More teaching vacancies filled

Student teacher intake increases three years running.

More students are choosing teaching as a profession, as latest statistics reveal there were nearly 4,000 new student teachers in Scotland this year.

Permanent full and part time vacancies in primary schools fell from 309 in 2017 to 204 this year and from 507 to 402 in secondary schools. Vacancies over three months fell more sharply, from 136 to 49 in primary and 229 to 148 in secondary.

The statistics also show:

  • Student teacher intake has increased for three years in a row, reaching 3,902 in 2018 compared to 3,376 in 2015-16
  • Growth in teacher numbers across all STEM subjects (Science, Technical, Engineering and Mathematics)
  • Student primary teacher intake rose to 2,082 and exceeded targets for 2018
  • 1,494 student teachers will start at secondary level, up from 1,226 in 2017

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:

"Education is the number one priority for this government and these statistics show the range of measures we are taking is driving a sustained increase in student teachers.

"We have increased targets for recruitment into initial teacher education and created new routes to make it more practical and flexible for people to access courses.

"Our STEM bursary for career changers has contributed to concentrated growth in this area, providing more pupils with the opportunity to be inspired by a teacher with real-world experience, while our recruitment campaign is reaching out to people to highlight the opportunities of a teaching career.

"Fewer teaching vacancies across the country, including significant reductions in jobs advertised for more than three months, also demonstrates the impact of our investment in attracting new talent to the profession."


Data on student teacher numbers and teacher vacancies can be found on the Teacher Workforce Planning Advisory Group Teacher Workforce Planning Advisory Group site.

The 'Teaching Makes People' campaign targets university undergraduates studying science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects as well as people currently working in STEM industries. For more information, visit Teach In Scotland.

107 new STEM teachers have received bursaries of up to £20,000 funded by the Scottish Government.

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