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News Release

EIS condemns lack of opportunity for new teachers

Commenting on the today’s Herald front page story on the lack of jobs for new teachers, EIS General Secretary Ronnie Smith said, "The figures obtained by the Herald paint an alarming picture of the prospects for thousands of newly qualified teachers and for Scottish education." 

"With only one post-probation year teacher in ten being offered a permanent teaching post for the new term, thousands of enthusiastic young teachers are now facing a very uncertain future.”

Mr Smith added, "Based on GTCS survey figures, the number of new teachers gaining a permanent post has been falling dramatically in recent years, from 39.5% two years ago to 30% last year and now, based on this new Herald survey, the prospects for the year ahead look even worse."

"Thousands of our brightest young teachers are being forced into accepting short-term, temporary contracts which provides scant security for them and no stability for the pupils in our schools.  We are witnessing significant falls in teacher numbers nationally, with around 2500 fewer teachers working in our classrooms than two years ago.”

Mr Smith continued, "The fact that so many of our newly qualified teachers are unemployed or under-employed on very patchy, short-term, contracts is a tragedy not only for these individual teachers but also for Scottish education and its pupils" 

"These enthusiastic new teachers, many of whom will have invested five years of their lives studying and training to become teachers, have made considerable sacrifices, both personal and financial, with the aim of making a positive contribution to our schools and young people.  Many will have families to support, and may have given up other jobs or passed on other opportunities in order to enter teacher education”.

"Having encouraged more and more people into teacher education in order to meet the growing need for new teachers in our schools, there is a clear obligation on the part of the Scottish Government and local authorities to provide a fair and appropriate level of opportunity for these new teachers." 

"It is a massive waste, both in human costs as well as financial costs, for these new teachers to be left unemployed or compelled to seek other jobs outside of teaching.”

Mr Smith went on to say, "These figures give a clear indication that urgent action is needed to reverse the declining number of teachers in our schools.  The Cabinet Secretary, Mike Russell, must take action to ensure that local authorities employ more teachers.  Currently, experienced teachers are retiring and are just not being replaced, leading to fewer teachers in our schools and larger class sizes for our pupils." 

"Without decisive action from the Scottish Government and local authorities, the long-term consequences for Scottish education and for the future of Scotland’s economy will be devastating.”


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