Kiwis turn to UK for more staff

15th March 1996 at 00:00
British maths and physics teachers are the latest target of New Zealand's teacher recruitment campaign.

The country is boosting its recruitment drive by a further Pounds 372, 000 this financial year. The announcement comes as secondary teachers are poised to take strike action over a 21 per cent pay claim they say is needed for recruitment and retention.

A further 115 overseas teachers will be recruited, in addition to the 130 already in primary schools.

Details of assistance have not been given, but for primary teachers already recruited from overseas, it includes help with travel and accommodation of up to Pounds 1,340.

New Zealand primary schools have had problems finding enough staff because of new positions created by rising pupil numbers and by a government decision to reduce class sizes.

Most of the extra 1,624 positions have been filled, though the education ministry's latest survey has found 786 vacancies in primary and secondary schools, 746 of which were filled by supply teachers and 40 had no one to cover.

To solve the longer-term problem, the government is increasing the number of teacher training places, and bringing in "fast tracks" for graduates wanting to become primary teachers.

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