December 5, 2021

Border exemption for 300 overseas teachers to ease shortage

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Three hundred overseas qualified teachers (and their partners and dependent children) will be able to come to New Zealand under a new class border exception to ease shortage at various levels.

Teachers who were already employed in New Zealand, but left the country and were unable to return to their job due to the border closure, may also be eligible.

This announcement was made yesterday in a statement by the Education Minister, Chris Hipkins.

Border exemption will ease teacher shortage
Some of the empty classrooms may soon have teachers

This exemption was necessitated, according to the Minister, as some subjects and areas of the country had been finding it difficult to find teachers.

Teachers already in New Zealand will also be able to request to bring in their partners and dependent children for the duration of their visa.

“A separate family reunification border exception is being created for the partners and dependent children of teachers who are already in New Zealand on temporary visas,” Hipkins said.

“While the overall outlook for domestic teacher supply remains positive, I know that ECE services and schools continue to find certain locations and subjects difficult to recruit for.

“This (exemption) will give principals and services additional support, especially for 2022 recruitment, and complement existing teacher supply initiatives.”  

Applications under this exemption will open in September.

Eligible early learning services, schools and kura can apply for one of 300 class border exceptions so they can recruit and bring overseas qualified teachers to New Zealand while borders remain closed.

The Ministry of Education will work with the education sector to ensure that ECE services and schools with the greatest recruitment needs get priority.

According to the Ministry, processes of recruitment remains with the early learning service or school.

Those who are in an early learning service or school with a teacher wanting to return (and had an employment agreement on 19 March 2020 that is still active), they can register their interest by emailing the Ministry at border.exceptions@education.govt.nz with their school name and the best contact person.

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