Education and training of teachers

There is an over supply of graduate teachers in Scottish schools and not enough permanent positions. Graduate teachers entering the workforce are given one-year contracts. This suits council budgets as the one-year contract is guaranteed and paid by the Scottish Government. At the end of the year the teachers are replaced by the new crop of graduate teachers.

The situation has been further worsened by the introduction of Post Graduate Diploma in Education for Primary Teachers, which now allows anyone with a degree to take a short one-year course and be on par with a person with a Masters of Education.

The oversupply of teachers is compounded by the Post Graduate Diploma in Education for Secondary Teachers, which is available in subjects where there is no teacher shortage.

Last year there were approximately 1700 teachers unemployed or on what amounts to zero hours contracts; that is in a supply pool with no contract waiting for an ad hoc offer of work.

44% of new graduates did not continue their General Teaching Council Scotland registration after the first year.

This situation is exacerbated by changes to the teachers’ pension and superannuation scheme which means that teachers are working up to seven years longer, leaving no permanent positions for graduates.

The ALBA Party is in the process of establishing an Education Working Group in order to bring forward proposals to address these issues and give teachers seeking employment job security and career progression.

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