We measure this by looking at regular (permanent and fixed term) teachers who were employed at a school in one year, and were no longer employed there in the next.
In this data, turnover is further broken down into three components:
- Leaving Teaching: Teachers leaving the teacher workforce
- Moving School: Teachers who move to a position at another school
- Moving to Day Relief: Teachers who move to day relief
To calculate turnover rates, these teachers leaving a school each year are taken as a percentage of the total size of the regular teacher workforce.
This page presents some high level trends and makes data on teacher turnover available in spreadsheets, broken down by a range of variables.
For a summary report of the trends in teacher turnover - an indicator report is available for download as a pdf under “Downloads” at the top right-hand corner of this page.
Since 2004 teacher turnover rates have been between 15.4% and 21.8%. From 2009 to 2017 there was an overall slow rise in turnover up to 19.2% in 2017, but in the last three years we have seen this decrease, with turnover at 15.4% in 2020. This is the lowest annual teacher turnover rate for the period 2004-2020.
Figure 1: Teacher turnover has decreased from 18.0% in 2019 to 15.4% in 2020
When we look at these components of turnover over time, we see that the largest part of turnover has always been made up of teachers moving to another school
Figure 2: When turnover is separated into its component parts, teachers moving to another school form the largest component
For a more detailed summary of the trends in teacher turnover - an indicator report is available for download as a pdf under “Downloads” at the top right-hand corner of this page.
Interactive Pivot Table: Teacher Turnover
This workbook allows you to create your tables by any combination of variables. It includes the option of displaying teacher turnover statistics by teacher characteristics (such as age) and school characteristics (such as decile).
Please note: use of this spreadsheet requires MS Excel version 2007 or later.
- Teacher Turnover Pivot Table 2004-2020 [MS Excel 5.0mB]
Time Series Data
These workbooks provide teacher turnover statistics (numbers of teacher and rates), broken down into a range of teacher demographics, school characteristics (such as decile), and regional type variables.
Numbers of teachers counted in turnover are supplied in the first workbook, and turnover rates are supplied in the second.
Please note: use of this spreadsheet requires MS Excel version 2007 or later.
How is turnover calculated?
When measuring teacher turnover we only consider turnover of regular teachers. This means teachers who are employed on a permanent or fixed term basis and does not include teachers employed as day relief.
In this measure turnover is calculated by taking the total number of regular teachers who exit a school in a year and dividing that by the total number of regular teachers employed during the year, i.e.:
Exits in this case are the sum of teachers:
- Moving school: regular teachers who have left a school to move to a different school in the next year; and
- Moving to Day Relief: teachers who were in the regular teaching workforce in one year and in the day relief teaching workforce in the next year; and
- Leaving Teaching: teachers who were in the regular teaching workforce in one year but are no longer employed as teachers in the next year.
Some teachers will work in more than one role across the year. For each year, these teachers are reported only once against the role in which they worked the most hours during the year. We call this their main role, and we measure their movements between these main roles from year to year.
Data Dimensions Notes
The available dimensions are:
Turnover is measured by looking at regular teachers employed in one year, and seeing where they are in the next year. This variable represents the first year we are considering.
This allows us to separate our teachers who are entering the teacher workforce into those who are new to our teacher workforce and those who are returning to it after a break from teaching.
New: teachers who have never worked as a teacher in a state or state integrated school in New Zealand before (this includes both new domestic initial teacher education graduates and teachers entering from overseas).
Returning: teachers who have worked as a teacher in a state or state integrated school in New Zealand before, but were not in the teacher workforce in the previous year.
Teacher: Ethnic Group
The Ministry uses Statistics New Zealand's definition of ethnicity: ethnicity is the ethnic group or groups that people identify with or feel they belong to. Ethnicity is a measure of cultural affiliation, as opposed to race, ancestry, nationality or citizenship.
Total response ethnicity is used here. This means that teachers can identify with up to 3 different ethnic groups, and have been counted in each ethnic group they belong to and once in "Total" Ethnic Group.
Teacher: Age 5yr Group
The age of the teacher, in five year age-groups. Age is calculated as at 1 July for each year.
Teacher: Age 10yr Group
The age of the teacher, in ten year age-groups. Age is calculated as at 1 July for each year.
The gender of the teacher.
Teacher: Employment Type
The type of contract a teacher is on - Fixed Term or Permanent.
Teacher: Full/Part Time
The type of contract a teacher is on - Full Time or Part Time.
The gender of the students that a school caters for, for example, co-educational, or single sex.
The decile assigned to the school the teacher left from. Students from low socio-economic communities face more barriers to learning than students from high socio-economic communities. Schools that draw their roll from these low socio-economic communities are given greater funding to combat these barriers. The mechanism used to calculate and allocate this additional funding is most often known as school deciles.
Schools are assigned a socio-economic score based on five census derived socio-economic factors. Decile 1 schools are the 10% of schools with the greatest proportion of students from the most socio-economically deprived areas. Decile 10 schools are the 10% of schools with the greatest proportion of students from the least socio-economically deprived areas.
School: Decile Grouped
School decile grouped into Low (Decile 1-3), Medium (Decile 4-7), and High (Decile 8-10).
Teachers are grouped into the primary or secondary sector depending on the type of the school they work in. The primary sector includes all primary schools, intermediates and special schools. The secondary sector includes all secondary schools and composite schools (including Te Kura, the correspondence school)
School: Māori Medium Level
The Māori Medium status of the school:
- Māori Medium: All students are taught the curriculum in Māori for at least 51 percent of the time
- English Medium: No students are taught the curriculum in Māori for at least 51 percent of the time
- English and Māori medium: Some students are taught the curriculum in Māori for at least 51 percent of the time
A grouping based on the size and nature of the area of the school where the employee works their main teaching role for the year. These groupings are based on Statistics New Zealand definitions:
- Main urban areas are very large urban areas centred on a city or major urban centre. Main urban areas have a minimum population of 30,000.
- Secondary urban areas have a population between 10,000 and 29,999 and are centred on the larger regional centres.
- Minor urban areas are urbanised settlements (outside main and secondary urban areas), centred around smaller towns with a population between 1,000 and 9,999.
- Rural: Those living in rural settlements or townships, also includes areas with a population between 300 and 999.
Region: Regional Council
The Regional Council linked to the school where the teacher is employed. Regional council boundaries are defined by Statistics New Zealand.
Region: Education Region
The Education Region linked to the school where the teacher is employed. These are ten administrative regions created by the Ministry of Education and aligned with the Ministry's ten local offices. The Correspondence School is defined as a separate boundary.
Region: Territorial Authority
The territorial authority area linked to the school where the teacher is employed. Territorial authority boundaries are defined by Statistics New Zealand.