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Commenting on research by the Herald newspaper indicating that there are nearly 700 teacher vacancies in schools across Scotland as the new academic year nears, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT- The Teachers’ Union, said:
 
“Yet again another academic year starts with evidence of a growing crisis in teacher supply.
 
“The NASUWT has warned repeatedly that the year-on-year detrimental changes to teachers’ conditions of service and the cuts in pay would adversely impact on teacher recruitment and retention.
 
“We have made representations to the Government and to Employers about the damage being done and urging them to take action to restore the once gold standard pay and conditions that were the envy of teachers across the UK.
 
“Teaching is increasingly unattractive and uncompetitive with other graduate professions and the consequence is another academic year starting with hundreds of vacant posts and hundreds of children and young people without a teacher.
 
“Urgent action is needed to stop the rot. The prevarication over the pay award has to end and statutory measures are needed to ensure that working conditions improve at local level.
 
“Government and employers need to be clear that NASUWT, with the support of members, will take action in schools where there are vacancies if there is any attempt to ask our members to take on additional work covering for vacant posts.”
 
Jane Peckham, NASUWT National Official Scotland, said:
 
“Without immediate action this teacher supply crisis will only deepen.
 
“The Government must wake up to the growing problems of recruitment and retention, including of supply teachers who would normally be used to cover vacancies but whose numbers have declined because of the attacks on their pay and conditions.
 
“With workload levels at an all-time high, NASUWT members, who are already buckling under the pressures, will not start the new academic year plugging the gaps.”

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