from 2023. In this scenario, it is assumed that the unusually high retention rates observed in 2021 contain a backlog of teachers that would have normally left the ‘regular’ teacher workforce to travel abroad but were unable to do so due to border restrictions. Under this scenario, the supply will fall short by 210 secondary teachers in 2022 and the gap will increase to a shortfall of 840 teachers by 2024.
- For the primary sector, both “fast” and “slow” scenarios suggest that supply will likely exceed demand in 2022 and out to 2024. However, beneath this national outlook, we anticipate there will still be an ongoing need to help primary schools find teachers in certain parts of the country and in the Māori-medium sector.
- The recently introduced vaccine mandate was not explicitly taken into account in the Projection’s assumptions, due to its timing in relation to this update. It does however have the potential to decrease the supply of teachers if some teachers do not wish to comply with the order. While the size of the impact of this mandate on teacher retention rates is not yet known, we have assessed the changes according to what could result at different lower levels of retention. This is provided as a supplement to the scenarios.
- The Ministry does not hold vaccination data. The recently introduced vaccine mandate has the potential to decrease the supply of teachers if some teachers do not comply with the order. Preliminary analysis from a number of sources suggests that the teaching workforce has a higher vaccination rate than the general population, and the vaccine mandate reduction in retention could be less than 3%. We have used supplementary reductions in teacher retention to show the potential impact of the vaccine mandate on teacher supply gaps (that is, any reduction in retention is in addition to that already assumed in the Projection under the scenarios).
- The final impact of the vaccine mandate on the retention of teachers is not yet known. However, given the above preliminary analysis, a 2% reduction in retention is provided as an example below, with a supporting table for other potential reductions:
- For the primary sector, the oversupply noted above shifts to an under-supply (-110) at a 2% reduction in retention rate under the fast scenario, while the slow scenario remains in sufficient supply (980) at the national level for 2022. The longer-term outlook in 2024 remains as a projection of sufficient of teachers at the national level.
- For the secondary sector, at a 2% reduction in retention due to the mandate, the scenarios have supply at the national level ranging between 450 (sufficient supply) and -760 (under supply) for 2022 and between 440 and -1,280 (under supply) for 2024.
- The teacher demand and supply projections are underpinned by assumptions based on trend information for key inputs (such as student numbers and teacher retention rates). These trends have been disrupted by COVID-19 and have required additional and explicit modelling of the anticipated impacts of the pandemic on these inputs in future. Consequently, the continued presence of the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly increased the complexity in modelling the outlook for teacher demand and supply in New Zealand.
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