The teaching jobs market in Scotland
Not so long ago the Scottish Government, known then as the Scottish Executive, was actively recruiting teachers from England to fill vacancies. Ministers were then forced to cut hundreds of trainee places in a bid to reduce the number of teachers unable to find jobs. Then, at the end of 2011, they were forced to turn the tap on again and announced that 300 more teachers should be trained to meet expected growth in future demand and combat what had become a current shortage of supply teachers.
While that sounds promising in some ways, many teachers branded the move a mistake because so many of them still cannot find work.
Is it harder to get a teaching job in Scotland than in England?
The short answer is yes and no. Hard-pressed teachers say there’s still a glut of supply over demand and it is not uncommon for hundreds of applicants to be vying for a single post.
The TES forums reveal that some teachers believe it’s harder for those who qualified in England to find work in Scotland than vice versa.
A survey by the General Teaching Council for Scotland in June 2011 found that only one newly qualified teacher in five found a full-time, permanent teaching job after completing their induction year.
Teachers who qualified outside Scotland are at a further disadvantage because, under the terms of a new agreement iin 2001, all 32 Scottish local authorities have committed to offering every new probationer who qualifies in Scotland a year-long post – leaving fewer vacancies for teachers who trained elsewhere.
Meanwhile the Scottish Government believes that a 29 per cent fall in the number of teachers in Scotland claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance (down to 245 at November 2011) means that more, not fewer, teachers are needed.
Vacancies are advertised in TESS in the magazine and on the TES jobs website.
The independent sector also reports a healthy demand for staff. The Scottish Council of Independent Schools says the market is ‘ticking over as usual’.
What about supply teaching?
A controversial agreement introduced in 2011 which dramatically cut supply teachers’ pay for short-term posts has created chronic shortages.
Many schools have reported problems finding cover because people are refusing to work for the lower rate – which is now less than the pay rate for classroom assistants. As a result it is easier to find work as a supply teacher, but it may well not be worth it financially.
The independent sector says there is not much demand for supply teachers at the moment.
Are there any shortage subjects in Scotland?
Specialist subjects like Gaelic are in short supply, so if you happen to be qualified in Scotland’s national language you will find plenty of job offers. Home economics teachers are also in demand, as are teachers of technology and physics, followed by maths and English.
Some areas report shortages of teachers for modern languages and physical education. The independent sector says Latin is the subject most in demand.
What if you want to teach in some of the more remote areas of Scotland?
If your dream is to live in a rural area and you want to work in a state school, then your chances of finding work are significantly better. The further you go from central Scotland the more likely you are to get a job.
Remote regions like the Highlands and Argyll and Bute generally find it harder to recruit because so many people want to work in or near Scotland’s main cities.
However if you want to teach at an independent school you’re unlikely to find many jobs in rural areas because most fee-paying schools are in the main cities.
Where are the majority of teaching jobs in Scotland?
Most jobs are in the more populous central belt, located around the Edinburgh and Glasgow areas. The vast majority of independent sector jobs are either in Edinburgh or Glasgow, which is where most of the independent schools are located.
Where to go for more information about teaching in Scotland
- The Scottish Government has set up a site called Teaching in Scotland which has useful information including further details on recognised qualifications.
- To apply for registration or for more information about the process, including PVG registration, visit the General Teaching Council for Scotland website.
- The TES forums have a range of discussion threads covering teachers’ experiences and questions relating to moving from England to Scotland, including https://community.tes.co.uk/forums/t/532425.aspx
More articles about teaching in Scotland
Popular teaching in Scotland job searches
Don’t forget to set yourself up with a job alert for your chosen role so you will get the latest jobs emailed direct to your inbox as soon as they become available on TES Jobs. You have to register with TES to set up a job alert but registration is quick and free.