John Swinney announces 371 extra teacher training places
Scottish Government to fund 371 more teacher training places
Classroom - PA
The intake of students studying to become teachers will rise for the sixth successive year next year after Education Secretary John Swinney announced funding for an extra 371 places.
The rise will bring the total intake at Scotland’s teacher training universities in 2017/18 to 3,861.
Last week Swinney announced a recruitment campaign to attract graduates to teaching.
The announcements come after the Scottish Government has come under criticism for a drop in the number of qualified teachers since 2007, accompanied with a rising vacancy rate and shortage of supply teachers.
It is thought older teachers have retired, while others have left the profession. Councils have consolidated roles and made others part time.
Swinney said he had worked with local authorities to increase teacher numbers.
“I recognise that some councils have faced challenges with teacher recruitment,” he said.
“Today’s announcement is a further demonstration of the action this Government is taking to help them attract more people into teaching and widen the pool of available talent.”
Scottish Conservative shadow education secretary Liz Smith said it was welcome news for teachers after ten years of declining numbers.
“The key test is not only the provision of more teacher training places but an improvement in the employment rates for newly qualified teachers,” she said.
“Scotland cannot afford to lose its talented pool of teacher trainees nor can it allow the SNP to fail again in its workforce planning."
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Education is about learning and empowerment and for me, it was the key to understanding my story so that I could live and not just survive