Media Releases

Extend new teacher supply financial support to pay all teachers in training, says NZEI Te Riu Roa

27 May 2024

The Government’s new teacher supply initiative, which includes financial support for those in school-based teacher training, should be available to everyone going through initial teacher education, says the country’s largest education union, NZEI Te Riu Roa.

NZEI Te Riu Roa President Mark Potter says, “we welcome this move towards paying people to train as teachers. Although $20,000 doesn't cover the cost of living for a training teacher, this is long overdue and should be extended to everyone training, regardless of
whether their pathway is in-school or university.”

This is in response to Minister Stanford’s announcement that Government is investing $53million into teacher training as part of Budget 24.

Mr Potter stressed the importance of ensuring quality teaching was an outcome of the training programmes, saying:

“School-based training programmes alone may not provide the depth of training required to guarantee quality teaching for children. Our primary concern with the model being proposed is to get a guarantee that quality teaching is maintained for all children. All students deserve a qualified teacher in front of them and we don’t want to see trainees with no experience having whole-class responsibility. That’s not fair on them or on students."

The union also stated that without a commitment to equitable access to teacher training, high decile schools will likely benefit the most from school-based training placements.

Mr Potter continued: “High decile schools are more likely to have the resources to support school-based training, and these schools will then be first in line to hire newly qualified teachers. We want to make sure that there is equitable access to teacher training across
the country, and in particular, equitable access to Māori medium training. A robust initiative would guarantee all schools will benefit from new teachers, not simply focus on shortages in Auckland.”

“Finally, with the in-school training model expanding, there needs to be sufficient resource going to schools to support mentor teachers and other support to people in-training, otherwise the real costs of training are just being shifted from the Government to already over-burdened schools.”