Monitoring Teacher Supply 2001 Publications
The 2001 Monitoring Teacher Supply report provides the Ministry with a snapshot of the number of entitlement staffing vacancies and re-advertised vacancies in schools at the start of Term 1, how these vacancies are being covered and, in the case of secondary schools, in what subject areas pressure points are occurring.
Author(s): Research Division, Ministry of Education.
Date Published: March 2001
Teacher supply has been a priority for the Ministry of Education since 1996 when demographic and policy changes combined to shift the balance of teacher supply rapidly from a surplus to a shortfall. To monitor the staffing situation in New Zealand schools, the Research Division of the Ministry of Education has, since 1997, undertaken a Teacher Vacancy Survey of all state and state integrated schools, at the beginning of each school year.
The survey asked principals to indicate the number of vacancies and re-advertised vacancies in their schools on the first day of the school year, how these vacancies were being covered, and for information on the numbers of beginning and overseas teachers in their schools. Principals in secondary schools were also asked to indicate subject areas in which the vacancies occurred.
As in previous years, the 2001 survey achieved a high response rate of 98.8 percent overall (98.6% of primary schools and 100% of secondary schools returned completed surveys).
At the beginning of the 2001 school year, the majority of all schools (87%) had no entitlement staffing vacancies.
Results from the survey this year are beginning to show the impact of the roll growth experienced in the primary sector during the latter half of the 1990s now beginning to flow into the secondary sector. Secondary rolls are projected to increase by several thousand students this year. Despite a continuing increase this year in the number of entitlement positions within secondary schools, the increase in vacancies within this sector was slight, with secondary vacancies comprising just 1.1 percent of all entitlement positions in 2001 (up from 0.8 percent in 2000). Re-advertised vacancies, often referred to as 'hard to staff' positions, compromised just 0.4 percent of all entitlement positions in secondary schools this year. The number of secondary schools with vacancies at the beginning of the 2001 school year increased to 33 percent from 27 percent in 2000.
Vacancy levels in primary schools, while also slightly up from last year, comprised 1.0 percent of all primary entitlement positions.
The supply of teachers in New Zealand schools is dependant on a number of sources. The recruitment of newly trained (beginning) teachers and the recruitment of teachers from overseas are two such sources. The number of beginning teachers in primary schools was up slightly this year, from 1,400 in 2000 to 1,457 in 2001. There were a further 733 beginning teachers employed in secondary schools, a similar level to the number employed in 1999. While there was a slight decrease in the number of beginning secondary teachers from last year, the intake of new graduates in 2000 appears slightly higher than might normally be expected.
As a result of a drop in the number of overseas teachers arriving in New Zealand to teach this year, there were fewer overseas teachers who had been here for three years than identified in previous surveys. This year's survey identified 679 overseas teachers, who started teaching for the first time in New Zealand in 1999, 2000 or 2001. One-hundred-and-seventy-one overseas teachers began teaching here for the first time this year, a third (N=56) in primary schools and two-thirds (N=115) in secondary schools. Compared with last year, a greater proportion of 'new' overseas teachers (those who began teaching here in the year the survey was undertaken) were now teaching in secondary schools (58 % in 2000).
Following similar trends to the results from previous Teacher Vacancy Surveys, the 2001 survey also found that:
- The highest levels of vacancies in secondary schools in 2001 were recorded in mathematics (14%) and science (14%), followed by technology subjects (12%).
- Teaching vacancies continued to be more likely in rural areas, in schools with the largest concentrations of Māori students, and in schools with lower decile ratings (deciles 1-3).
- Northland and Southland regions recorded the highest proportion of vacancies, each with 1.6 percent of their entitlement positions vacant.
- The use of trained relief staff employed for 10 weeks or less was the most common method of covering vacancies in both primary (60.2%) and secondary (59.0%) schools.
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