Reports of a teacher shortage in Scotland as schools prepare to reopen their doors have prompted one of the United Kingdom’s education unions to urge the government to find a solution to a growing problem.
A teacher crunch is the last thing students, parents and teachers want to address as the new school year arrives. Responding to reports of 500 teacher vacancies across Scotland, Chris Keates, the general secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union vented her frustrations.
“The NASUWT has been raising for some time our deep concerns about this developing problem and urging the government to recognise that urgent and tangible action is needed to address the contributory factors to this, which are the year-on-year cuts to teachers’ pay, the deteriorating conditions of service and the spiralling workload,” she said. ““Teaching is a rewarding job but it is also highly challenging. To recruit and retain teachers it needs to be competitive with other graduate professions and teachers currently in post need to feel valued and supported.”
The union has repeatedly taken aim at the government’s failure to improve not only teacher recruitment, but also the working conditions needed to better retain teachers by allowing them to focus on teacher and learning.
In the meantime, existing teachers are tasked with increasing their workloads in order to compensate for the shortage, which will only add to the existing problems.