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Edinburgh - Retirement plan to help NQTs

The Scottish Government is facing mounting pressure from education leaders to fund a "teacher-refresh" package that would allow councils to offer early-retirement deals.

Glasgow, Scotland's largest authority, this week made an early-retirement offer to teachers aged 55 plus, fuelling speculation that other councils may follow.

An email sent to teachers said they could be released from January, but warned that those taking early retirement with an enhanced pension would be ineligible for supply work in Glasgow.

A council spokeswoman said the move was part of a cost-saving exercise and was unlikely to create jobs for new teachers.

With growing numbers of newly qualified teachers unable to find work and most education budgets facing cuts of 2-4 per cent, the Association of Directors of Education (ADES) in Scotland is calling for Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop to provide government assistance that would allow older teachers to leave the profession early and create space for new teachers to join.

ADES general secretary John Stodter said his organisation had raised the issue in discussions with Holyrood officials about local government finances.

A teacher-refresh scheme could ease the employment difficulties of post-probationers - one of the Government's thorniest problems.

"It would help the workforce, it would help local government and it would help the Government in terms of teacher numbers," Mr Stodter said. eb.

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