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Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News

MORAY MSP WELCOMES EDUCATION MINISTER'S TEACHER SHORTAGE RESPONSE

21/04/2015  

Richard Lochhead MSP has today welcomed the Cabinet Secretary for Education, Angela Constance’s response to his letter regarding the teacher shortage in Moray and asking what assistance the Scottish Government can offer to help alleviate the situation.

Mr Lochhead’s letter asked if there were any steps that could be taken by the Scottish Government to increase the number of newly qualified teachers being allocated a probationary post in Moray, and whether they could look to increase the quota of teacher training places allocated to the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) each year.

In her reply, the Education Secretary indicated that around 400 newly qualified teachers, due to start their probationary year in August 2015, have waived their right to a preferred local authority.  She highlighted the importance of the Moray Council identifying all current vacancies, as unfilled vacancies will be given priority over places offered by other local authorities on a less than full time basis.

Moray’s MSP welcomed news that the number of primary teacher training posts available through UHI for 2015/16 will increase from 40 to 60, with the number of places for each campus being decided based on the number and quality of applicants they receive, creating “home grown” teachers in areas of need. 

The Education Minister’s letter to Mr Lochhead stated that Scottish Government officials have been in discussion with Laurence Findlay about the teacher shortages, and following agreement by local authorities to maintain teacher numbers, are due to meet with the Moray Council on 28 April.

Richard Lochhead MSP said: 

“I welcome the Education Minister’s positive response which indicates that when it comes to allocating posts for probationary teachers, unfilled vacancies, such as those in Moray, will be given priority so long as they are identified by the Council.

“Establishing home grown teachers and allowing more people the opportunity to undergo teacher training locally may well be key to tackling Moray’s teacher shortage and I’m pleased that the target intake at UHI will increase from 40 to 60 for 2015/16. 

“It’s encouraging to hear that the Head of Education has been in discussions with the Scottish Government on this issue and I look forward to hearing the outcome of the Council’s meeting with Scottish Government officials next week.

“There are clearly a range of issues that require ongoing consideration if the situation in Moray is to be resolved including work on improved career structures, which I know my SNP Councillor colleagues are working hard to bring forward.” 

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