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17 February 2015

Stevenson Highlights Unacceptable Teacher Vacancy Levels in Moray

Stewart Stevenson, SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, focused on the ‘unacceptable’ number of teacher vacancies in Moray at Topical Questions in the Scottish Parliament today (Tuesday).

Mr Stevenson asked the Education Secretary Angela Constance what contact was being made with Aberdeenshire Council to establish why the situation had arisen in Moray, and what steps were being taken to address the deficiency.

The Education Secretary said that efforts were being made at local and national level, and that she had met with representatives from Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council and Moray councillors.

She added:

“A number of actions are being taken - at national level, for example, for the fourth year in a row we have increased the number of students going into initial teacher training. The increase has been disproportionately geared towards the University of Aberdeen, the University of Dundee and the University of the Highlands and Islands to help those geographical areas where there are shortages.

“At local level, as I know from my discussions, councils are using the flexibility of financial incentives and programmes such as the distance learning initial teacher education initiative, which the Government funds, to train up classroom assistants.”

Mr Stevenson welcomed the efforts being made and urged that everything should be done to remedy the situation.

He added:

“I am glad to hear that the Education Secretary is taking the teacher vacancy situation in Moray seriously and that measures are being taken to work towards alleviating the situation.

“The education of children in Moray is paramount and I do not want any young person to lose out as a result of these vacancy levels.”
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