Page last updated at 16:32 GMT, Wednesday, 10 September 2008 17:32 UK

New teachers 'betrayed' over jobs

Pupils in a classroom
Ministers have played down the claims from teaching leaders

Thousands of newly qualified Scottish teachers are being betrayed over a lack of jobs, teaching leaders have claimed.

MSPs also heard claims most councils were cutting education budgets, leading to commitments on reducing class sizes being ditched.

Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop said that in April 93% of last year's probationers were in teaching jobs - but not all were permanent posts.

The Scottish Parliament's education committee is looking into the issue.

The Scottish Government has disputed a recent survey in the Times Educational Supplement Scotland, which indicated that only 770 of the 3,426 probationers last year found jobs, while the General Teaching Council suggested 74% of probationers got permanent work in secondary schools during 2006/07, and 40% for primaries.

I think there's a job to be done in improving the permanent position of the primary teachers
Fiona Hyslop
Scottish education secretary

Brian Cooklin, president of School Leaders Scotland which represents head teachers and depute heads, told the committee he had to interview many teachers knowing there was no job for them.

"It's a betrayal of people who have committed to the Scottish education system," he added.

"It's a betrayal, particularly for mature entrants, because they have often given up another post and given up another job on the back of advertising and the whole message we say about who we're trying to get into education."

Tom Hamilton, director of educational policy with the General Teaching Council, warned of the danger that people who did not get get jobs would drift away into other professions.

And Drew Morrice, of the EIS - Scotland's largest teaching union - said education budgets had been cut in around two-thirds of local authorities, adding: "It's a pretty bleak, negative picture across Scotland's councils."

But Ms Hyslop told BBC Scotland that probationer employment had put Scotland in a good position, and also said about 6,000 new teaching posts were expected to come up over the course of the year.

She added: "I think there's a job to be done in improving the permanent position of the primary teachers."


SEE ALSO
Council confirms teacher job cuts
02 Sep 08 |  South of Scotland
People 'scared off' from teaching
30 Aug 08 |  Scotland
New teachers facing jobs struggle
17 Jun 08 |  Scotland
Teachers 'struggle to get jobs'
04 Jun 08 |  Scotland

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