New bid to attract STEM teachers to rural areas

The Scotsman reports that a new route into teaching for highly-qualified graduates and career changers specialising in science and technology-related subjects has been launched to get more teachers in the subjects into rural classrooms.

The new teacher training course will be run by the University of Dundee and the University of the Highlands and Islands.

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.

Teacher shortages in the so-called STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and maths – has also been a matter of long-standing concern. Figures produced towards the end of last year suggest that only 112 student maths teachers had been recruited – well short of the goal of 237. Of the 1,226 people in Scotland studying to become secondary school teachers, just 36 were studying to become technological education teachers – 29 per cent of the target of 124.

Teacher shortages tend to be more acute in rural areas. However, even city schools have struggled to attract maths teachers. A notable example was Trinity Academy in Edinburgh, where the school appealed to parents for help after finding it difficult to find two maths teachers.

Education Secretary John Swinney said: “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.”

Read more New bid to attract STEM teachers to rural areas

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