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Principals urging caution over thousands of foreign teachers wanting to teach in NZ

Some principals are urging caution over the thousands of foreign teachers who want to work in New Zealand, saying many will not be good enough to hire.

The Education Ministry said more than 3000 had responded to an advertising campaign, but only 500 of those teachers have the right qualifications to work in New Zealand schools.

With only 500 qualified overseas teachers, Principals Federation president Whetu Cormick told TVNZ's Breakfast he is not optimistic that the 850 vacancies will be filled.

"I am concerned for some of our colleagues across the country who are getting no applicants at all, so they're trying to frantically find teachers as we speak and also looking overseas.

"We understand 120 are going through an interview process at the moment and something like 90 teachers have been appointed positions, so I'm not optimistic we are going to fill those 850 vacancies by the beginning of next year."

He said there is not only the issue of getting overseas teachers across to Aotearoa, but then getting them to stay.

"Do these people actually understand the realities and challenges we have in our system now, ie the cost of housing - rentals in Auckland.  When they arrive there is a bit of a reality check when they get here and they realise that actually not everything is a bed of roses in our schools in New Zealand."

Mr Cormick says we have to also ask, "Why would overseas trained teachers want to come to New Zealand and be paid less?"

Principals Federation president Whetu Cormick talks to Breakfast about the risks of hiring staff from overseas. Source: Breakfast