Unions condemn hundreds of ads for teaching jobs as term starts

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SCOTTISH schools advertised for more than 350 teachers in the fortnight before the start of the summer term.
On Friday, when some schools had already started, Glasgow City Council were advertising 18 vacancies, including seven heads and three deputes.
The same day, Highland Council was looking for 16 teachers including five heads and one depute.
Teaching unions and the Scottish conservatives blamed the government for leaving schools short of staff right at the beginning of the new school year.
The shortages will add to the bill for supply teachers north of the border which in 2014/2015 totalled £71.8m.
On Friday, when councils such as Edinburgh had already started the summer term, there were a total of 212 vacancies covering 10 full pages of the main magazine for the profession.
As well as Glasgow and Highland, which took out large ads, South Lanarkshire Council advertised five depute head positions in the latest edition. The previous week there were six pages of adverts for 150 teaching jobs.
Seamus Searson, General Secretary of the Scottish Secondary Teachers Association (SSTA), criticised the Scottish government for bad planning and called the number of adverts.
He said: “There shouldn’t be any adverts right now.
“They need to give notice now at the beginning of June, so the authorities know teachers are leaving. They think they have juniors signed up, and then they end up going to another school. It’s a sign of bad planning.
“Schools are short of teachers anyway, we need to make teaching more attractive. We’ve got to stop them leaving. Once they get to the top of the scale, the chances of career progression are limited.
“It’s an indictment of what’s going on at the moment, it takes six weeks until they can get someone in a classroom. Instead they are going to supply teachers, which they will be lucky to get.”
Liz Smith, Scottish Conservative shadow education secretary, believes the Scottish government’s policies are causing chaos in classrooms at the detriment of pupils.
She said: “The fact dozens of new job adverts have only gone up this week shows the scale of the SNP’s recruitment crisis.
“It takes some time from an advert being published to a teacher entering the classroom, so these are cases where school pupils are missing out, and will be for a while.”
Children returning to school after the summer break should be going into well-resourced, fully-staffed schools.
“Instead, hundreds of teaching posts across the country still lie unfilled.”
Scottish Labour announced their plans to entice teachers to fill the growing amount of vacancies, by offering bursaries to science and education teachers, as there has been a 12% drop in those teaching STEM subject (science, technology, engineering and maths).
They are also proposing an independent review of teachers pay and conditions.
A spokeswoman for Glasgow City Council said: “All our posts are covered. There are no kids going into classrooms without a teacher. The majority of them are covered by supply teachers, but there is always fluctuation and movement.
“We don’t always know who is going to be coming back to us after the summer, so there is movement all the time.
“Some of the posts advertised are in advance. A lot of the Head Teacher posts advertised, those in the positions won’t be leaving until October or November, and they have given us notice.
“No child is at a disadvantage due to this.”
The Scottish Government declined to comment as recruitment is devolved to local authorities, and they have no involvement in the process.

 
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