New teaching course launched for science and technology graduates
A new teacher training course has been launched to attract science and technology graduates to rural schools.
The course, to be run by University of Dundee and the University of the Highlands and Islands, is also aimed at those looking to change careers and enter the profession.
The universities will work with rural schools in areas of high deprivation in Aberdeenshire, Argyll and Bute, the Borders and the Highlands to help between 30 and 50 students qualify for a Masters-level diploma in teaching.
The course will run from December 2018 to June 2020 and will be open to graduates with a minimum 2:1 honours degree in chemistry, physics, home economics, maths and engineering.
The Scottish Government has come under pressure from opposition parties to address teacher shortages, particularly in subjects such as maths.
Education Secretary, John Swinney, said: "We know that some areas face challenges in recruiting teachers in certain subject areas and this means that we need to think differently about how we attract new recruits into the classroom.
"This innovative proposal is designed to broaden the range of people entering the profession - providing a challenging, yet extremely rewarding, opportunity to train in rural schools within areas of high deprivation.
"Crucially, this route maintains the traditionally high standard of teaching in Scotland and I am pleased to support it with a quarter of million pounds from the Attainment Scotland Fund."
General Teaching Council for Scotland chief executive Kenneth Muir said: "This new route into teaching is a welcome addition to the range of opportunities that exist to support people to become high quality teachers.
"It offers additional flexibility while maintaining the strength and quality of input from Scottish Initial Teacher Education Universities."