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Thursday, 14 June, 2001, 13:37 GMT 14:37 UK
Bid to boost teacher numbers
Mathematics classroom
The aim is to boost the number of teachers in Scotland
A major drive to recruit more teachers has been launched in Scotland.

Education Minister Jack McConnell unveiled the first ever national campaign to attract more people into the profession.

The first phase of the campaign will focus on changing the public perception of teaching.

The profession is suffering from an image problem and potential teachers are being put off by tales of long hours, low morale and problems with pupil indiscipline.

Jack McConnell
Jack McConnell: Wants to change public perceptions
Meanwhile, existing teachers are quitting the classroom in favour of better-paid and less stressful jobs.

The aim is to turn around the public perceptions of teaching and make it a more appealing and rewarding career.

The Scottish Executive hopes that the McCrone deal which gave teachers a 23% pay rise and improvements to working conditions will help to raise morale amongst existing teachers.

But it also needs to recruit an additional 3,000 teachers as a result of the deal.

A television and press campaign was launched on Thursday at Alexander Peden Primary School, Harthill, by Mr McConnell.


We need to make sure that the teaching profession in Scotland is valued

Jack McConnell
The second stage of the campaign, aimed specifically at potential teachers, will be rolled out later in the year.

Mr McConnell told the BBC's Good Morning Scotland programme: "The real issue here is the real value, respect and status of the profession and people's desire to come into it to make a real difference.

"And I think that if we can get the message across I think we can restore it to one of those professions that the brightest and most able young people in Scotland want to aspire to."

Mr McConnell said the first step was to correct some of the preconceptions about the profession.

"We need to make sure that the teaching profession in Scotland is valued, that people see the benefits of being in teaching, they see that teaching itself makes a real difference - and that the community starts to respect teachers again in a way that perhaps they once did," he said.

Ministerial pledge

Meanwhile, the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) called for a partnership approach to avoid a recruitment "crisis".

General secretary Ronnie Smith said: "There is a pressing requirement for thousands of new teachers in every sector of education.

"In many parts of Scotland there are simply not teachers available to fill vacancies as they occur."

Mr Smith said that the new working hours in the McCrone deal would make it essential to recruit more teachers.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Education Minister Jack McConnell
"We want to talk up the value of teaching"
See also:

14 Jun 01 | Scotland
08 Jun 01 | Scotland
07 Jun 01 | UK Education
06 Jun 01 | UK Education
19 Apr 01 | Scotland
15 Aug 00 | Scotland
21 Nov 98 | UK Education
07 Nov 00 | Scotland
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