Out of work teachers flocking to find jobs in England


OUT of work teachers are registering to find jobs south of the border as huge numbers have struggled to secure any kind of work in Scotland.

The General Teaching Council for Scotland reported an all-time low of new teachers who had secured permanent jobs.

Only 16 per cent of 1,400 responded that they had found full-time jobs in 2009/10, compared to 63 per cent in 2005.

And over a quarter had found no teaching work at all, a huge increase since 2005 when it was just 5.3 per cent.

But a recruitment agency has now started matching newly qualified teachers with schools in England – where they are desperately needed.

Uteach Recruitment in Coatbridge specialises in teacher recruitment and relocation and in the past few months they have been inundated with applications from new teachers looking for work elsewhere in the UK.

Kathleen Brennan, director of Uteach, said: “We’ve only just recently started looking at teachers in Scotland, but we’re already seeing a big increase in the number registering with us.

“In the last three months, we’ve added around 50 Scottish teachers, either just qualified or currently in the probationary year, to our books – all with a view to considering vacancies in England.

“The change in the Scottish teaching jobs market over a few years has been significant.

“Just six years ago, we placed 20 Irish teachers in Fife because there was a shortage.

“Now we are haemorrhaging very good, newly qualified teachers because there are no jobs for them.”

She added: “The shortage of teaching jobs in Scotland is because of a combination of factors.

“From slashed council budgets and Government plans for reduced class sizes not being imposed, to more probationers and early-retired teachers being employed at reduced cost.

“But elsewhere schools are crying out for staff, so relocation is worth considering.”

The TES Connect website currently features around 2,000 teaching vacancies across the UK – but only 27 of them are in Scotland.

Ronnie Smith, general secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland, said the Government should be making more effort to get teachers into work in Scotland.

He said: “We have an abundance of high-quality, new teachers ready to work in our schools.

“It’s time for the Scottish Government to make clear a statement on the number of teachers it wants in our schools and how it intends to ensure they are employed.”

Michael Russell, Cabinet Secretary for Education, said: “I am deeply committed to making sure the Scottish Government, together with our partners in local government, do all we can to reduce teacher unemployment, which is already the lowest in the UK.

“That’s why the draft budget agreement with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) includes a commitment to a real reduction in teacher unemployment, as well as a local authority guarantee for a probationer place for every newly qualified teacher in August 2011, and sufficient posts for all those finishing their probation in summer 2011 to apply for.”