STEM teacher recruitment campaign launched
New recruitment campaign will target graduates and those working in science, technology, engineering and maths
Teachers - credit Ivan T
Scotland’s new teacher recruitment campaign will target specialists in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), the Scottish Government has announced.
The ‘Teaching Makes People’ campaign, launched this morning by Deputy First Minister John Swinney aims to attract university undergraduates in the subjects as well as people currently working in STEM industries.
Scotland has seen a teacher recruitment crisis in some areas in recent years, as older teachers retire.
It is also thought a number of other teachers left the profession when departments were consolidated and the pay of supply teaching was cut, a move which has subsequently been partially reversed.
Struggling councils have introduced incentives such as accommodation support in bids to attract teachers, as they have to maintain the current ratio of teachers to students or face a loss in funding.
Other recent initiatives include attempts to attract teachers from abroad and lure retired teachers back to the classroom.
Swinney said teaching was “often overlooked” as a career choice by STEM graduates.
“This campaign seeks to change this, by targeting undergraduates and having a strong presence at careers events and on campuses across the country,” he said.
“This activity will be backed up by social media, online and radio advertising, and billboard adverts in specific locations.”
These billboards are expected to be around the seven universities in Scotland which offer Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) courses: the Universities of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, the Highlands and Islands, Strathclyde, and the West of Scotland.
There have been fears the campaign might include a ‘fast-track’ approach similar to Teach First in England where teaching students could gain their qualification while already in the job.
A pilot will see STEM graduates combine post-graduate education with the probation year in teaching.
Scotland’s largest teaching union the EIS has warned against the introduction of ‘short cuts’ which would undermine the standards for the profession.
Commenting on the campaign launch, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, “This new recruitment campaign displays a welcome commitment by the Scottish Government to maintaining the very high standards of teaching in Scotland’s schools.
“It is important that we continue to enhance the status of teaching to make it an even more attractive career choice for highly qualified graduates.
“Teaching is a highly rewarding career, which offers graduates the chance to have a positive and lasting impact on the future prospects of Scotland’s young people.”
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