Swin­ney ad­mits to teach­ing ‘chal­lenges’

The Scotsman - - News Digest - By KA­TRINE BUSSEY

15 Au­gust, 2015 – Kezia Dug­dale be­comes Scot­tish Labour leader af­ter de­feat­ing fel­low MSP Ken Mac­in­tosh with 72.1 per cent of the vote. May 2016 – Dug­dale says she is “heart­bro­ken” af­ter Con­ser­va­tives beat her party into third place in Holy­rood elec­tions. 20 Septem­ber, 2016 – Pledges loy­alty to Jeremy Cor­byn in a tele­vi­sion in­ter­view as he is re-elected leader of the Labour Party. But is put un­der pres­sure when quizzed on sup­port­ing Owen Smith in lead­er­ship race just weeks ear­lier. De­cem­ber 2016 – Split from fi­ancée Louise Riddell, five months af­ter get­ting en­gaged. March 2017 – Be­gins dat­ing Jenny Gil­ruth, an SNP MSP. June 2017 – First Min­is­ter Ni­cola Stur­geon claims Dug­dale told her dur­ing a pri­vate con­ver­sa­tion she would no longer op­pose Indyref2. June 2017 – Scot­tish Labour win seven seats in gen­eral elec­tion. 30 Au­gust 2017 – Resigns as Scot­tish Labour leader “with im­me­di­ate ef­fect”. Ed­u­ca­tion sec­re­tary John Swin­ney has ad­mit­ted there are “chal­lenges” re­cruit­ing teach­ers as he con­firmed there are al­most 700 va­can­cies in Scot­land’s schools.

He pledged the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment and lo­cal au­thor­i­ties would “work hard” to fill the posts, adding that coun­cils – who are re­spon­si­ble for the day to day run­ning of schools – ex­pect staff to be in place by the end of the this term.

He spoke out as a cam­paign to re­cruit more teach­ers was ex­panded, in a bid to en­cour­age more English and home eco­nom­ics (HE) spe­cial­ists into the class­room.

The Teach­ing Makes Peo­ple ini­tia­tive was ini­tially set up to re­cruit more teach­ers in the key areas of sci­ence, tech­nol­ogy, engi­neer­ing and maths – the so-called Stem sub­jects.

And Mr Swin­ney said “thou­sands” more un­der­grad­u­ate stu­dents were con­sid­er­ing a ca­reer in the class­room as a re­sult of that.

But he told BBC Ra­dio Scot­land: “There are quite clear- 0 John Swin­ney said more were con­sid­er­ing teach­ing ly chal­lenges in dif­fer­ent parts of the coun­try about re­cruit­ment of teach­ers and I want to make sure that we have a strong teach­ing pro­fes­sion avail­able in ev­ery school in the coun­try.

“Of course 690 va­can­cies is an un­wel­come fig­ure around the coun­try, but it rep­re­sents 1.3 per cent of the to­tal teach­ing com­ple­ment in the coun­try.

“We’ve got to work very hard to make sure we fill these va­can­cies and I was pleased to hear Scot­land’s lo­cal au­thor­i­ties say they ex­pect to be able to fill these va­can­cies in the course of the school term.”

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