Scott: Teacher recruitment crisis “alive and well”

Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Tavish Scott MSP has today lambasted the Education Secretary, John Swinney, for “skewing the facts” on student teacher intake, after new statistics showed serious failures by the Scottish Government to meet key targets on secondary school and alternative route education entry.

Despite meeting the primary school teacher training target, the statistics published today by the Scottish Government reveal that:

  • The total target for secondary school teachers was missed by 208 places.
  • The total target for school teachers was missed by 137 places.
  • The target for teachers who entered education through “alternative routes” was missed by 91 places.

Alternative routes into teaching include: helping former teachers return to the profession, encouraging integrated routes combining post-graduate education with the probation year and joint degrees in teaching and specialist subjects such as chemistry. A full list can be found here.

Tavish Scott said:

“These statistics shed light on the Scottish Government’s serious failures to meet its student teacher intake targets.

“The Education Secretary demands praise for surpassing the primary school teacher training target, but he’s missed the same target for secondary by almost three times as much. On alternative routes into teaching they’ve missed their target by almost 40%. That’s atrocious.

“John Swinney should be ashamed of this blatantly skewed presentation of the facts. What they really show is that the teacher recruitment crisis is alive and well.

“Teachers are underpaid and undervalued. If the SNP Government were serious about improving recruitment and retention they’d give teachers a fair deal, backed by McCrone 2 - an independent expert commission to review teachers' conditions and the demands placed upon them.

“Teachers and parents would be forgiven for thinking the SNP were trying to bury bad news.”

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