Over 200 Scots teaching vacancies as schools return

Hundreds of schools in Scotland are still advertising teaching vacancies and classroom support roles as pupils return to the classroom after the summer holidays.
COSLA has 'concerns' over teaching vacancies.COSLA has 'concerns' over teaching vacancies.
COSLA has 'concerns' over teaching vacancies.

In total, 231 schools have adverts for staff, with some requiring multiple vacancies, according to research by the Scottish Conservatives.

Teachers’ leaders say it underlines the need to halt the erosion in teachers’ pay and conditions. It comes after separate research last week found that more than 650 individual vacancies exist at primary and secondary schools across Scotland.

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And although numbers do fluctuate throughout the year ministers and council chiefs are seeking to identify the individual subjects and areas worst affected.

But a spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives said: “It’s unacceptable that, just as schools are preparing to go back, hundreds are still advertising for staff.

“It will be extremely difficult for head teachers to get ready for the year ahead if they don’t have the right people in place.”

The figures obtained from the online vacancies posted by councils across Scotland and published by the Conservatives yesterday. Among the schools still on the lookout for staff was St Machar Academy in Aberdeen, which has seven vacancies, including five full-time posts and two part-time.

A spokeswoman for local government body Cosla insisted vacancy numbers “fluctuate” over the school year.

But she added: “We do have concerns in relation to vacancies. Both Cosla and the Scottish Government recognise teacher vacancies as an on-going pressure and are working together to get a better understanding of the issue and which subjects are most affected.

EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan said unfilled vacancies are a “cause for concern”.

He added: “Taking steps to halt the decline in teachers’ real-terms pay by ensuring that Scottish teachers receive a fair pay rise this year and appropriate salary levels in the future is one way to make teaching an attractive career choice for highly qualified graduates.

“Action to reduce the excessive teacher workload which is driving people away from the profession into less stressful and better paid occupations is required also.”