Edinburgh school fails to fill vacancies at second attempt

An Edinburgh school has failed in its bid to fill two vacant maths teacher positions - at the second attempt.

Friday, 15th December 2017, 1:00 pm
Updated Friday, 15th December 2017, 1:03 pm

Trinity Academy has been plagued by a teacher shortage in recent months with university students drafted in to cover maths lessons.

Despite a number of individuals applying for the positions, nobody deemed suitable has come forward to fill them.

The two maths positions at the secondary school have remained vacant since the summer.

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Trinity Academy has been ravaged by teacher shortages. Picture: TSPL

The issues faced at Trinity are indicative of a wider problem facing schools all over the country, with many, particularly in rural areas, citing severe staffing shortages.

In a letter, Trinity Academy rector, Bryan Paterson, appealed to parents, asking for their help in recruiting suitable candidates.

“I write to assure you that plans have been put into place to mitigate against the national shortage and to ensure that all classes are supported by mathematics ­teachers.

“Where necessary, maths teachers may also share some classes, particularly in S1-S3, with colleagues from other faculties who have a mathematics background.

Trinity Academy has been ravaged by teacher shortages. Picture: TSPL

“Finally, if any parent can support us in any way, or knows anyone who might be able to do so, please contact me directly.”

It was later announced that university students would be drafted in to assist with lessons, while an established teacher took charge of the class.

On Trinity Academy’s latest recruitment failure, a City of Edinburgh Council spokesperson said: “We have been working closely with the school over filling the vacancies and will continue with the various measures put in place, which has the support of the Parent Council, to minimise disruption to the pupils’ learning. Our priority remains ensuring that the curriculum continues to be delivered to the highest possible standard.”

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Mr Paterson has said there will be a drive to enlist probation teachers in the New Year.

The remaining maths teacher vacancies are expected to be re-listed in due course.

A Scottish government spokesperson has noted the challenges faced by schools in certain areas of the country.

“Although teacher recruitment is a matter for local authorities, we recognise some areas have faced challenges filling vacancies. This is why we have invested £88m in 2017 alone, resulting in 453 more teachers in Scottish classrooms than last year.

“We have taken decisive action to help recruit and retain teachers through our Teaching Makes People campaign, focusing specifically on attracting new teachers and career changers into Stem and other subjects.

“We also recently announced bursaries of £20,000 for career changers to train to become teachers of priority Stem subjects.”

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