Moray education chief to appear before Holyrood committee

THE SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT education and skills committee is to hear evidence on recruitment and retention of teachers from a senior Moray Council director on Wednesday.

Laurence Findlay, the director of education and social care at the local authority, will appear before the committee at Holyrood.

There he will support a response to the issue that he submitted when the committee first sought views on teacher workforce planning to inform its inquiry. Moray has continued to experience difficulties in teacher recruitment – as do many education authorities in Scotland.

In 2016 the council had 226 teaching vacancies over all primary and secondary schools compared to 144 three years earlier.

In his submission Mr Findlay said: “Children and young people only have one chance at school and at present there are serious risks that the lack of teachers in the system is resulting in us not getting it right for every child at what are crucial times in their educational and social development.

“Considering that only six years ago there were schools receiving between 20 and 200 applications for teaching posts, and there seemed to be a limitless availability of supply cover in Moray, something has clearly gone drastically wrong.”

He added that some vacant teaching posts were being re-advertised several times and still only attracting a very small number of applicants, while there had also been significant reductions in the availability of supply teachers.