MSP hits out at lack of staff at schools

With pupils now back to school after the school holidays, local MSP Maurice Golden has highlighted the vacancies within schools in East Dunbartonshire.

He said new figures obtained by the Scottish Tories show that there are vacancies at 10 schools within the area, including at Milngavie Primary and Kirkintilloch High.

He added more than 200 schools across Scotland are advertising for staff including teachers and support staff.

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The Conservative MSP says the SNP Government must take urgent action in order to ensure schools have sufficient staff in order to give pupils the best learning experience.

Mr Golden said: “Failure to recruit staff will mean that it is harder to plan lessons for the year ahead and when it comes to support staff, this has effects on some of our most vulnerable pupils.

Nicola Sturgeon claims education is the SNP Government’s top priority but the reality is that Scotland is slipping down educational league tables and schools are clearly having major issues recruiting staff. I hope these vacancies can be filled as soon as possible.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We recognise some areas of the country face challenges filling vacancies. That is why we invested £88 million in 2017/18, resulting in 543 more teachers than the previous year.

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“We have taken decisive action to recruit and retain more teachers through our Teaching Makes People campaign, while creating new routes into the profession. In addition, £20,000 bursaries are available for career changers to train in priority subjects.”

He added that Scotland has record numbers of post-probationer teachers, with 88 per cent securing permanent or temporary contracts.

He also pointed out that 2,864 newly qualified probationer teachers started on the Teacher Induction Scheme in August last year – 231 more than the previous year.

The Scottish Government in partnership with COSLA will be undertaking the next annual teacher vacancy survey in September.