New teachers struggle to get jobs

Image caption,
The number of new teachers finding work has fallen

The number of new teachers finding jobs in Scottish schools has dropped, figures from the General Teaching Council for Scotland suggest.

The GTCS survey found 25.5% of teachers had secured full-time permanent work, with 4.5% on part-time contracts.

Scotland's largest teaching union, the EIS, said the figures were "shocking".

The figures suggested that about 30% of new teachers had managed to secure permanent work, a drop of 9% on the situation a year ago.

The survey, which involved 1,249 respondents, asked new teachers what their employment status was in March this year, and compared the results from previous surveys taken in October and April 2009.

In March, 29% had secured temporary posts, compared with 22% five months earlier and 30% the previous year.

The rate of those who became supply teachers was 26% in the last two periods surveyed and 19% a year earlier.

Tony Finn, chief executive of the GTCS, Scotland's professional regulatory body for teachers, said the general decrease in the number of teachers finding work was disappointing.

He said: "I am sure that everyone will agree that it is important that these new teachers get the opportunity to put their skills into practice and to contribute new ideas to the development of the profession."

EIS general secretary Ronnie Smith said the figures painted an "alarming picture" of the prospects newly-qualified teachers faced.

He said: "The number of new teachers gaining a permanent post has fallen dramatically in the last year, from 39.5% last year to just 30% this year.

"Thousands of our brightest young teachers are being forced into accepting short-term, temporary contracts which provides scant security for them and no stability for the pupils in our schools."

Vacancy rate

Education Secretary Michael Russell said he sympathised with those teachers who were out of work and that he had cut the number of training places to reduce over-supply.

The Scottish government reduced the intake of students for one-year postgraduate diploma courses by 578 last year.

According to government figures, the number of advertised teaching vacancies was down to 354 in February this year from 372 at the same time 12 months ago.

Of those, 95 posts had been vacant for more than three months This was down from 115 vacant posts in 2009.

Senior posts, additional support needs posts and general science posts had the highest vacancy rates.

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