AHEAD OF HIS visit to Moray today the depute First Minister and Scotland’s Education Secretary has revealed a £3million investment aimed at training 371 teachers next year.
Moray has been widely publicised as a region finding it more difficult than most to fill the teaching gap, a subject that is likely to be discussed today when the local authority pours over it budget plans for the next year.
John Swinney has now said that his plans will see Scotland’s teacher education universities bringing the total intake in 2017/18 to 3861, a rise for the sixth consecutive year – the local question, however, will be if any of these newly training teachers are willing to move out of the central belt.
Mr Swinney said: “To give all our young people the best opportunity of success, we need to have the right number of skilled teachers in our schools. That is why we worked with local authorities to increase teacher numbers this year, with an additional 253 teachers in Scottish classrooms, and are upping student places for the sixth consecutive year.
“We know our student teacher targets are stretching which is why we are supporting universities to meet them through our new teacher recruitment campaign and £1million from the Scottish Attainment Fund to develop new routes into the profession.
“I recognise that some councils have faced challenges with teacher recruitment. 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.”
The education secretary also repeated the First Minister’s view that former Oil and Gas workers in the north east might consider retraining as teachers: “Our focus on STEM subjects means applications from people with skills and experience in the oil and gas industry will be welcomed.
“We have already supported 12 oil and gas workers retrain for a new career in teaching through our Transition Training Fund (TTF) and we are considering how this support might continue in future.”
Mr Swinney’s announcement came as he arrived in Moray yesterday, visiting pupils and staff at Elgin Academy.