Teaching posts in Fife fail to attract much interest

Douglas Chapman says more needs to be done to fill vacant teaching jobs.
Douglas Chapman says more needs to be done to fill vacant teaching jobs.

An SNP councillor has called on Fife Council to look at making vacant teacher posts more appealing to potential recruits.

There are currently 88 unfilled teaching posts in Fife’s primary and secondary schools.

We need to look and see if there is anything we can do to make these jobs more attractive to ensure our schools are fully staffed.

Cllr Douglas Chapman

And Councillor Douglas Chapman believes part of the problem might be the jobs themselves.

He said: “In my own area, there are 22 vacant teaching posts, but 17 of them are either temporary jobs or reduced hours.

“We need to look and see if there is anything we can do to make these jobs more attractive to ensure our schools are fully staffed.”

The Council’s administration recently signed up to accept a share of a £51m package offered by the Scottish Government to protect teacher numbers.

But at the same time, the Council’s Labour leader David Ross expressed concern over the shortage of teachers, claiming the government had failed to predict the future demand and had failed to provide sufficient training places. The issue of vacancies in Fife schools has been raised with Angela Constance MSP, the minister for education and lifelong learning.

Cllr Bryan Poole, Fife’s education spokesman, said: “I wouldn’t want people thinking that Fife is not an attractive place for teachers to work.

“The problem with recruiting teachers is that there is not enough teachers.”

Cllr Chapman responded that he hadn’t said Fife was an unattractive place to work, just that perhaps vacant posts could be reconfigured to make them more attractive.

He also pointed out: “There are more people registered with the GTC (General Teaching Council) than there are teachers – it’s just that they are choosing to do other jobs.”