As the new school year approaches, many newly qualified teachers (NQTs) are anxiously waiting to see if they will be able to find work. According to a further Scottish government analysis obtained by Tes Scotland via freedom of information (FOI) legislation, only half of last year’s primary probationers are expected to be in work in Scottish state schools by next month.
This news is likely to cause concern among primary teachers, who comprise most NQTs. The figures also highlight the pressure many schools are under due to inadequate funding from the Scottish government.
Union officials have warned that highly skilled staff are “languishing” on supply lists because of the lack of funding. They called on the government to invest more in education so all teachers could find permanent work.
Tes Scotland has also obtained data on the number of NQTs still looking for work six months after completing their probationary period. In 2017-18, there were 1,005 primary NQTs who had not found work by this point. This is equivalent to around one in eight of all those who qualified that year.
The Scottish government has been urged to invest more in education so all teachers can find permanent work. This is important, so we do not lose many talented and skilled teachers from our education system.
With the new school year fast approaching, the Scottish government must provide adequate funding to schools so that all NQTs can find permanent work. Otherwise, we risk losing many talented and skilled teachers from our education system.
General Secretary of the EIS, Andrea Bradley, said: “It beggars belief that, in a country which professes education to be its number one priority, many new teachers are struggling to find permanent employment.”
“The EIS has been warning for some time of the consequences of years of underfunding in our schools and the over-reliance on short-term and supply staff to plug gaps in teacher numbers. These latest figures show just how severe those consequences have become.
“We urgently need to see significant investment in education so that all of Scotland’s young people have access to the high-quality teaching they deserve and that every new teacher can find a permanent job.”
Ms Bradley added: “The EIS will be working closely with the Scottish government over the summer to ensure that this issue is given the urgent attention it deserves to protect our teaching workforce and safeguard the future of education in Scotland.”
A Scottish government spokesperson said: “We are continuing to work with local authorities and schools to help ensure that all new teachers secure employment.
“The number of new entrants to initial teacher education programmes has increased by over 30 per cent since 2007, and we will build on this progress in the years ahead.”
The spokesperson added: “All new teachers are guaranteed a job offer within six months of completing their probationary period, as set out in our teacher induction policy.”
However, the EIS has warned that many highly skilled staff are “languishing” on supply lists because of the lack of funding. This is hurting the quality of education that students receive.
The Scottish government must invest more in education so all teachers can find permanent work. This is vital for our education system’s future and our students’ well-being.
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