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Sturgeon should cut the red tape to get hundreds of teachers into schools

14 Sep 2017

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson MSP speaking during First Minister's Questions held in the Scottish parliament, Edinburgh today. 09 June 2016. Pic - Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament

The SNP has been told to address the bureaucracy which is delaying hundreds of teachers from getting into the classroom.

The Scottish Conservatives said ministers must fast-track reforms which would allow teachers who have trained outside Scotland to get to work immediately.

It follows exchanges at First Minister’s Questions when leader Ruth Davidson challenged Nicola Sturgeon over revelations that parents are being asked to help out in schools due to teacher shortages.

Earlier this week, it was reported that teachers at Trinity Academy are being drafted in from other subjects to teach maths.

Despite that, evidence presented to the Scottish Parliament’s education committee has revealed there are currently 552 applications to teach, including 320 from people outside Scotland.

The cross-party committee concluded these individuals are being put off from getting into the profession by the lengthy registration and retraining process currently required.

Instead of addressing these concerns, Nicola Sturgeon spoke of changes made since 2012 to the registration process which merely allows experienced professionals to serve in classrooms as probationers.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said:

“The current situation is ridiculous – parents are being asked to plug teacher shortages while, at the same time, more than 550 qualified teachers want to start work, but can’t because of Scottish Government red tape.

“Scotland’s teacher shortage is a national crisis.

“In such circumstances, the SNP must act now to put in place urgent measures so these teachers can apply for jobs without any further delay.

“It’s not good enough for Nicola Sturgeon to point to changes made a few years back – we know they don’t go far enough.

“Children only get one chance at their education.

“Maths lessons should be taught by maths teachers. Not English teachers, not drama teachers, and certainly not from parents who’ve received a begging letter.”