Appendix 6: Number of applications for teacher and principal positions

Number of applications for teaching positions

The Ministerial Inquiry was concerned that some schools were not as rigorous in their recruitment and appointment practices because of the short supply of teachers in particular areas, such as teachers with competent te reo.

Over 90 percent of schools surveyed had appointed staff in the last two years. Three‑quarters of secondary schools and one-third of primary schools identified one or more positions that had been difficult to fill over the last few years. These schools covered the full range of locations, size and decile. The key curriculum areas were te reo, bilingual or immersion positions. Secondary schools found mathematics positions difficult to fill.

Positions received a median of 16 applications, with 14 percent receiving 50-170 applications. Five percent of positions were re-advertised. Secondary schools tended to have fewer applicants and were far more likely to re-advertise than primary schools. Senior positions tended to receive fewer applications and were more likely to be re-advertised.

Number of applications for principal positions

The Inquiry report noted that schools are more likely to make risky appointments when they have only a few suitable applicants.

Responses from boards surveyed for this evaluation were similar to those reported elsewhere,[34] namely:

  • there was a median of 12 applications for principal positions, ranging from one to 60
  • similar numbers applied for primary and secondary positions – a median of 12 for primary and 13 for secondary schools
  • applications tended to be higher for main urban, large and high decile schools (medians of 15, 15 and 12 respectively), and lower for rural, small, and low decile schools (medians of 8, 7, and 10 respectively)
  • schools with fewer than 10 applications included a range of types, sizes, and locations - none were high decile.
  • eleven percent of schools needed to re-advertise the principal’s position
  • secondary, low decile and smaller schools were more likely to have re‑advertised (15 percent, 21 percent, and 18 percent respectively)
  • rural schools tended to have fewer applicants but were not the most likely to re‑advertise
  • Even some schools with a large number of applicants felt they needed to re‑advertise. Six of the 15 schools that re-advertised had 12-24 applications. These schools included a range of types, sizes, and locations.

Cost of recruiting and appointing a principal

The cost to the school of recruiting and appointing a principal varied considerably across schools, ranging from minimal to $20,000. The median costs were $2,000 for primary schools and $8,000 for secondary schools. Using a consultant/advisor was a main item of expenditure, along with advertising and travel costs for those interviewed.

Expenditure varied with school size from $1,000 for very small schools, $1,800 for small schools, $3,000 for medium-size schools, $4,000 for large schools and $10,000 for very large schools. Expenditure also varied with decile from $1,000 for low decile, $2,500 for middle decile and $3,500 for high decile schools.