He Whakaaro: Transitions of Initial Teacher Education graduates into teaching

Publication Details

This He Whakaaro explores the rate at which graduates completing Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programmes in New Zealand transition into teaching roles.

Author(s): Ministry of Education

Date Published: October 2019


This report looks at trends in the number of new domestic teachers/kaiako starting out in the profession who have completed ITE qualifications. For graduates who do go on to teach, we explore employment status in their first positions – specifically whether they take up permanent, fixed term or day relief roles.

For more information on the methodology underpinning the analysis and notes on interpretation, please refer to the Technical Annex published alongside this He Whakaaro.

Key Findings

  • Since 2011, there has been a decline in the number of first-time ITE graduates ready to teach in New Zealand primary or secondary schools and kura. However, graduate numbers have slightly increased between 2016 and 2018, with further increases in primary graduates likely in 2019.
  • A high proportion of graduates from schooling ITE programmes become teachers/kaiako, with 83% of 2017 graduates gaining a teaching position within one year of graduation. This ‘transition rate’ has increased over recent years for both sectors, but more dramatically for ITE graduates heading into the primary sector – up from 65% of 2012 graduates to 85% of 2017 graduates.
  • This increase in transition rates appears to a large degree to have compensated for the reduction in graduate numbers, with the number of new domestic teachers remaining relatively stable over recent years.
  • In both sectors, new domestic teachers were more likely to be in a permanent role and less likely to be employed in a day reliever role than in previous years.
  • These trends are what we would anticipate when the supply of prospective new teachers has decreased, whilst demand for teachers has remained static or grown.
  • With transition rates for secondary graduates already high and the Ministry’s projections indicating a significant increase in demand for secondary teachers out to 2025, this analysis supports policies which will increase the future supply of secondary ITE graduates.

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