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Created: 30 November 2016 | Last Updated: 30 November 2016 | Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version | Make Text Smaller Make Text Larger |

EIS Welcomes Teacher Recruitment Drive, But Warns Against Shortcuts

30 November 2016

The EIS has welcomed the Scottish Government announcement that it is to step up teacher recruitment and explore appropriate alternative pathways into the teaching profession.

While welcoming the recruitment drive and the investment in teachers, the EIS has also warned that there can be no short-cuts if the high standards of Scotland’s teaching profession are to be maintained.

In particular, the EIS has serious concerns about proposals to potentially compress teacher education and probation from the present minimum of two years into a single year in the future.

Commenting on the proposals announced today, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, "The EIS is supportive of the drive to attract more graduates into the teaching profession, and welcomes much of the Scottish Government’s thinking in this regard.

"Scotland does need more teachers, to help address the current shortages in certain subjects and in some parts of the country, as well as to ensure the creation of an adequate pool of supply teachers across the country.

"The proposals announced include many elements which are sound, where they are building on established good practice in teacher education and recruitment.”

However, Mr Flanagan went on to warn, "Where the EIS would have serious concerns is over the suggestion that postgraduate teacher education and the subsequent school-based induction period be compressed into a single year.

"A key strength of the Scottish system is an all-graduate teaching profession, coupled with a guaranteed induction year in a school to provide all new teachers with practical experience to complement their theoretical study.

"Our consistent view is that one-year of postgraduate training followed by a one-year induction period is the minimum period for any individual to become fully comfortable with both teaching theory and its practical application.”

Mr Flanagan added, "To suggest moving to a shortened fast-tracking route is inconsistent with the need to maintain and enhance the highest standards, may potentially undermine the role of Scotland’s independent GTCS in upholding those standards, and runs the risk of opening the door to the type of discredited schemes that have blighted learning and teaching south of the border.”