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Should I stay or should I go

Should I stay or should I go

Old May 2nd 2017, 10:12 pm
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Default Should I stay or should I go

Good evening readers, I am new to the forum and just wanted to give you my story and see if anyone has any advice. I am a 35 year old science teacher and it has been suggested to me that if I wanted it enough, there are plenty of opportunities for me to work and live in NZ. When I heard this news I was over the moon as it was always my dream to live in NZ since I visited way back in 2004. However, after reading many of the threads and comments on this forum I have been hit by a huge amount of self doubt as so many people are reporting negative experiences. I would be moving out on my own, which further compounds my reservations of such a big upheaval but I don't want to be looking back in 20 years regretting it.

If anyone is/has been in a similar boat i.e. have up sticks on their Billy Todd then please let me know of your experience. And if anyone can give me any clues as to how the teaching profession is over there, that would be great.

Thanks in advance.
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Old May 9th 2017, 10:20 am
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Default Re: Should I stay or should I go

Hi MushyP - until today, all news over recent years has indicated that there was an oversupply of teachers in NZ and we were hearing numerous stories that many local teachers were struggling to find jobs. There was a time recently when they were talking about hundreds of folks applying for the same few roles and people were taking voluntary positions or having to take jobs in less desirable locations just to get a foot in a door.

HOWEVER it seems that there has been somewhat of a downturn in new grads coming through and now jobs aplenty:

Trainee teacher numbers in decline leaving schools struggling to fill roles | Stuff.co.nz
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Old May 9th 2017, 10:58 am
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Default Re: Should I stay or should I go

Originally Posted by Mushyp1981 View Post
Good evening readers, I am new to the forum and just wanted to give you my story and see if anyone has any advice. I am a 35 year old science teacher and it has been suggested to me that if I wanted it enough, there are plenty of opportunities for me to work and live in NZ. When I heard this news I was over the moon as it was always my dream to live in NZ since I visited way back in 2004. However, after reading many of the threads and comments on this forum I have been hit by a huge amount of self doubt as so many people are reporting negative experiences. I would be moving out on my own, which further compounds my reservations of such a big upheaval but I don't want to be looking back in 20 years regretting it.

If anyone is/has been in a similar boat i.e. have up sticks on their Billy Todd then please let me know of your experience. And if anyone can give me any clues as to how the teaching profession is over there, that would be great.

Thanks in advance.
All people are different and since you'll be on your own, it's easy enough.
Some challenges will be the same: Does the job pay well for it's location, how is the school, the area etc.


Then what will you give up back home and so on.
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Old May 9th 2017, 12:23 pm
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Default Re: Should I stay or should I go

Mushyp1981, first thing would be, can you clarify for us your potential visa situation - have you used the points calculator and reached the points threshold for a permanent residence visa? As you may have seen, the threshold has recently been increased, and it can be fairly difficult to reach. Or do you have another route you can take?

As an earlier poster mentioned, the job market is improving a bit, but it is still not great. General rule of thumb is that science positions are the most difficult to fill of the core subjects. If you are willing to live outside the three main cities, your prospects will also improve. So you have that going for you. Jobs are advertised in the NZ Education Gazette but the problem for you is going to be that NZ is very much a "who you know" country for the employment market and principals/hiring committees are not inclined to hire an unknown from Europe when they can tap into their own network and hire a local with NZ experience.

I imagine you will have to do relief first, but if you are any good, then you will become the "safe candidate" that they "know" and something will pop open for you at some point. That is a well-trodden path to employment for teachers.

There are a few reasons why New Zealand can be a challenging immigration destination. For teachers, wages aren't great - yet expenses high. I have heard many migrants speak of a "New Zealand Trap" in which they arrive, spend their savings trying to settle in, end up not really liking the country and want to leave . . . but don't make enough money to be able to do so. If you do come - make sure you keep a large enough reserve in your savings to move back to the UK if you want, and don't touch that reserve.

Second - it is small, it is remote, and it is isolated. You know that theoretically, but when you get there and feel it, it's a different experience entirely. It's an 11 hour flight to Southeast Asia, a 12 hour flight to America. Even Australia is not all that close - 3 hours to Sydney, 4 to Melbourne, 6 to Perth. When I was in NZ - in Wellington - I felt cut off from the rest of the world in ways I never do in a tiny town in the Australian hinterland, which is where I live now.

The nature is great, but the trick is being able to afford to take advantage of it, and keeping things interesting and fresh over a period of time as it is a geographically small place.

The teaching profession may seem superficially different but the nuts and bolts are similar. You are still going to be working very, very long hours, and you will have a few outstanding students and then a few real shockers. You will be expected to help out with extracurricular activities and sport is a big thing.

But - first things first. If you have the visa situation sorted, great, but if not, get on the points calculator and see that you do qualify.
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Old May 10th 2017, 8:11 am
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Default Re: Should I stay or should I go

Hi. Your thread is a good example of taking everything you read on the internet as gospel. Lol. NZ teachers are actually comparitively well paid. ... higher than the OECD average in fact and especially so at upper secondary level, according to the OECD data anyway.

https://data.oecd.org/eduresource/teachers-salaries.htm


Follow your dreams I say, if you can gain a visa.
This thing about getting stuck here shouldnt really apply for a single person on 50k IMO. Just rent or better still houseshare for a while until you find out if you like it.
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Old May 10th 2017, 8:30 am
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Default Re: Should I stay or should I go

Originally Posted by garethwm View Post
Hi. Your thread is a good example of taking everything you read on the internet as gospel. Lol. NZ teachers are actually comparitively well paid. ... higher than the OECD average in fact and especially so at upper secondary level, according to the OECD data anyway

Um, no. What you are implying with that statistic is totally incorrect. Not compared to countries such as Australia and the US. Directly compare the salary schedules.

That comparison is very relevant since secondary school teacher is on Australia's SOL and thus is a realistic option for OP. Not that I am advocating he/she move to Australia but the comparison needs to be relevant to his/her options. A comparison to OECD countries like Turkey and Latvia is not.

A second-year teacher in Western Australia makes almost as much money as a teacher at the top of the pay scale in New Zealand. A trained teacher on T10 in New Zealand, with a PhD, is on roughly $76,000 NZD per annum. A trained teacher at the top of the scale in WA is on $110,000 NZD per annum, though you can get more if you make senior teacher.

I don't think that is "comparable."

I am not going to bother looking at the salary schedules for other Australian states and territories as they won't be that much different.

Maybe you have an OECD statistic telling the Departments that they're wrong about what they are paying their own teachers?

I do agree with you on one thing: You have to be careful about taking some people's replies as gospel!

Last edited by MrsFychan; May 10th 2017 at 10:25 am. Reason: quotes
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Old May 10th 2017, 8:57 am
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Default Re: Should I stay or should I go

Do they have to offer a premium to teachers in remote areas of WA? Seems official payscales are 1st year teachers $A40k in Aus, $NZ46k in NZ, £UK20k in UK. Top of scale $A89k in Aus, $NZ72k in NZ. Worked out that I dont understand that OECD chart now to be honest. Lol.
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Old May 10th 2017, 9:22 am
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Default Re: Should I stay or should I go

Although those salaries are for Primary teachers ... Secondary teachers $NZ47k to 76k, $Aus45k to 92k, £UK22k to £UK46
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Old May 10th 2017, 10:05 am
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Default Re: Should I stay or should I go

Heck if you're single just follow your dreams Mushy.
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Old May 10th 2017, 10:14 am
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Default Re: Should I stay or should I go

Originally Posted by Mushyp1981 View Post
Good evening readers, I am new to the forum and just wanted to give you my story and see if anyone has any advice. I am a 35 year old science teacher and it has been suggested to me that if I wanted it enough, there are plenty of opportunities for me to work and live in NZ. When I heard this news I was over the moon as it was always my dream to live in NZ since I visited way back in 2004. However, after reading many of the threads and comments on this forum I have been hit by a huge amount of self doubt as so many people are reporting negative experiences. I would be moving out on my own, which further compounds my reservations of such a big upheaval but I don't want to be looking back in 20 years regretting it.

If anyone is/has been in a similar boat i.e. have up sticks on their Billy Todd then please let me know of your experience. And if anyone can give me any clues as to how the teaching profession is over there, that would be great.

Thanks in advance.
As long as it would be possible for you to return to the UK after a few years and find a decent job quickly you can just go for it and try it out. I don't know about the situation of teachers in the UK but science teachers in Germany are sought after. So it wouldn't be a problem for a German science teacher to move to NZ for while and return a few years later and find a job easily.

Also, it is an adventure to move to NZ and it doesn't need to be a permanent move. For a us three years was perfect! It was great trying it out but we are happy to be back in Europe now. Maybe if you can approach it in more open way, allowing for more than one possibility, things become clearer for you. Good luck with your decision
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Old May 10th 2017, 10:20 am
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Default Re: Should I stay or should I go

I do apologize for being rude in my reply.

I believe you are looking at the incorrect pay scales for Australia. In Western Australia, a new teacher starts at $68,137 AUD (which is $72,456 NZD). This is marked on the salary schedule as Level 2.1 (not 1.1). A qualified teacher on the normal pay scale tops out at a touch over $103,000 AUD (2.9).

Sometimes untrained/unqualified teachers are hired for various reasons - these are the ones on the scale at 1.1, 1.2 etc. Those start at $49,552 AUD. New Zealand also does this so when comparing salary schedules you have to make sure you are looking under the table that says trained teacher or qualified teacher. But I am assuming OP is a qualified teacher and so would start at 2.1, higher if he/she gets UK experience recognised (which would be likely if it was legitimate government school/private school secondary school experience). You move up one increment for every year of service in WA. In Australia each state has its own teacher pay scale - they do vary but not by enormous amounts.

Remote allowances are given, but those are not included in the official salary schedule, and the amount varies by location - but the bonuses are not huge. A teacher in the most remote regions of Western Australia gets an extra $13,730 per year, so roughly just about an extra $1,000 per month, though they do get extra leave entitlements etc. As you get less remote the bonuses are just mid-three-figures a month.

So they do offer a premium, but not one that is substantial enough in my view to get teachers flocking out to remote communities. If instead of the bonus they did something like offer double or triple the service time for teachers not already at the top (ie, instead of going to 2.2 after your first year, you went to 2.4), or offered a 20% bonus to senior teachers (those on 3.1 or 3.2), I think a lot more people would at least listen to the idea of going out there for a reasonable amount of time (say 3-5 years).

Unfortunately I don't think the OECD tables are very useful for things like this - teacher salaries in Eastern Europe are very, very low so that throws off the averages for making comparisons like this. If I remember a teacher in Germany makes almost triple what a teacher in the Balkans makes; my wife's cousin was a public school teacher in Northern Italy and only made 1,200 Euros a month. So compared to that sure New Zealand offers a heck of a deal.
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Old May 10th 2017, 10:22 am
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Default Re: Should I stay or should I go

I should also add - if Mushyp wants to do it, go do it. My point was not that the OP should not go to New Zealand. Just, he/she needs to prepare financially, in a very thorough way (planning several years out), to be a teacher there.
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Old May 11th 2017, 4:53 am
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Default Re: Should I stay or should I go

I thought science teachers were in short supply in NZ. No?
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Old May 11th 2017, 5:04 am
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Default Re: Should I stay or should I go

Originally Posted by LoCarb View Post
I thought science teachers were in short supply in NZ. No?
No.

Not according to the NZ Immigration shortage lists.

Without getting into the thick of it too much as I have no desire to be offputting, MushyP1981 will need to have her quals assessed by NZQA and then apply for NZ registration.

The issue will be in finding a job offer . The next issue will be for the prospective employer to prove there is no NZ resident or citizen that could take that position . That would include advertising and also further training.
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Old May 11th 2017, 5:04 am
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Default Re: Should I stay or should I go

Finding a teaching job in New Zealand

  • Schools and early childhood services are responsible for employing their own staff. There is no central staffing agency or government department responsible for staff placement.
  • You can apply directly to schools or centres.
  • All applications should be made to the employing school. In early childhood services, teachers are employed by the licensee or owner of the service and you should apply to the employing centre.
  • You can also find work through the Ministry of Education’s preferred teacher recruitment agencies, which offer a free recruitment service to teachers.
  • Teaching positions are advertised in a range of ways including:
  • TeachNZ website - also has useful information about working and living in New Zealand
  • Education Gazette Online - Ministry of Education's main source of teaching jobs
  • websites such as Seek and Trade Me
  • advertisements in daily newspapers (most commonly on Wednesday and Saturday) although many of these also appear in the job section of the Trade Me website
  • Auckland-based Oasis Education
  • Education Personnel
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