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Are Teachers Needed in New Zealand?

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Are Teachers Needed in New Zealand?

Are teachers needed in New Zealand? Yes, they’re needed. School principals at both primary (grade 1 to 4-7) and secondary schools (high school) levels, and early childhood centre managers are reporting difficulties in recruiting teachers. The government’s skill shortage lists show that university lecturers are also needed. 

The life-changing role of teachers is an indisputable fact. After all, we are all beneficiaries of the exemplary devotion of many teachers. Indeed, teachers are indispensable change-agents in all forward-thinking nations. 

This is why it is always concerning when there is an actual shortage of teachers or when forecasts suggest that there would be shortages in the near future.

You do not need to be a soothsayer to surmise what the impact of huge and persistent shortages could portend for any nation. Interestingly, these shortages can also open up opportunities.

How? Read on…

After reading this article, you’ll understand why New Zealand is a highly popular teach-abroad destination for smart teachers.

We’ll look at some of the most vital factors you need to know about the prospects of becoming a teacher in New Zealand. In this article, we’ll explore:

  • How Things Stand
  • About New Zealand 
  • An Overview of its Education System
  • What are the Qualifications needed?
  • How much do teachers make in New Zealand? 
  • Key Roles of Teachers

Let’s get started.

How Things Stand

There are teachers graduating every year in New Zealand, but they’re insufficient to meet the demand. It is a challenge that’s been around for quite some time.

The Ministry of education forecasts that there would be a solution at the primary school level, but the challenge at the secondary (high school) level persists. 

About New Zealand

New Zealand is an alluring, clean, and wealthy, small Pacific nation. Its population is 5 million, and English and Maori are the major languages spoken. Its inhabitants have one of the highest life expectancies in the world, 80 (for men) and 83 (for women).

It’s located 1000 miles southeast of Australia. Wellington is the nation’s capital. New Zealand is rated one of the most peaceful and least corrupt nations. It’s also rated the second safest country in the world.

An Overview of New Zealand’s Education System

The education system is focused on providing consistently high-quality instruction. It’s a system that reflects the unique and diverse nature of the country. Students from all backgrounds, religious beliefs, income levels, ethnic groups are welcomed.

It has 3 levels:

  1. Early Childhood Education (from birth to school entry age)
  2. Primary and Secondary Education (from 5 to 19 years)
  3. Further education (higher and vocational education)

Early childhood education is subsidised by the government and primary and secondary school education (in government-owned state-funded schools) is free for New Zealand citizens and permanent residents.

Schooling is compulsory from age 6 to 16. However, children can start school a year earlier (at 5).

There’s also Te Kura, the nation’s correspondence school. It uses online platforms and multimedia to teach special needs children, covering Early Childhood and primary school curriculum

Primary and secondary education extends over 13 years. From age 5-12 (Year 1 to Year 8) and age 13 -17 (Year 9 – Year 13). The National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) is the certificate awarded to students who complete secondary school education.

There are three types of schools: state, state-integrated schools, and private schools (which make up only 5% of the total number of schools).

State schools are owned and funded by the government. They educate the vast majority of students (85%). 

They are free, but parents may be asked to contribute to funding activities that are not a part of the core curriculum.

State integrated schools are former private schools that are now state schools. They educate about 10% of the population.

Interesting, but how does its education system rank in the world?

Let’s look at a 2019 survey by The Economist’s Intelligence Unit. It showed the top 10 nations in the world, whose education systems are excellent.

RankEconomyScore
1Finland80.9
2Switzerland80.3
3New Zealand79.3
4Sweden78.1
5Canada77.9
6Netherlands76
7 =Germany74.8
7 =Singapore74.8
9France74.2
10UK74.1

What are the qualifications needed to teach in New Zealand?

To become a primary school teacher, you need to have either one of the following:

  • Bachelor of Education (Teaching)
  • Bachelor of Teaching (Primary or Māori Medium)
  • Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Primary)

Alternatively, you can complete a four-year conjoint degree, such as a BA/BTeach or BSc/BTeach, which combines study in teaching subjects with teacher training.

This conjoint degree means you can teach both primary and secondary students.

Education requirements for graduates to teach in New Zealand:

If you already have a Bachelor’s degree that is not in education or teaching, you also need to complete one of the following:

  • Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Primary)
  • Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Primary)
  • Master of Teaching (Primary)
  • Master of Teaching and Learning (Primary)
  • Postgraduate Diploma of Teaching and Learning in Māori Medium.
  • You also need to be registered with the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand and have a current practising certificate.

To become a secondary school teacher, you need to have one of the following:

  • A specialist subject degree followed by a one-year Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Secondary) or a Master of Teaching (Secondary)
  • A Bachelor of Education (Technology)
  • A Bachelor of Teaching conjoint degree (a combination of teaching and specialist subjects).

Employers prefer you to train in at least two subject areas for your specialist subject degree so you can teach more than one subject.

You also need to be registered with the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand and have a current practising certificate.

How much do teachers make in New Zealand? 

Teaching LevelSalary
NZ$
Salary
US$
Salary
UK£
Graduate Primary Teachers48,000 – 52,00034,500 -37,40024,900 – 27,000
Primary School teachers (2-6 years experience)52,000 – 75,00037,400 – 54,00027,000 – 38,900
Primary School Teachers (6+ years experience)71,000 – 80,00051,000 – 57,50036,800 – 41,500
New Secondary School Teachers52,000 – 57,00037,400 – 41,00027,000 – 29,500
Secondary School Teachers (5+ years experience)71,000 – 80,00051,000 – 57,50036,800 – 41,500
Salaries rounded to nearest 100.

For further details on Secondary School teacher salaries, go here: Secondary Teachers’ Collective Agreement

Key Roles of Primary School Teachers in New Zealand

Primary school teachers may do some or all of the following:

  • Plan, prepare, and present lessons
  • teach a wide range of subjects such as arts, English, maths, and science
  • keep up to date with curriculum changes and assessment methods
  • Assess and record the learning and development of each child
  • Observe and manage student behaviour
  • Help to develop children’s social skills and behaviours
  • Meet with parents, whānau, and caregivers at planning or teacher/parent evenings
  • Lead a curriculum area, such as English or maths, within the school
  • Get involved in extracurricular activities such as camps, sports coaching, and school fairs
  • Do lunchtime playground duty or road patrol duty.

Key Roles of Secondary School Teachers in New Zealand

Secondary school teachers may do some or all of the following:

  • Plan, prepare, and present lessons
  • Set and mark assignments and tests
  • Assess students’ work for national qualifications
  • Keep records and write reports on students
  • Observe and manage student behavior in the classroom and other environments such as the gym and sports fields
  • Attend departmental and staff meetings
  • Meet with parents, whānau or caregivers, individually or at parents’ evenings
  • Participate in or organize extracurricular activities such as sport, camp, or drama
  • Keep up to date with curriculum changes and assessment methods.

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Conclusion

Our exploration revealed that teaching in New Zealand is highly rewarding. The education system is one of the best in the world, the pay is great and the nation has an ethos that places a premium on work-life balance.

So yes, there are opportunities for teachers in New Zealand and it looks pretty damn appealing if you ask me!

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Are Teachers Needed in New Zealand? FAQs

Are Teachers Needed in New Zealand?

Yes, they’re needed. School principals at both primary (grade 1 to 4-7) and secondary schools (high school) levels, and early childhood centre managers are reporting difficulties in recruiting teachers.

How much do teachers make in New Zealand?

Primary School Teachers make between NZ$ 48,000 – 80,000 (US$ 34,500 – 57,500. UK£ 24,900 – 41,500).
Secondary School Teachers make between NZ$ 52,000 – 80,000 (US$ 37,400 – 57,500. UK£ 27,000 – 41,500).

What are the qualifications needed to teach in Primary Schools in New Zealand?

Bachelor of Education (Teaching)
Bachelor of Teaching (Primary or Māori Medium)
Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Primary)
Alternatively, you can complete a four-year conjoint degree, such as a BA/BTeach or BSc/BTeach, which combines study in teaching subjects with teacher training.

What are the qualifications needed to teach in Secondary Schools in New Zealand?

A specialist subject degree followed by a one-year Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Secondary) or a Master of Teaching (Secondary).
A Bachelor of Education (Technology).
A Bachelor of Teaching conjoint degree (a combination of teaching and specialist subjects).

Paul Fulbrookhttps://teacherofsci.com
Paul Fulbrook (TeacherOfSci) is a Science teacher, writer and education blogger based in Brighton, England. He started teacherofsci.com to help support teachers everywhere with the everyday struggles that they are all faced with, both in the classroom and at home.

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