Analysis: Our induction scheme impresses the world

The General Teaching Council Scotland carries out this survey of probationers every year and reports its findings to the Scottish Government. The overall number of probationers in employment has remained broadly steady.

However, 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.

These are, of course, testing times for education in Scotland. If budget cuts are necessary, they have to be targeted in the right places. We are therefore disappointed by recent budget proposals which could change significantly the tried and tested system of supporting teachers throughout their induction year.

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Scotland has worked hard to attain standards of teacher education which have been described as world class by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and which are much admired by other countries. Our Teacher Induction Scheme is, indeed, the envy of the world.

Just recently, I was invited to an international education conference in Canada to explain more about the scheme to other countries. It is no exaggeration to state that delegates were hugely impressed by Scotland's approach to the preparation of new teachers.

Our advice, therefore, is that great care should be taken in planning the support and training which new teachers need for the future.

It is important that difficult budget pressures do not lead to decisions which could result in a significant dilution in the high standards of the induction programme and, consequently, put at risk the quality of the learning experience of our young people.

• Anthony Finn is chief executive of the General Teaching Council Scotland