Teacher supply

Secondary teacher shortages continue to be at crisis point. There are vacancies in many subject areas and in many geographical areas. Principals are cancelling subjects for lack of trained and qualified secondary teaching specialists, many teachers are teaching outside their area of subject qualification, there is major pressure on the availability of relief teachers. Teacher shortages limit student achievement. Schools are forced to make compromises which reduce the quality of education for students.

Secondary school staffing report 2019 

Secondary school staffing report 2023 

Secondary school staffing report 2024 

Staffing reports from earlier years can be requested from: enquiries@ppta.org.nz 

Secondary teacher supply under pressure 

The 2024 Secondary School Staffing Survey Report shows a continuing problem with secondary teacher recruitment Applications per job from New Zealand trained teachers is at its lowest recorded level  

Why we are facing a critical secondary teacher shortage

  • Declining relative salaries
  • Improved alternative employment prospects
  • Deteriorating working conditions
  • An aging workforce
  • The housing crisis

The secondary teaching workforce

There are not enough new teachers in subjects like physics and chemistry, technology, and mathematics. There are also significant shortages in subjects like business, Te Reo Māori, agriculture, horticulture and a number of languages. In some areas even English positions cannot be filled. 

Why teachers leave teaching - contributing factors

Declining relative pay, the availability of alternative occupations workload, and housing costs are key to specialist teacher supply pressures.  

Fixed term, insecure appointments cause people to leave teaching, make the profession risky and unattractive and are often illegal. 

Supporting secondary teaching careers

We’re committed to making sure every teacher, from their very first position through to retirement, is well-supported and encouraged to reach their professional potential.

As a sector, we need to work together to develop new ways to support people with the skills we need into the profession. Things like scholarships for specialised subject areas would be a good start but we also need to increase salaries to a competitive level.

Value teaching, treat teachers with respect

Understand that teachers are dedicated to delivering the best outcomes for students, treat teaching and teachers with respect and value the work teachers do.

Recognise teachers are more than teaching labour units, that they, their whānau and communities have needs.

Pay teachers a salary which is competitive with other professions; give them a workload which does not force them into ill health. Make the job conditions attractive again.

Teacher supply working group

An outcome of the 2015 Secondary Teacher Collective Agreement (STCA) negotiations  we worked with the Ministry of Education, the School Trustees Association, the Secondary Principals’ Council, the Secondary Principals’ Association and the Education Council to identify what the teacher supply problems are and recommend solutions.

The Supply Working Group made 41 recommendations and we and some of the other groups made an additional 13 that weren’t supported by the ministry.

Getting the ministry and the government to take action to address teacher supply issues in a long-term sustainable way is something we’re still working on.

Teacher Supply Working Group Report

Last modified on Friday, 17 May 2024 11:56