This plan has a fatal flaw however. As NZEI president Lynda Stuart pointed out in the NZEI press release today, "Overseas recruitment may be necessary given this crisis point, but it's a bandaid solution - there's a global shortage of teachers, and if we don't do something about the workload and remuneration of teachers, overseas teachers won't last in the system any longer than our homegrown teachers."
On top of all this is the last National led government's Minister of Education, Nikki Kaye, telling the current Minister, Mr Hipkins, that he is not doing enough. See this press release via Voxy. A complete act of hypocrisy considering during nine long years of National, teachers were villified for "failing students", given 1% pay rises and had increasing teacher workloads amongst all the GERM battles.
So my message to Minister Hipkins is this - the fastest way to get teachers into our classrooms is to attract those who have recently left back. How can that happen:
- a pay jolt.
- reduce workload (get ERO to pull their head in and stop insisting on useless data and let schools use their small data to drive the learning).
- reduce class sizes.
- increase classroom release - teachers shouldn't have to be using their weekends and evenings to do work in preparation for school and dealing with data input and writing reports.
- give us more help for children with special needs - a SENCO in every school.
In regards to teachers required to do the Teacher Refresher Course to retain a practicing certificate, I believe we should be approaching that differently and with a more cost effective programme. Instead of doing the course:
- those returning to the classroom in either a fulltime or part-time role should be getting an advice and guidance programme for a minimum of one term.
- relief teachers should have a base school with which they can do PLD and receive guidance and appraisal to meet the conditions for being a reliever.