22 Aug 2012

Push for te reo teachers a factor in Mike case - review

11:16 am on 22 August 2012

Pressure felt by schools to employ staff who know the Maori language and culture is being linked to a sex offender getting a job as a teacher.

A ministerial inquiry has found there's a big demand for people with te reo Maori and Maoritanga skills, but they're in short supply.

It's one of the factors taken into account following a review of decisions made by school boards who hired the offender, Te Rito Miki, in several parts of the country.

The report recommends that the Ministry of Education becomes more realistic about how many fluent te reo teachers can be found and employed.

The inquiry suggests goals and guidelines be changed to reflect the Maori labour market and what it calls the intense competition for competent speakers of te reo and people with essential cultural skills.

In response, the ministry is partly accepting the recommendations. It says existing recruitment incentives to improve the flow of teachers to Maori medium schools have been revised over the past two years - and significant results are expected from next year.

The ministry also says it's developing options to improve and secure the supply of qualified teachers in Maori immersion schools.

Miki was sent to jail for four years in May.