Pupils at Edinburgh secondary school left to study alone after shortage of computing tutors

Stock image of a classroom.
Stock image of a classroom.
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PUPILS at a city secondary school have been left to study the remainder of their course without a designated teacher after advertisements for a vacancy failed to attract any suitable applicants.

Education chiefs have admitted they do not expect a replacement computing science teacher to be appointed at Queensferry High School before the Easter break – leaving students in limbo less than three months before their higher exam.

Furious parents have described the situation as a “shambles” after it was revealed the school had advertised for the role, but received no applications matching the skillset.

Instead, students will study the final module of the course under their own supervision, with teachers from other departments filling in as markers.

One outraged parent branded the move “beyond a joke,” adding: “How can they do this to their students when they really need as much 
help they can get as they are coming up to very important exams?

“If they fail it’s not going to be taken into account that they have not had a teacher.”

She continued: “I think this should be looked into as this is now beyond a joke; so many teachers seem to be leaving this school.” The higher computing course covers a broad range of topics including the likes of computational constructs, data types and structures and algorithm specification.

The computing science exam date is slated as being held on Thursday, May 22 on the latest SQA exam timetable.

It follows a national shortage of teachers in science, technology, engineering and 
mathematics (STEM) subjects across Scotland.

Last year, university students were drafted in to teach maths at another city school, Trinity Academy, after twice advertising for posts that were not filled.

The Scottish Government has since launched a new recruitment drive aimed at attracting highly-qualified graduates to new STEM teacher training courses.

Figures revealed in January found that Scottish local authorities were forced to readvertise 2,275 teaching posts in a number of different subjects over the last three years as schools seek to address the shortfall in classrooms, though government guidance warned it could potentially take “years” to end the teacher vacancy issue.

A City of Edinburgh Council spokeswoman said: “We are working closely with the school to fill the vacancy and will continue with various measures which have been put in place to minimise disruption to the pupils’ learning.

“Our priority remains ensuring that the curriculum continues to be delivered to the highest possible standard.”