Scotland politics

Funding boost for more trainee teachers

Classroom

The Scottish government has announced that it is making more than £2m available to train an extra 260 teachers next year.

More places will also be made available at all of Scotland's teacher education universities.

The increase of 60 primary and 200 secondary student teacher places will bring the total intake next year to 3,490.

The government said it was the fifth consecutive annual increase.

A campaign was launched in September to try to encourage more people to enter the teaching profession in Scotland.

The Scottish government's #inspiringteachers campaign is focusing on science, technology, engineering and maths.

Ministers are also asking the new Strategic Board for Teacher Education to consider whether further actions are needed "to make sure we have the right numbers of teachers in our schools".

In September, the leaders of seven councils called for a national taskforce to be set up to help deal with teacher recruitment problems.

They made the call at a summit on tackling teacher shortages in northern and rural parts of Scotland.

Student teacher places next year:

• 1,230 post-graduate primary places - 60 more than last year's target

• 710 undergraduate primary places

• 1,350 secondary places - up by 185 on last year's target

• 200 undergraduate secondary places - 15 more than last year's target

Image caption Some rural areas of Scotland have struggled to recruit enough teachers

'Challenging targets'

Education Secretary Angela Constance said: "We want to make sure we have the right number of skilled teachers in our schools to help all of our young people to succeed.

"That's why we worked with local authorities to maintain teacher numbers this year and aim to do the same again next year, with a further £51m funding.

"And it's why we are increasing student places for the fifth year in a row, targeting them at areas where they are needed most such as Aberdeen and Highlands and Islands universities.

"We have upped last year's student teacher targets for science, technology, engineering and maths and we know these will be challenging for the universities to meet.

"I will be asking the new Strategic Board for Teacher Education to look at our workforce planning, particularly in the secondary sector, to consider whether there is more we can do.

"We also launched a teacher recruitment campaign in September with a focus on the Stem subjects and we are working with the universities to maximise its impact."

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