Maths teacher ‘crisis’ in Scotland after fewer than half of teacher training places filled

The Telegraph reports that Scotland’s schools are facing the prospect of severe shortages in maths teachers for years to come after official figures disclosed that more than half the target number of training places are empty.

Scottish Government statistics showed that only 112 of 237 places earmarked for student maths teachers have been filled in 2017/18, 47 per cent of the target. This compares with a 72 per cent success rate the previous year.

More than a third of English teacher training places are also empty, with only 155 of 247 (63 per cent) filled so far. The proportion achieved in 2016/17 was 84 per cent.

Among the other subjects with low rates for filled training place are technological education (29 per cent), music (58 per cent) and modern languages (64 per cent)

It also emerged there are 536 vacancies in Scotland’s schools of which 268 have been empty for at least three months. The total includes 29 head or depute head teachers, 71 maths teachers and 65 English teachers.

John Swinney, the Scottish Education Minister said, “It is disappointing the targets set for some secondary subjects have not been met. 

“However, alongside the £20,000 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) bursaries I recently announced for career changers and the increased interest we have seen among undergraduates as a result of our recruitment campaign, we expect to see the number of people training as teachers continuing to rise.”

Iain Gray, Scottish Labour’s education spokesman, said: “Parents, pupils and teachers know all too well there’s a recruitment crisis, and while John Swinney repeatedly says education is his number one priority these new figures show that he has again failed to meet his target when recruiting to teacher training. There are hundreds of vacancies in Scotland’s schools, some of which will take up to three years to fill.”

Read more Maths teacher ‘crisis’ in Scotland after fewer than half of teacher training places filled

Is your school facing a recruitment crisis? How long have these positions been empty? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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