The difficulties being faced by Moray in filling teaching posts was the subject of an exchange at the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday.
Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP, Stewart Stevenson, whose constituency includes part of Moray, posed a question to the Education Secretary seeking to establish why the situation has arising in Moray and what steps were being taken to address the deficiency.
In response Angela Constance MSP said that efforts were being made at local and national level, adding that she had already met with Moray Councillors to discuss the issue.
The Education Secretary added: “A number of actions are being taken – at national level, for example, for the fourth year in a row we have increased the number of students going into initial teacher training.
“The increase has been disproportionately geared towards the University of Aberdeen, the University of Dundee and the University of the Highlands and Islands to help those geographical areas where there are shortages.
“At local level, as I know from my discussions, councils are using the flexibility of financial incentives and programmes such as the distance learning initial teacher education initiative, which the Government funds, to train up classroom assistants.”
Welcoming the efforts being made to address the issue Mr Stevenson said: “I am glad to hear that the Education Secretary is taking the teacher vacancy situation in Moray seriously and that measures are being taken to work towards alleviating the situation.
“The education of children in Moray is paramount and I do not want any young person to lose out as a result of these vacancy levels.”