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1 in 5 new teachers fail to find job

By October, one in five new teachers had failed to secure any teaching post following their probation, almost twice last year's number.

The figures, compiled by the General Teaching Council for Scotland, show that the number of new teachers not employed in teaching increased from 12.2 per cent last year to 21 per cent this year.

In cases where teachers found jobs in Scotland, it was much more likely to be precarious. Only a third (38.8 per cent) secured a permanent, full-time post, which is down from 46.4 per cent last year and represents fewer than 600 of those who responded to the survey.

Meanwhile, the proportion of recruits entering supply teaching increased from 18.7 per cent to 30.2 per cent in the past year. But many had secured "little or no work".

Overall, the figures showed the employment rate for new teachers in Scotland was down from 87.8 to 79 per cent, covering full-time, part-time and supply contracts.

The news comes amid claims that older teachers are delaying retirement because of the credit crunch, squeezing jobs for new teachers.

Joe Di Paola, head of the employers' negotiating team at the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, who chaired the teacher employment working group, told the Scottish Parliament's education committee on Wednesday that the prospect of "baby boomer retirements" could be wide of the mark.

The Educational Institute of Scotland said the figures were "a real cause for alarm", and called on the Government to intervene before new recruits were turned off.

But Fiona Hyslop, the Education Secretary, blamed local authorities. She said: "Across Scotland, the year-on-year increase in local authority education budgets between 2007-08 and 2008-09 was 5.5 per cent. Yet some authorities, such as Glasgow, with a 15.6 per cent budget increase in the past year, are choosing not to hire teachers, and not reduce class sizes. This is unacceptable."

The GTCS figures reinforce the results of The TESS survey in August, dismissed at the time by Ms Hyslop, which showed just 25 per cent of new teachers - 770 had found full-time, permanent posts.

The GTCS cautioned only 44 per cent of probationers responded to its survey.

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