John Swinney: 700 teaching vacancies ‘an unwelcome figure’

The Scotsman reports that Education Secretary John Swinney has admitted there are “challenges” recruiting teachers as he confirmed there are almost 700 vacancies in Scotland’s schools.

He pledged the Scottish Government and local authorities would “work hard” to fill the posts, adding that councils – who are responsible for the day to day running of schools – expect staff to be in place by the end of the this term.

He spoke out as a campaign to recruit more teachers was expanded, in a bid to encourage more English and Home Economics (HE) specialists into the classroom.

The Teaching Makes People initiative was initially set up to recruit more teachers in the key areas of science, technology, engineering and maths – the so-called STEM subjects.

And Mr Swinney said “thousands” more undergraduate students were considering a career in the classroom as a result of that.
The Deputy First Minister told the Good Morning Scotland programme: “We’ve got to make sure that we focus on the interests of young people, on making sure they can fulfil their educational potential by gaining access to the courses in which they are interested.

“In the specific areas of the STEM subjects we have had some challenges in this area in the past, which is why last year I initiated the Teaching Makes People campaign.

“Thousands more undergraduate students are seriously considering teaching as a career as a direct result of the first phase of our campaign. We want to build on that momentum and reach even more people who may not have considered it as an option, with a particular focus on STEM, English and HE.”

Read more John Swinney: 700 teaching vacancies ‘an unwelcome figure’

Has your school still got vacancies to fill as the new term approaches? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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