Firstly, given that you say that the SG have supplied additional funds to ensure more teachers are given permanent positions, can you let me know how many new positions have been created and the numbers of teachers by local authority who are on these “supply lists”. For example, albeit anecdotally, I understand that over 200 teachers are on the list in Glasgow alone. Do you believe these numbers are acceptable? If not what additional action is being taken to address this?
Secondly do you believe that putting professionally trained teachers on the worst form of zero hours contract that there is is acceptable? If so why? Faced with a desire to continue teaching rather than pursue a role out with teaching, my daughter probably faces months of no work or pay (and given the numbers probably more). Does the SG believe that this is an acceptable way to treat teachers? It seems particularly galling given the demands placed on them during the pandemic.
Thirdly what is the SG ongoing strategy to tackle this issue? It’s pretty clear the budgets provided are not closing the issue down nor do we see any progress on related issues such as the attainment gap.
With regard to your first question, the Scottish Government holds some of the information you requested.
In June 2022, local authorities reported that in 2021-22 a full time equivalent of 1900.94 additional teachers and 799.66 additional support staff were recruited from the additional funding provided by the Scottish Government.
The Scottish Government does not hold information on the number of teachers on ‘supply lists’. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.
With regard to teacher employment and numbers in Scotland, you may wish to note that a range of teacher information, including whether teachers are permanently or temporarily employed, is collated as part of the annual teacher census. The census is published in December on an annual basis. Information on the teacher census can be found on the Scottish Government website at: Teacher census supplementary statistics - gov.scot.
With regard to your second question, you will be aware that statutory responsibility for the delivery of education sits with local authorities, as set out under the Education (Scotland) Act 1980. The act sets out the basic legal framework for the provision of education in Scotland. To be clear, as the employer, local authorities are responsible for recruiting teachers and for ensuring provision is in place to support teachers’ health and wellbeing of employees. In that context, the Scottish Government cannot intervene directly in the management of local authority schools. However, we have provided additional permanent funding outlined below which should remove any barriers to local authorities offering permanent employment.
With regard to your third question, during the pandemic the Scottish Government provided £240 million of additional investment to local authorities to support the recruitment of additional education staff to support education recovery. Subseqent permanent funding of £145.5 million per year has been provided to support the recruitment of additional teachers.
Ministers are aware of concerns surrounding the increased use of temporary contracts in the education sector and the uncertainty this can cause. However, the Scottish Government considers that additional permanent funding means there should be no barrier to local authorities using this funding to recruit additional staff in an open, fair and transparent manner, on permanent contracts.
The Scottish Government is investing in more teacher posts, as outlined in A stronger and more resilient Scotland: the Programme for Government 2022 to 2023. And in taking forward a programme of education reform, incorporating the recommendations in the OECD report Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence: Into the Future. One of the OECD report’s core recommendations is a reduction in class contact time by one-and-a-half hours per week.
The Scottish Government conducts a teacher workforce annual planning exercise to project the requirement for newly qualified teachers in Scotland. This leads to advice to the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) on setting student teacher intake targets for ITE courses at universities. Whilst we now have more teachers than at any time since 2008, we are aware that some local authorities continue to find recruitment challenging in some subjects and in some geographical areas.
In that context, and the need to build capacity toward the planned reduction in class contact time, we will continue to support the recruitment of students into Initial Teacher Education programmes. This will progress the Programme for Government commitment to recruiting at least 3,500 additional teachers and 500 classroom assistants.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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