Teaching post advertised 14 times, figures show

Figures showing teaching posts have been advertised up to 14 times should be a “wake-up call” for Scottish ministers, according to the Liberal Democrats.

The party said it was “extremely troubling” to see some schools having to advertise jobs over and over again.

The figures were uncovered by the Scottish Lib Dems after freedom of information requests were submitted to all of Scotland’s 32 local authorities.

The 26 responses show that one secondary post, for a technical education teacher in the Ellon area of Aberdeenshire, has been advertised 14 times – with four applications received throughout the process.

In the same local authority area, primary teacher vacancies in Banff have been advertised seven and nine times, while an Aboyne chemistry teacher post was advertised six times.

On the other side of the country, a vacant primary school teaching post in East Ayrshire was advertised nine times.

Meanwhile, the figures show a teaching post in Dundee has been vacant since June 2017, and a post to teach Gaelic in Aberdeen has been advertised seven times with one application received.

The responses reveal that some advertised posts have drawn no applications.

The latest data comes weeks after it emerged that nearly 3,000 teaching vacancies have been re-advertised in the last three years.

Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesman Tavish Scott said: “These new figures demonstrate the pressure in schools for teachers across all subjects. Head teachers are simply unable to find the staff that they need.

“It is extremely troubling that teaching posts are being advertised over and over again. The data published by Liberal Democrats today reveal that it is now all too common for councils to advertise jobs and not receive a single reply.

“This applies to core subjects such as Maths and English. This will have a huge impact on Scottish school pupils’ learning.

“One post has been advertised 14 times. If that is not a wake-up call for Scottish Ministers I do not know what would be. The SNP Government must face up to this crisis that is a reality across Scotland.”

A child doing schoolwork
The Scottish Government says teacher levels are at their highest since 2010 (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The EIS union is campaigning for a 10% pay rise, and there have been warnings over the possibility of strike action if an “acceptable” pay offer is not put forward.

Mr Scott continued: “The teaching profession must believe that it is valued by government. That starts with giving teachers a fair pay deal backed by McCrone 2 – an independent root and branch review of teachers’ terms and conditions and the demands placed upon them.”

The Scottish Government said teacher numbers were currently the highest since 2010, with primary teachers at the highest level since 1980.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “We want to keep people in the profession and to attract new entrants into teaching.

“That’s why we have increased targets for recruitment into initial teacher education, created new routes to make it more practical and flexible for people to access courses and run a teacher recruitment marketing campaign.

“There are also fewer teaching vacancies across the country, including significant reductions in jobs advertised for more than three months, demonstrating the impact of our investment in attracting new talent to the profession.”

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