Loss to teaching

In your article, “Council chiefs want Swinney talks over teacher row”, (6 February), Labour finance spokeswoman Jackie Baillie has placed the blame on the Scottish Government for falling teacher numbers.

Yet, fairly recently, many newly qualified teachers were unable to find permanent posts in Scottish schools. Instead, some local authorities were relying on the next influx of probationer teachers, their salary costs partly subsidised by the government, short-term contracts, and short-term supply as a way of controlling their staffing costs.

Some newly qualified teachers, trained at the taxpayers’ expense, chose to leave teaching or teach elsewhere rather than to settle for an uncertain future and short-term contracts.

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In my experience as a teacher educator, the majority of student teachers are hard working, committed and enthusiastic, and, critically, up to speed with Curriculum for Excellence.

Those who failed to find a permanent post are a loss to our schools. Now some local authorities are finding it difficult to fill posts. Cosla protests because the additional funds to restore pupil-teacher ratios must be spent on just that. I hope that John Swinney holds his ground.

(Dr) Margaret

Skernieland Road