Teachers Relocate to England for Work
Brain drain as jobless teachers head south
Scots signing up to fill vacancies in England
SCOTTISH teachers struggling to find employment at home are signing up to work in England.
A survey by the General Teaching Council for Scotland shows an all-time low of 16 per cent of 1400 new teachers who responded secured full-time posts in 2009/2010. That's down from 63 per cent in 2005.
Now a recruitment agency is matching newly-qualified Scots teachers with schools south of the border where they're desperately needed. Uteach Recruitment in Coatbridge speciailise in teacher recruitment and relocation. In recent months it's been inundated with applications from newly-qualified teachers looking for work elsewhere in the UK.
Kathleen Brennan, director of Uteach, said "We've only just recently started looking at teachers in Scotland, but we're already seeing a big increase in the number registering with us. In the last three months, we've added around 50 Scottish teachers, either just qualified or currently in their probationary year to our books - all with a view to considering vacancies in England. The change in the Scottish teaching jobs marked over a few years has been significant".
"Just six years ago, we placed 20 Irish teachers in schools in Fife because there was a shortage. Now we are haemorrhaging very good, newly-qualified teachers because there are no jobs for them."
Yesterday the TES Connect website featured around 2000 teaching vacancies from around the UK. Of these, just 27 were based in Scotland. However, with a quarter based in private schools, many for senior positions and several just part-time or temporary contracts, the opportunities for new teachers seeking permanent full-time work were slim.
Kathleen added, "The shortage of teaching jobs in Scotland is because of a combination of a number of factors. From slashed council budgets and Government plans for reduced class sizes not being imposed, to more probationers and early-retired teachers being employed at reduced cost. But elsewhere schools are crying out for staff, so relocation is worth considering."
EIS General Secretary Ronnie Smith, believes more effort should be made by the Government to get unemployed teachers into work in Scotland. He said "We have an abundance of high-quality, new teachers ready to work in our schools. It's time from the Scottish Government to make a clear statement on the number of teachers it wants in our schools and how it intends to ensure they are employed".
Cabinet secretary for Education Michael Russell said "I am deeply committed to making sure the Scottish Government together with our partners in local government, do all we can to reduce teacher unemployment, which is already the lowest in the UK. That's why the draft budget agreement with COSLA includes a commitment to a real reduction in teacher unemployment as well a local authority guarantee for a probationer place for every newly qualified teacher in August 2011, and sufficient posts for all those finishing their probation in summer 2011 to apply for.
"It's a real stepping stone"
PE TEACHER Jenna Thomson is reaping the benefits of moving to England after signing up with Uteach. Jenna (23), from Livingston, trained at Edinburgh University and taught at Park Mains High School, Erskine, in her probationary year. But she couldn't secure a permanent post there.