MSP challenges Council on lack of progress in teacher recruitment

Rhoda Grant - the MSP has written to Moray Council's Chief Executive.
Rhoda Grant – the MSP has written to Moray Council’s Chief Executive.

A SCOTTISH LABOUR MSP is asking Moray Council for reassurance that there is a clear career path existing for teachers in the region.

The call from Highlands MSP Rhoda Grant comes in the week that the local authority announced a deal that will see teachers being trained at Moray College UHI.

Moray Council has also paved the way this week for the re-establishment of Principal Teacher posts, which had been scrapped three years ago, with a proposal going to the next Full Council meeting asking for an additional £90,000 to be approved.

Mrs Grant had previously intervened in Moray over the shortage of teachers in the region – now she has written to the Council Chief Executive seeking assurances over action being taken after learning that despite previous incentives the region remained 40 teachers short at its secondary schools.

“I am aware of the efforts of the local authority and its partners to attract teachers to Moray,” the MSP said, adding: “They are now working in partnership with UHI to help train teaching staff while they are also working in partnership with a developer with regards finding suitable accommodation for teachers.

“After my last intervention the Teaching Council for Scotland have given the green light for teachers not trained in Scotland to work in schools in Moray, whilst they attain the required qualification standard.

“That said, there is still a teacher shortage. I have written to the Chief Executive of Moray Council today, seeking reassurance that a culture exists within Moray schools that gives new and established teachers a clear career development path, lots of support and recognition and the opportunity to play a full part in the success of their school.

“I am wondering if the whole package is missing a key ingredient and if so, what is that key ingredient?

“Moray is a great place to live, work and visit, so I can only assume there is something missing from what is on offer. Perhaps it is even financial – is enough funding set aside to address this crisis?”

At the meeting of the children and young people’s services committee earlier this week, director of education and social care, Laurence Findlay, asked for the Principal Teacher posts to be restored, saying the funding was required as “the formula once applied to our schools does not work anymore”.