Trinity Academy headteacher Bryan Paterson has found himself in a bind.
Trinity is of course a good school in a city where young professionals want to live and work. The fact it cannot find decent maths teachers shows just how severe the national shortage affecting certain subjects has grown.
Stuck with a very poor hand of cards, Mr Paterson has played them relatively well.
The idea of composite classes with, for example, science or geography teachers drated in to support a maths specialist is far from ideal. But, unless another city school was able to ‘loan’ a maths teacher to Trinity, it is probably the only way he could ensure all pupils are taught in a class led by a maths specialist.
His appeal to parents may alarm some, but it could be a smart way to try to crack a particularly tough nut. There’s a fair chance one of the parents might know a qualified maths specialist, who has retired or is working as a supply teacher, or even be one themselves.
The Scottish Government has taken steps to increase the number of training places for student teachers and create eaiser routes into the profession from other occupations. The fix that Trinity has found itself in shows that help is desperately needed.