Many councils forced to '¨readvertise teaching posts

Thousands of teaching vacancies have not been filled in recent years with councils forced to readvertise posts, it has emerged.
shortfall: Schools are advertising teaching jobs multiple timesshortfall: Schools are advertising teaching jobs multiple times
shortfall: Schools are advertising teaching jobs multiple times

The Liberal Democrats today revealed that 2,275 posts were readvertised in the last three years as schools seek to address the shortfall in classrooms.

Government ministers says the situation has eased over the past year with an additional 540 teachers recruited in schools across the country.

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But there have been ongoing problems recruiting teachers in the key maths, science and technology subjects, with internal Scottish Government guidance warning it could take years to end the teacher vacancy issue.

Last year the Evening News reported that one high school in Edinburgh resorted to appealing to parents to help after being unable to fill two maths teacher vacancies.

Trinity Academy was also having to draft in other subject teachers to cover maths lessons despite advertising the posts twice.

Headteacher Bryan Paterson cited the “national shortage” of teachers in subjects such as mathematics, science, technology, business and home economics as the cause of school’s crisis.

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The latest figures were unveiled by Liberal Democrat education spokesman Tavish Scott who has now stepped up calls for an additional £500 million investment in education and a review of teachers’ terms and conditions.

Parents and pupils will be worried to learn that almost 2,500 teaching posts have had to be advertised on multiple occasions,” Mr Scott said

“There will be occasions when people do apply and subsequently do not take up the post forcing councils to re-advertise. However, there is no doubt that teaching posts across Scotland are proving stubbornly hard to fill.

“The impact of a decade of mismanagement by the SNP is clear. Teaching is an amazing and rewarding profession. But there is an urgent need to make it more attractive to both existing and potential teachers. That starts by having an honest conversation about how much they currently do.

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The figures, acquired by the party through freedom of information requests, show that 2,275 posts were re-advertised in just three years (between 2014-15 and 2016-17). In 2016-17 alone, 1,004 teaching posts had to be re-advertised.

Teacher recruitment is down to local councils, but Scottish ministers have increasing directed funding straight to headteachers to give them more control of taking on staff.

“We recognise some areas have faced challenges filling vacancies,” a spokesman said.

“This is why we have invested £88 million in 2017, resulting in 543 more teachers than last year – the second year in a row that there’s been an increase in teacher numbers. We have taken decisive action to help recruit and retain teachers through our Teaching Makes People campaign, focusing specifically on attracting new teachers.”