The Teaching Profession in Scotland: Attraction, Recruitment and Retention

Underpinning all ambitions for education provision in Scotland is an ongoing and evolving demand on teachers. They are at the heart of the Attainment Challenge and the Curriculum for Excellence and yet it is still difficult to fill positions in high-need areas and subjects. Heavy workloads, an increasing number of qualified teachers leaving the profession, and a funding-driven demand to maintain teacher numbers all testify to a need to ensure greater teacher retention as much as the continued attraction of new teachers.

The context

With an Education Governance Review to publish its next steps document in June this year, the Scottish Government is taking steps to empower teachers along with the schools they work in, and with measures to ‘de-clutter the curriculum’ and mention of a ‘North-East salary weighting’ these issues are being increasingly tackled on all fronts. With the Education and Skills Committee gathering evidence for its inquiry into teacher workforce planning it is timely to ask what more can be done to ensure greater teacher retention whilst maintaining quality and how will this impact on training and recruitment?

The event

From ‘Teaching Makes People’ to reducing assessment workload, this timely briefing will put attempts to attract, recruit, and retain qualified teachers in context and explore the impact these are having now and likely to have in the future.

Key issues to be addressed

  • The latest policy priorities and developments surrounding attracting new teachers and teacher training
  • Where and why teacher shortages are appearing
  • What measures are in place to keep teachers in, or encourage them back to, the classroom


09:15 Registration and Refreshments

10:00 Session 1: Policy and Context

  • Policy, local government, and the classroom: the relationships that inform teacher recruitment
  • An update on Scottish Government policy and the latest measures
  • Teachers and the Curriculum for Excellence

09:55 Welcome and Introduction by the Chair

Tom Freeman, Education Journalist, Holyrood Magazine

10:00 Who Would Be A Teacher?

  • Why do we struggle to recruit teachers?
  • What is the effect of CfE?
  • How will this be affected by Governance review?
  • What should we do?

Iain Gray MSP, Scottish Labour Spokesperson for Education and MSP for East Lothian

10.20 Teachers for Scotland's Future: Setting the Context

  • Teacher numbers and workforce planning
  • Teacher attraction and retention issues
  • Addressing the issues: now and in the future

Kenneth Muir, Chief Executive and Registrar, General Teaching Council of Scotland (GTCS)

10.40 Questions and Discussion

11.00 Refreshments

11:30 Session 2: Recruitment and Addressing Gaps in the Workforce

  • ‘Teaching Makes People’ and how we can attract more STEM graduates into teaching
  • The unique demands of rural communities and how to meet them
  • Increasing need for flexibility across subjects and age groups
  • Ensuring a more racially and gender-balanced workforce to provide positive role-models for all
  • Are alternative routes to qualification the answer?

11.30 Jatin Haria, Executive Director, Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights

11.45 Reuben Moore, Director of Leadership, TeachFirst

12.00 Dr Liz Lakin, Senior Lecturer in Education, University of Dundee and Member of The Learned Societies’ Group on Scottish STEM Education (LSG)

12.15 Professor Rowena Arshad OBE, Head of Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh and Co-Director of the Centre for Education for Racial Equality in Scotland (CERES)

12.20 Questions and Panel Discussion

13.00 Lunch and Refreshments

13:40 Session 3: Workload, Leadership, and Retention

13.40 The Chalk Face

  • The place of teachers within the educational landscape and the Curriculum for Excellence
  • The front-line experience and the realities of low-pay and low-staffing
  • How can we reduce the demands on teachers without compromising on quality of education?

Richard Bell, National Executive Member Scotland, NASUWT

14.05 Questions and Discussion

14.20 Obstacles to Recruitment and Retention

  • Inflexibility in recruitment
  • Inflexibility in reward
  • Poor control over workload
  • Over-accountability and regulation

Keir Bloomer, Chair, Commission on School Reform 

14.40 Questions and Discussion

15.00 Close of Event

*Agenda subject to change


NASUWT, 35 Young St N Ln, Edinburgh EH2 4JD | For a location map click here


Delegate rates (excluding VAT)

  • Teacher rate: 1 place £99 + VAT
  • Discounted rate: 1 place £145 + VAT (Voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income of less than £1m)
  • Reduced rate: 1 place £245 + VAT | 2+ places £195 + VAT (Central government departments and agencies, local authorities, universities, colleges, NHS, police, professional associations and voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income over £1m)
  • Full rate: 1 place £295 + VAT | 2+ places £245 + VAT (Commercial organisations e.g. plc, Ltd, LLP)

For more information please email or phone 0131 285 1635

30 August 2017
United Kingdom



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