Half of all new primary teachers in Scotland are without a job

Newly qualified primary teachers in Scotland have been the victim of mismanaged recruitment planning.

According to the TES this year only 50% of those who have completed their training and probationary year have found a job in the profession. This has dropped from 77% last year (which was still a rather worrying figure).

And we are not just talking about full-time permanent contracts – the fact is that only half of the cohort will get any teaching job at all, whether full or part-time, permanent or temporary. Many will be forced to take up irregular supply teaching, or to abandon the profession before they have even started.

Within the overall figures, the numbers obtaining permanent posts is falling quite rapidly. Back in 2017, 58% of all newly qualified teachers were given permanent contracts, whereas in 2021 only 32% had found permanent jobs. However, by 2021 there was a marked difference between primary and secondary teachers – 45% of secondary teachers got permanent jobs but only 23% of primary teachers.

All this, of course, makes life very difficult for teachers who were hoping for some stability in their careers, especially those lured into teaching as mature entrants.

The Scottish Government has said it will increase the number of teachers by 3,500 over the course of this Parliament (from 2021 to 2026) but this year numbers are only rising by 362, compared with 800 last year.

Willie Rennie MSP has been given a pithy quote in The Scottish Sun:

It’s a waste of money and talent.

He has been campaigning about the issue for over a year.

 

 

 

* Mary Reid is a contributing editor on Lib Dem Voice. She was a councillor in Kingston upon Thames, where she is still very active with the local party, and is the Hon President of Kingston Lib Dems.

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