Schools face struggle to fill thousands of teaching posts

Figures from Scotland’s councils show the difficulty schools have had in recruiting for both primary and secondary teachers across a range of subjects.The Scottish Government said it had taken “decisive” action to recruit and retain teachers. But the country’s largest teaching union, the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), said the figures highlighted the “crisis” in the education system, with the profession struggling under heavy workloads and declining pay.

The statistics, which were obtained by the Scottish Conservatives under Freedom of Information legislation, show the problem is not confined to rural locations, with schools in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow all struggling to recruit.

Commenting on the latest figures, Scottish Conservative shadow education secretary Liz Smith said: “Councils are clearly finding it very difficult in some circumstances to recruit teachers to key posts, which is why the level of re-advertisement is rising and why there is a growing burden on existing teachers.

“Naturally this has a big impact on morale within the profession and, of course, on our young people in classrooms across Scotland.”

An EIS spokeswoman said: “A growing number of experienced teachers are choosing to leave the profession early and not enough new teachers are coming into the system. In order to make teaching an attractive career option, issues of severe workload and declining pay must be addressed.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesman Tavish Scott said: “Thousands of teaching posts are proving stubbornly hard to fill. Teaching is a hugely rewarding profession, but there is an urgent need to make it more attractive to both existing and potential teachers.”