Macdonald calls for action on teacher training in the North East

9 March 2017

North East Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald today called on SNP Education Secretary John Swinney to fund extra teacher training places at Aberdeen University, to enable North East councils to address the teacher recruitment crisis facing the region.

Following a reply from Further and Higher Education Minister Shirley-Anne Somerville to a Question raised in the Scottish Parliament today, Lewis Macdonald said:

“Local councils like Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire continue to work hard to recruit teachers, but they need more support from the Scottish Government if they are to succeed.

“The Scottish Funding Council has provided extra places for teacher training at Aberdeen University in recent years, but the number of vacancies continues to go up.

“In Aberdeen, for example, there was a 15% increase in the number of primary school vacancies between autumn 2015 and autumn 2016, and a 47% increase in the number of vacant posts in secondary schools.

“Teachers, like doctors and nurses, are more likely to start their careers in the North East if they have trained in the North East.

“Ministers have confirmed that there are to be an additional 371 teacher training places in Scotland this year – now we need to know how many of these will be extra places at Aberdeen University to address the recruitment crisis in the North East.”

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