Dumfries and Galloway 'grow your own' teacher scheme expands

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image captionThe scheme to fill vacancies in Dumfries and Galloway schools has proved popular with council staff

A project designed to help fill rural teaching vacancies in Dumfries and Galloway has been earmarked to expand.

The council-run "Grow Your Own" scheme was initially designed to let education department staff with degrees do a post-graduate teaching diploma.

Nine training places were provided in 2015 with the University of the West of Scotland.

It proved popular with staff and the number of places is now set to rise to 30 this year.

It follows an announcement by the Scottish government that it is investing more than £2m to train an extra 260 teachers across the country.

Chairman of education for Dumfries and Galloway Council's Labour administration, Jeff Leaver, said the news was welcome.

'Very keen'

However, he stressed that with the initial local scheme costing about £500,000 on its own, clarification was needed about funding additional places.

He added that they may also need to cast the net wider for new recruits.

"An option which we need to look at is whether we can widen it," he said.

"There are an awful lot of people who would be very keen on that but who may not be council employees, for example, they may work for the NHS or they may be graduates working in the area anyway.

"We need to look at how we do this, how we fund it and who can apply for it."

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