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Unfilled vacancies

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by braemar, Jan 6, 2019.

  1. braemar

    braemar New commenter

    How many schools have vacancies that they can't fill? In my school we have 2 vacancies which have been advertised on a regular basis on MJS - so far there have been no suitable applicants or when we find there is an applicant, they pull out before getting to the interview stage.

  2. Effinbankers

    Effinbankers Lead commenter

    Some of these subjects are discretely removed and will go below the radar and won't be reported on the BBC.

    In my place we can't get HE teachers after 3 of them retired, so the subject is effectively being removed from the timetable - other subjects get an increase in time instead. Our HT wouldn't advertise 3 times for the same job - they look for other options.
  3. bigjimmy2

    bigjimmy2 Lead commenter

    Teaching ain't as attractive as it used to be - that's the core reason why there are so many vacancies. Trainees don't stay, which counters Swinney's argument that more teachers are training. Potential teachers will hear about the decline in salaries, increase in workload and pupil indiscipline and decide against teaching: who can blame them.

    Given Sturgeon's crapola about raising attainment and being judged on education, it just doesn't add up, does it?
  4. braemar

    braemar New commenter

    The reason for these vacancies that are being re-advertised is because they are for a core subject - we can't just make our subject disappear as it has to be taught. At the last count the current vacancies have been re-advertised at least 3 times.
  5. beharder

    beharder Occasional commenter

    We have the same problem with CDT, no applicants for the post-post disapears- pupils get an extra period of another subject.
    [This comment/section/image has been removed for breaching our Community Guidelines/Terms and conditions]
  6. Marisha

    Marisha Established commenter

    Fife has had multiple ads for various English posts and I see that they've taken to putting out a generic ad for 'Literacy' teachers. [ETA I saw those ads before Christmas.] I've heard that some schools there are already using primary teachers to teach 'Literacy' to kids in S1 and S2.

    I've also seen a generic ad for H.E. teachers in Fife and there are reports that computing teachers are a rare breed. In some schools, I.T. in S1 and 2 is being taught by Business Ed teachers. I recall seeing an article stating that one Fife school had to drop Computing completely.
  7. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    HE in Fife has been an ongoing issue for over 10 years. I can recall one school which in 2008 took over a year to recruit an HE teacher.

    I do wonder sometimes whether the very strict "you must have a degree in this subject to teach it" approach in Scotland actually causes some of these problems. For example, a History teacher could teach at least some aspects of English - essay writing, reading, interpreting and understanding texts - and a Physics teacher could easily teach most Maths (at least up to N5.)
  8. cobalt54

    cobalt54 New commenter

    What you are suggesting is diluting the standard of education.
    The GTC, paid for from teachers' subscriptions and self-styled 'gatekeeper' of Scottish education, has a certain amount of flexibility in these matters and is no doubt being encouraged to exercise that at the present time. The alternative is students without any teachers at all, or even worse (from a governmental viewpoint) teachers who require to be paid more.

    No doubt a History teacher could teach a bit of English much the same as an HGV driver could handle a bus for the most part. It's just that when I pay for a bus ticket I want a qualified bus driver, and I think the public deserves teachers qualified in their subject.
  9. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    If a private company cannot recruit for a core vacancy, the company must improve it's offer or suffer the commercial consequences of not having a core competency.
    The lack of a decent wage and worsening conditions make teaching a very unattractive proposition in Scotland. Scotland cannot afford to have fully staffed schools. This is the real dilution of the standard of education.
    I met many students in the Highlands and Islands who left school having never experienced a Computing lesson. This is scandalous.
    Freddie92, Marisha, EmmaCT68 and 2 others like this.
  10. sbf

    sbf New commenter

    On top of this, how many have been filled on a temp basis by retired teachers.

    There are some schools with entire departments staffed with retired over 60 year old teachers.

    At some point that bubble will burst too.

    The subject cuts are a disgrace. The whole principle behind Scottish education is the breadth of the subjects offered.

    Not be long till there are only 2 subjects offered.
    1. Primary
    2. Secondary
    Freddie92 likes this.
  11. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    Physics teachers can teach maths under the current system. When I did the PGCE I had to supply proof of the maths content of my degree (there's easily enough maths in the 1st year or two) and my PGCE qualification is in Physics and Maths.
    Freddie92 likes this.
  12. Effinbankers

    Effinbankers Lead commenter

    I didn't use to cause any problems. It used to be hard to get a full time permanent job in certain subjects.

    So let's not blame the criteria for professional standards as the root of the problem. I can think of other issues why teaching is not attractive:

    - CFE
    - Active Learning (where kids can't sit still for 5 minutes), leading to
    - Massive Discipline Problems
    - Inclusion (too many nutcases in classrooms)
    - Constant expectation of raising attainment (with bampots not willing to learn)
    - Increased workload (thanks SQA)
    - Faculties
    - Constant tracking and monitoring (these systems are to catch out teachers, not help weans)
    - Unsupportive Inspectorate
    - The constant "need" to entertain kids. Sorry, but I'm not Tommy Cooper
    - A lack of respect and value for what teachers do.
    - Some colleagues (but not all thankfully) thinking they are entitled to promotion after 5 minutes of being in a school and then starting to order other staff about when they climb the greasy poles
    - A lack of career prospects, and then when jobs do arise
    - The constant promotion of duffers and asre-lickers
    - The desire that teachers should be social workers / home-link officers / nurses / behaviour experts for no more money

    I could go on.
    Alice K, EmmaT1982, Freddie92 and 7 others like this.
  13. sicilypat

    sicilypat New commenter

    Effin, I know you don't really mean "nutcases" and "bampots", but I do agree that the current system of underfunded inclusion is definitely not meeting the needs of students ( or teachers). Apart from that I agree with your points. I would like to add to your list the poor quality of those in management positions, who seem to be selected for their willingness to agree with any new initiative and who actively discourage dissent. Oh I just noticed you included them, the "duffers and ****-lickers". That's them.

    There is also a culture of fear in schools ( coming often from local authorities) and amplified by spineless SMT. This contributes to the worsening conditions described by others here.

    It would be wonderful if we could feel valued as teachers. We spend all our time teaching young people how to value themselves, but tbh get very little wrt our own needs. I suspect that this is a big contributor when you consider loss of staff.
  14. Effinbankers

    Effinbankers Lead commenter

    No, I do

    There are kids in mainstream education who are total thugs in and out of school, who previously might have gone to some type of more appropriate setting for their education.

    We are expected to educate them. It can't be done

    You can't raise attainment when lessons are being constantly disrupted, teachers are being sworn at, spat at and assaulted on a regular frequent basis.
    beharder, Freddie92 and bigjimmy2 like this.
  15. Freddie92

    Freddie92 Occasional commenter

    Agree completely. Remove qualifications for subject specialists and then we effectively will be deskilling our industry, which will lead to a real cracker of wage deflation.

    Teaching, if it really is so important not just to the Scottish Government but everyone, must be made more attractive to high calibre graduates. Excellent wages and excellent working conditions are not too much to ask for a job that is one of the most important in our society.

    After all, without teachers there would be few or no lawyers or doctors or....
  16. Freddie92

    Freddie92 Occasional commenter

    Again I agree. Some pupils are just not teachable. They need something else to keep them busy and in some cases from becoming criminals and going to prison. I both attended a school like that and have taught in schools with pupils in that category.

    It was and still is no joke.
    beharder likes this.
  17. Freddie92

    Freddie92 Occasional commenter

    I agree, but the difference is you will have done your probation in Maths to become fully qualified.

    If your degree has Maths in it but if you don't do the probation period then you are not permitted to teach Maths in a Scottish school (GTCS).
  18. 50sman

    50sman Lead commenter

    Also to teach in Scotland you have to be a members of GTCS - which if you are English means lots of forms and lots of money with no guarantee you will be approved
  19. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    My training and teaching wa sin Scotland - but yes, I do remember my probation period had to have a certain nº of hours of each subject. But the point I was making was that (unless the requirements have changed) most if not all physics graduates will have enough maths hours to be able to qualify in that as well, in Scotland, so long as they get those hours recognised.
  20. cobalt54

    cobalt54 New commenter

    The doctors and lawyers etc. can be supplied via the private education system. Any shortfall can be made up with those bright pupils we have all come across in the state sector, the sort who will flourish whether attending Leafy Suburb Academy or Bash Street High. The rest of the state sector are regarded as rude mechanicals or mere consumers and are of little interest to those who make public policy.

    That is not meant as a slight on all those teachers who give their best to less academic pupils despite the withering indifference of their political masters. It was ever thus. However the now well-established laissez-faire approach to indiscipline coupled with exponential increases in petty bureaucracy has, unsurprisingly, made a teaching career less attractive. There are no cheap immigrant solutions to this particular problem so the gaps are there for all to see. According to one of my former schools’ website, two teachers who I worked alongside some years ago have been ‘welcomed back.’ To put it politely, they are retired gentlemen whose best teaching days are behind them and I can only imagine they are playing the role of battered, washed-up boxers, no longer capable of doing very much in the ring but durable enough to stay on their feet until the final bell.

    The GTC is required to advise the government regarding teacher numbers and has signally failed in its duties. The problems are well documented on this site, so can come as little surprise. Recruitment is a problem due to low starting salary. Retaining staff is a problem due to poor working conditions, something ‘golden hellos’ won’t change very much. All this exists within a political culture where the word ‘public sector’ is viewed as something second-rate, a refuge for those who ‘can’t hack it.’ Despite its best efforts to recruit the sick, the halt and the lame the GTC has the temerity, the outrageous chutzpah, to preside over regular show trials where some poor geezers who were either inadequate for the job in the first place, or who cracked up under pressure, are publicly shamed by the very body which claimed they were suitable in the first instance.
    aypi, borges33, beharder and 2 others like this.

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