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Highland leads the way with job offers

The TESS discovered two probationers who have found permanent posts - in Highland. But many others feel frustrated at being used as cheap labour, as a trawl through our online staffroom reveals.

One of those with a job, Simon Gill, 25, a physics teacher at Ullapool High, said: "I specified Highland as one of my choices as a probationer - somewhere rural that would appeal to my hobbies of hillwalking and rock-climbing.

"I have really enjoyed this year in terms of the school I am in. It's got a very good atmosphere, partly because everyone knows everyone, outside the school as well as inside. The pupils are excellent and behaviour problems are really minimal.

"I am single so I was able to go where I wanted. Of the people I trained with, I know there were several who were not offered a job this year, and the school they were in is taking a probationer next year. Two or three weeks ago, out of our class 12 definitely didn't have jobs for next year.

They were all in the Edinburgh area.

"Highland has made a real effort to make it easy for probationers to be kept on in their schools."

His Highland colleague Dugal McCrow, 34, an art teacher at Grantown Grammar, said: "I came to Highland under the preference waiver scheme. I didn't have any family ties and I knew that the job situation in Edinburgh would be tight at the end of the probationary year.

"If I had got a job in Edinburgh, it would have been hard to move, so I thought I would take the chance now to go on an adventure. I have liked it so much I am staying for at least a few years.

"There were 12 of us in my year, and 10 have been placed. A couple of people couldn't move because they had partners, but everyone went in with open eyes knowing that, in all likelihood, they were going to have to move - unless they were doing maths or English, where there is a shortage. I don't think anyone felt they had had the wool pulled over their eyes."

But in The TESS online staffroom, Digitalkatie said: "My subject is computing which, until recently, was a shortage subject. We were reassured all the way through our PGCE course that 100 per cent of students have been getting jobs after their probation.

"Competition I can understand. This, however, is an almost total absence of jobs to compete for."

Alendra wrote: "At the beginning of the year, at our authority's probationer induction day, we were told that they request far more probationers than they're going to be able to keep on, in order to be able to select the best to keep come June. Then at another probationer event in January, the head of staffing told us that they were unlikely to have many permanent vacancies, as it was cheaper to fill vacancies with the next lot of probationers."

Hetrieska said "I don't think the new induction is better than the old probation. It just puts off the inevitable for a year and fills up all the vacancies with free labour. I think the Government should stop schools from filling the same post two years running with a probationer."

Serengetinightmare said: "Many probationers feel somewhat misinformed as to the real requirement for teachers in Scotland. When interviewed for my PGCE, I was told my subject (computing) was in demand. However, so far this year the number of jobs advertised has been very few, and certainly in single figures.

"Many authorities seem to be disregarding the supernumerary aspect of the probation scheme and filling posts solely with probationers (and that is without mentioning the 'please takes' many probationers have thrust upon them), leaving many of us wondering what our next steps might be."

Smiler 1509 wrote: "Left well- paid management job to do PGCE. Finish probation in North Lanarkshire on Thursday - cheap labour, as far as I can see. False promises of loads of jobs available. Feel like I've wasted two years of my life."


(next session's allocations in brackets)

Aberdeenshire: 76 primary, 54 secondary. Employment - na.(68 primary, 67 secondary, although requested 78)

Angus: 41 primary, secondary 27. Employment: primary - 10 permanent, 11 part-time permanent contracts or fixed-term contracts, two have posts outwith Angus; secondary - 10 permanent posts. (42 primary, 34 secondary)

Argyll and Bute: 29. Employment - 16 permanent or temporary supply posts. ( 32 primary, 18 secondary)

Clackmannanshire: 11 primary, six secondary. Employment - primary: 11 offered permanent posts, 10 accepted; three secondary permanent posts. (21 primary, 27 secondary).

Dundee City: 18 primary, 16 secondary. Employment - all 18 primary probationers offered a permanent contract; 13 secondary permanent contracts. (56 primary, 48 secondary)

East Ayrshire: 74. Employment - 22 (55 primary, 53 secondary)

East Dunbartonshire: 63. Employment - 14 permanent, 12 supply. (24 primary, 27 secondary)

East Renfrewshire: 75 primary, 63 secondary. Employment - 18 permanent primary, 12 permanent secondary; seven long-term fixed contracts primary, six secondary; appointments from outwith authority - seven primary, eight secondary;destination unknown - 77. (60 primary, 88 secondary)

Edinburgh: 167. Employment - 28 permanent posts, 15 supply list. (236) Falkirk: 98. Employment - 67. (61 primary, 71 secondary)

Fife: 68 primary, 70 secondary. Employment - 36 primary permanent contracts, 44 secondary permanent contracts; remainder all offered supply. (90 primary, 95 secondary)

Glasgow: 115 primary, 134 secondary. Employment - 20 primary, 20 secondary; probationers from outwith authority - 10 primary, 21 secondary. (173 primary, 162 secondary)

Highland: 59 primary, 47 secondary. Employment - expect to appoint around 40 primary, 35 secondary. (66 primary, 60 secondary - asked for a further 40 fully-funded secondary probationers but was unsuccessful)

Midlothian: 21 primary, 29 secondary. Employment: nine primary, nine secondary. (40 primary, 48 secondary)

Moray: 30 primary, 28 secondary. Employment: two primary, 12 secondary. (26 primary, 30 secondary)

North Ayrshire: 101. Employment - 21 permanent posts, 10 supply contracts.

(114) Orkney Islands: Seven primary, five secondary. Employment - na. (Seven primary, five secondary)

Perth and Kinross: 41 primary and 28 secondary. Employment: primary - eight permanent, 12 fixed-term contracts, 20 council supply list; secondary - 10 permanent, two fixed-term contracts, 16 on council supply list. (50 primary, 37 secondary)

Renfrewshire: 31 primary, 39 secondary. Employment: none so far, eight posts about to be advertised. (88 primary, 85 secondary)

Scottish Borders: 39. Employment: 11 permanent posts. (23 primary, nine secondary)

Shetland: Six primary, eight secondary. Employment: primary none; secondary - two (one permanent, one temporary fixed contract); two supply (15 primary, nine secondary)

South Ayrshire: 25 primary, 18 secondary, 43 total. Employment: three primary, five secondary confirmed for supply. (39 primary, 42 secondary)

South Lanarkshire: 91 primary, 121 secondary. Employment: 75 primary, 78 secondary. (131 primary, 122 secondary)

Stirling: 29 primary, 42 secondary. Employment: primary - 12 permanent,14 supply; secondary - 11 permanenttemporary; 15 have posts with other authorities, remainder offered supply. (41 primary, 56 secondary)

West Dunbartonshire: 82. Employment - six primary, 12 secondary. (104).

West Lothian: 33 primary, 31 secondary. Employment: primary - 20 permanent, two temporary, seven on supply; secondary - 14 permanent, two temporary, seven supply, six appointed elsewhere or moved away. (80 primary, 69 secondary)

Western Isles: Six primary, seven secondary. Employment - 10, most in placement school. (Eight primary, 14 secondary)

Details were not available as we went to press from Aberdeen, Dumfries and Galloway, East Lothian, Inverclyde and North Lanarkshire.

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