The EIS has welcomed the announcement by Deputy First Minister John Swinney that the Scottish Government is offering bursaries of £20,000 to graduates to change career and become teachers.

However, EIS General Secretary, Larry Flanagan, argued that retention was as important as recruitment and urged Scottish Government to do more to improve the lot of teachers already in our schools.

Commenting, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, "Whilst the EIS welcomes this investment in the recruitment of new teachers, and the recognition of the recruitment challenge that exists across Scotland, there remains a need for Scottish Government to address the concerns of existing teachers."

"This must include reducing the excessive workload demands on teachers and delivering significant improvements in levels of pay, following a decade of real-terms cuts to teachers' salaries."

The need to address these concerns was highlighted in a recent survey carried out by academics at Bath Spa University where it was revealed that over 40% of teachers are considering leaving their job within the next 18 months.

Mr Flanagan stated, "This figure is deeply worrying and clearly demonstrates the need for urgent action to make teaching a more attractive profession, with better working conditions and a decent pay rise, to ensure that we can continue to attract and retain highly qualified graduates into teaching."