Teacher short­ages lead to hun­dreds of un­filled posts in key sub­jects

The Herald - - FRONT PAGE -


are cur­rently 65 va­can­cies for English teach­ers com­pared to 49 in 2016/17.

Other sub­jects with un­filled va­can­cies in­clude home eco­nom­ics, busi­ness stud­ies and physics. Over­all, there are 507 per­ma­nent teacher va­can­cies in sec­ondary schools.

The sit­u­a­tion has arisen af­ter a larger num­ber of teach­ers than ex­pected left the pro­fes­sion in re­cent years amid con­cerns over bu­reau­cracy, work­load and static pay lev­els. The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment also re­duced the num­ber of teach­ers be­ing re­cruited be­cause of a pre­vi­ous over­sup­ply.

Tar­gets for teacher re­cruit­ment have now been in­creased, but the lat­est fig­ures from the Gov­ern­ment show 3,657 are cur­rently in train­ing com­pared to a tar­get of 4,058.

How­ever, min­is­ters hope to in­crease sup­ply with the de­vel­op­ment of new fast-track op­tions which it is hoped will pro­duce an ad­di­tional 200 teach­ers.

The Gov­ern­ment also launched a cam­paign to en­cour­age grad­u­ates into so-called Stem sub­jects such as sci­ence and maths.

Larry Flanagan, gen­eral sec­re­tary of the Ed­u­ca­tional In­sti­tute of Scot­land union, wel­comed the drive to at­tract more grad­u­ates into teach­ing.

He said: “There is still fur­ther work to be done in filling places on teacher ed­u­ca­tion pro­grammes and va­can­cies in some cur­ric­u­lar and ge­o­graph­i­cal ar­eas.

“The so­lu­tions to at­tract­ing greater num­bers of qual­i­fied peo­ple into teach­ing are ac­tions to re­duce heavy work­load and the de­liv­ery of sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ments to pay.”

John Swin­ney, the Ed­u­ca­tion Sec­re­tary, said the per­ma­nent teacher va­cancy rate was 1.6 per cent of the to­tal teach­ing work­force.

He added: “New routes are de­signed to en­cour­age peo­ple from a whole range of back­grounds to con­sider teach­ing as a pro­fes­sion and I am pleased to see the im­pact they are hav­ing.

“It is dis­ap­point­ing tar­gets for some sec­ondary sub­jects have not been met, but we ex­pect to see the num­ber of peo­ple train­ing con­tin­u­ing to rise.”

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