The Dunedin College of Education has responded to allegations
the teaching job market is being flooded by graduates at a
time when there are disproportionately fewer full-time
teaching positions available.
The 2013 Monitoring Teacher Supply report released this week,
provides a snapshot of teaching vacancies in schools at the
start of term 1 this year, and showed there were 220.5
full-time equivalent vacancies in state and state-integrated
Although it showed improvement in the number of vacancies, it
was far from the number of vacancies available from 2006-09,
and monitoring of the supply and demand for teachers in New
Zealand indicated ''beginning and overseas-trained teachers''
might be finding it more difficult to secure a teaching
Over the past three years, there has been an increase in the
number of New Zealand-trained teachers applying for permanent
positions in primary schools.
The report showed 73% of primary schools had nine or more
applicants for permanent Scale A classroom teacher positions
in 2013, compared to 70% of primary schools in 2012 and 59%
In secondary schools, the number of New Zealand-trained
applicants for positions has stayed relatively stable over
the past three years.
Balmacewen Intermediate principal Andrew Hunter said he spent
the first day of the school holidays sitting in his office,
interviewing applicants for two vacancies at the school.
He said there had been 60-70 applications for the two jobs,
and it had been time-consuming whittling down the number of
applicants to the top few to interview.
''The market is flooded with graduate teachers in Dunedin.
There is a surplus of trained teachers looking for limited
jobs in Dunedin.
''Job opportunities are better up north.''
Mr Hunter said the applicants were a mixture of newly
graduated teachers and more experienced teachers from around
University of Otago College of Education associate dean of
teacher education Associate Prof Mary Simpson said the
college carefully monitored the number of teaching graduates
to make sure there were enough graduates to fill vacancies,
but it was a very difficult balancing act.
''We do try to be responsible, but it is difficult. It really
is a complex picture. There is no formal way of recording the
number of graduates who find teaching jobs. After they leave,
we rely on them to contact us and tell us what jobs they are
She said the college had reduced its intakes of education
students in recent years, based on observations of the job
She agreed there seemed to be a greater number of teachers
fighting for full-time jobs, and said an increasing number of
graduates were having to get part-time, fixed-term or
relief-teaching work before landing a full-time position.
She said the situation was expected to improve as there were
a lot of teachers nearing retirement and colleges of
education were preparing to replace them.
The issue was many teachers who had reached retirement age in
the past three years were still working.
''Teachers are staying on longer, perhaps due to the economic
downturn. But there will come a stage when they will retire
in large quantities, and graduates will be in great demand,''
Ministry of Education student achievement head Rowena Phair
agreed finding a job could be challenging, but she encouraged
graduates to look at a range of options, such as teaching
jobs in rural areas, where schools often struggled to fill
The forecasts were for rising rolls over time, which meant
there would be a need for more teachers, initially at primary
However, she advised those looking at a career in teaching to
thoroughly investigate their options first.
''It is always wise for students choosing a university
course, in whatever discipline, to weigh up employment
prospects before making a decision,'' she said.