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Axing of grant will add to looming teacher crisis

The scrapping of grants aimed at solving teacher shortages will only add to the looming teacher crisis the Government refuses to address, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.

“National announced it was axing these grants in the 2013 Budget and they have been slowly phased out since April this year. From Monday they will no longer be available.

“This comes as research from the Post-Primary Teachers’ Association finds the number of teachers applying for jobs has fallen for the third consecutive year. This research also raises concerns that teachers are unwilling to move into school management positions with a quarter of such jobs advertised earlier this year having just one or no applicants.

“The Government has its heads buried in the sand when it comes to the pending teacher supply crisis.

“Over the next decade a significant proportion of the teaching profession will reach retirement age and the Government simply doesn’t have a plan to deal with that.

“If action isn't taken soon, we could find ourselves in a situation where we have a huge wave of beginning teachers and not enough senior and experienced colleagues to mentor them as they start their careers.

“Coupled with the impending retirement boom, there is clear evidence that newer teachers are more likely to leave teaching after a few years in the job.

“This adds up to a looming crisis National is choosing to ignore,” Chris Hipkins says.