Teachers 'lack skills and time to cope', MSPs hear

Written by Tom Freeman on 11 May 2017 in News

Teaching graduates lack 'sufficient skills in numeracy', MSPs hear

Scotland's school teachers go into the profession lacking necessary skills and without time to make improvements, teachers at the start and end of their career have told the Scottish Parliament's Education and Skills Committee. 

MSPs heard teachers require a "period of stability" in the wake of frequent changes to guidance, benchmarks and the curriculum. This would give teachers more time to bed them in, they said.

Quangos Education Scotland and the Scottish Qualifications Authority were accused of not treating teachers as "professional partners".


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Student teachers also told MSPs there was not enough training in fundamental reading and writing skills.

Final year Moray House student Halla Price said: "There wasn't enough focus on the teachers themselves having the skills to teach numeracy other than a maths audit we completed ourselves in second year, which did very little in all honesty to improve our own knowledge and mathematical understanding.

"I do not believe that everyone graduating from Moray House this year has the sufficient skills in numeracy to be able to teach it to 11-year-olds at a reasonable standard."

The comment was quoted at today's First Minister's Questions by Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson.

"We do not have enough trainee teachers coming through and the ones who are coming through are not being taught properly. That is not their fault, but if they are not getting the proper instruction, what chance do they have of teaching our children?" Davidson asked.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said it was up to universities to decide "content and structure" of teacher training.

The row comes only days after the latest Scottish Survey of Literacy and Numeracy (SSLN) figures show continued decline in literacy standards.

Sturgeon said she would "stay focused" on reform of the education system.

Davidson said: "Since last year, this Government has spent more time debating the constitution than debating education, health, transport and justice combined."

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