Less than a fifth of teachers finding permanent jobs in Scotland

Less than twenty per cent of newly qualified teachers are finding permanent, full-time jobs in Scotland, whilst more than a quarter have failed to find any work as a teacher, according to new figures.

A survery from the General Teaching Council for Scotland shows that in the middle of October this year, only 16.1 per cent of those who responded had secured permanent and full-time positions.

This is a massive drop on the same figure five years ago, when almost two-thirds of all new teachers found such jobs.

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The survey also showed 27.1 per cent of all newly-qualified teachers had failed to find any work in the sector.

This is significantly higher than the 5.3 per cent not employed in teaching when the 2004-05 survey was carried out.

Anthony Finn, GTC Scotland chief executive, said he was "concerned about the continuing fall in the number of new teachers gaining permanent employment".

Almost one in five newly-qualified teachers - 19.5 per cent - had found a full-time, temporary contract when the survey was carried out.

This year`s figures also showed 8.8 per cent of new teachers had a part--time temporary contract while 1.6 per cent had a permanent contract for part-time teaching work.

Other newly-qualified teachers had obtained supply work or were on local authority lists for supply teachers.

Of the 379 newly-qualified teachers who had not found any teaching work in Scotland, 256 were not working in teaching but were actively looking for employment in the sector - though 35 were not working in teaching and not seeking a job in the profession.

88 were looking for education jobs in other countries.

Mr Finn said the number of post probationary teachers in employment had "remained broadly steady".

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However, he added: "We are concerned about the continuing fall in the number of new teachers gaining permanent employment, especially when the highly-skilled and enthusiastic teachers who graduate from the Teacher Induction Scheme have much to contribute to the development of our new curriculum.

"We note, however, that Government intends to find ways to offer more jobs to new teachers and we hope that this initiative in 2011 will successfully assist newly- qualified teachers, and some who qualified in previous years, to gain positions."

Education Secretary Mike Russell said the results of this year`s survey provided "further evidence that we have turned the corner as far as teacher unemployment is concerned".

He added: "After falling for four consecutive years, the proportion of post-probationers in full-time teaching has now stabilised."

The Education Secretary went on: "While the steps we have taken to reduce the total number of unemployed teachers have clearly been effective, there is still more work to be done.

"Our recent agreement with Cosla as part of the 2010 spending review will ensure there are sufficient teaching posts available for all probationers who successfully complete their probation in summer 2011 to apply for as well as making further inroads into overall teacher unemployment levels."

Labour education spokesman Des McNulty said the figures showed "the damage being done to Scottish education and the careers of newly-qualified teachers by the SNP's mismanagement of Scottish education."

He said: "Highly trained and well-qualified teachers are being treated as a casualised workforce, obliged to look for work on a weekly or daily basis."