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Commenting on research by the Herald newspaper indicating that there are 500 teacher vacancies in schools across Scotland as the new academic year begins, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said:

“Yet again another academic year starts with evidence of an increasing teacher shortage.

“The NASUWT has been raising for some time our deep concerns about this developing problem and urging the Government to recognise that urgent and tangible action is needed to address the contributory factors to this, which are the year-on-year cuts to teachers’ pay, the deteriorating conditions of service and the spiralling workload.

“Teaching is a rewarding job but it is also highly challenging. To recruit and retain teachers it needs to be competitive with other graduate professions and teachers currently in post need to feel valued and supported.

“The NASUWT has a long standing national trade dispute with the Government and at the heart of this dispute are these key issues which require urgent resolution.

“If the rot in teacher recruitment is to be stopped before it reaches crisis levels, the Government must act to recognise and reward teachers as highly skilled professionals and provide them with working conditions which enable them to focus on teaching and learning.”

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 teacher supply.

“The Government must also be clear that NASUWT members who are already buckling under excessive workload will not be plugging the gaps left by these unfilled vacancies. The situation will be compounded further by the fact that the attacks on the pay of supply teachers who could normally be relied upon to cover vacancies has resulted in a decline in the numbers available.”

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