23 Apr 2012

Tough job market benefiting some schools

8:23 pm on 23 April 2012

Schools in rural and poor areas are benefiting from a surplus of teachers looking for work, with job vacancies at a 10-year low.

Fewer teachers are leaving their jobs, and principals say that is forcing new graduates to be less choosy if they want to find work in a classroom.

The Ministry of Education says there were 1800 school teacher vacancies in 2011 - the lowest number in the past decade and clearly not enough for the 2800 new teachers who graduate each year.

That is bad news for new teachers, but schools in isolated or poor areas are seeing the up-side.

In Northland - a region where it is normally hard to fill vacancies - principals say schools are getting more applications.

However, the ministry says there are not enough Maori-speaking teachers and there is still strong demand in secondary subjects such as physics and maths.

Brendon Morrisey, president of the Far North Primary Principals Association, says many schools are getting more applicants for their jobs.

However, he says the isolation of some schools still puts off applicants.