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Commenting on the publication of the school statistics by the Scottish Government, NASUWT General Secretary Dr Patrick Roach said:

“Whilst the rise in the number of teachers working in Scottish schools is as a result of Covid-19 Education Recovery plans, it will be important that these new recruits are retained in the profession in the longer term in order to best address the ongoing impact of the pandemic on children’s learning.

“Retaining new and existing teachers depends on providing all teachers with competitive pay levels and working conditions which recognise them as skilled professionals and which address the current excessive workloads and stress levels teachers are experiencing.

“The Scottish Government must focus on making teachers feel safe, supported and valued in order to ensure that the positive trends in recruitment this year translate into long-term gains for the education of our children and young people.”

NASUWT National Official Scotland Jane Peckham said:

“The overall increases in teacher recruitment mask a number of concerning trends which need further examination and positive action from the Government to arrest.

“The number of pupils with ASN continues to grow, yet this is not being matched with a corresponding rise in funding and resources to help meet the needs of these pupils. The NASUWT remains concerned about the impact which the presumption of mainstream policy is having on pupils and teachers who are being left without the specialist support they need and deserve.

“We see yet again a growth in the number of post-probationary teachers on temporary contracts. While in some circumstances a temporary contract can be a mutually agreeable arrangement which can have benefits for both school and teacher, increasingly temporary contracts are being used without justification and in some cases in order to undermine the employment rights of new recruits. The precarious and insecure nature of a temporary contract is no way for a new teacher to begin their career and greater scrutiny should be given by ministers to this trend, which has continued for several years.

“The statistics also continue to highlight the low number of teachers from BAME groups and also the under-representation of women at senior leadership levels within schools, particularly in secondary schools. Further targeted actions and support is needed to examine the barriers to a diverse teaching profession and to measures to overcome these barriers so we can ensure that no one is excluded from building a career in teaching.”

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