College students could 'solve' teacher shortage crisis

Scottish Universities are to target college students to fill Scotland's teacher shortage crisis.

College students could be offered teacher training places to tackle Scotland's teacher recruitment shortage. PICTURE: JANE BARLOW

The University of Strathclyde’s School of Education is taking the lead in proposals to market teacher education degrees to Higher National Diploma (HND) students studying a range of subjects from mechanical engineering to fashion design.

The university, which trains around 30 per cent of Scotland’s teachers, wants to recruit them onto the third year of education degrees.

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Thirty per cent of places on secondary PGDE (Post Graduate Diploma in Education) courses went unfilled this year north of the border.

The only subjects to hit their targets were history, modern studies, psychology and PE.

Professor Ian Rivers of the university’s school of education, hopes the new initiative will start next year and says it has the support of other universities who want to work in partnership with the college sector.

“There are more colleges than there are universities and some of them are bigger than universities.

“That’s a market that has never been looked at before - it’s a group of students that has never been considered before.”