More Students To Be Taught By Well-Meaning Apprentice

17 May 2017

Minister of Education Nikki Kaye’s announcement of $5 million over four years to fund more teachers in priority subjects through Teach First NZ highlights the lack of workforce planning from National over nine years.

“Schools are so desperate for teachers they will accept apprentices just to staff a classroom,” says New Zealand First Spokesperson for Education Tracey Martin.

“While we have no problem with the Teach First NZ model, National changed legislation to allow Teach First NZ students to secure positions in state schools through a system of shoulder tapping, rather than the application process all other teaching graduates have to go through.

“The University of Auckland is walking away from the programme and Unitec’s Mind Lab is still waiting to have their qualifications agreed by NZQA yet this government ploughs on with guaranteed funding.

“National has allowed Charter Schools to put untrained and unqualified individuals into classrooms who call themselves ‘teachers’.  After only an eight-week course, these well-meaning graduate apprentices are in classes without the supervision of an associate teacher.

“New Zealand First wants to protect the title of teacher so parents can be assured that those in front of their children have the professional qualifications we expect. The Education (Protecting Teacher Title) Amendment Bill is awaiting introduction to Parliament.

“New Zealand First wants dedicated Teacher Training Colleges, and we would review and strengthen the entry criteria for initial teacher training. We would replace students’ financial debt with a skill debt and immediately implement workforce planning as outlined in our Up Front Investment Tertiary Policy,” says Mrs Martin.