Parents wait for details in Trinity Academy teaching row

Trinity Academy asked parents to help fill vacant teaching roles. Picture: Greg Macvean
Trinity Academy asked parents to help fill vacant teaching roles. Picture: Greg Macvean
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Parents who were asked to help a secondary school find maths teachers to fill vacant posts will have to await the results of a Freedom of Information request to find out how many applications have been received.

Earlier this month the head teacher of Trinity Academy in Edinburgh sent a letter to parents saying the school had been unable to recruit suitable candidates and cited the national teacher shortage as the major cause.

The closing date for applications for the posts was Thursday.

But on Friday evening Edinburgh City Council said it was unable to disclose how many teachers had applied and recommended that anyone seeking information should submit a Freedom of Information (FOI) request which takes up to 20 working days for a response.

A council spokeswoman said: “It would not be appropriate to provide this information at this stage of the recruitment process.”

Liz Smith, Scottish Conservative shadow education secretary, said the council needed to tell parents what measures were being taken to address the crisis.

“All that parents want to know is when qualified maths teachers will be in place.

“If Edinburgh City Council is not prepared to provide details about the application process as is quite within its rights then it must be up front about what measures are in place to secure these teachers as a matter of urgency.”

Brian Monteith, a public relations consultant, criticised the council’s response.

“From a public relations point of view this is a complete disaster and has been mishandled.

It seems absurd to ask people to put in an FOI which will take weeks when they have information they could put out now

“I would expect the local council to do the right thing and be cooperative, rather than obstructive, and inform parents about what is happening as soon as possible.”