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Number of teachers on the dole falls to a record low

The number of secondary teachers on the dole last month fell to its lowest level at that time of year since 2005 - as far back as Office for National Statistics (ONS) records go.

Some 95 secondary teachers claimed Jobseeker's Allowance in September 2005, but the 85 who registered last month marked a record low.

The picture for primary teachers was also positive, with 90 on Jobseeker's Allowance last month, the lowest September level since 2006.

The drop in teacher unemployment will be seen as a vindication of the Scottish government's decision to slash intakes to initial teacher education.

But other ONS figures were less encouraging.

Scotland's youth-unemployment rate has increased by 1.3 per cent to 23.7 per cent since last year, although the number of 18- to 24-year-olds claiming unemployment benefit fell by 3,700.

Youth unemployment was now higher north of the border than the British average, said the Scottish Conservatives. Youth employment minister Angela Constance said: "One young person out of work is one too many. This is why we have made a specific commitment to ensure every 16- to 19-year-old has a place in learning or training."

ONS data shows the number of unemployed teachers peaked in August this year, with 170 secondary and 150 primary teachers on the dole.

August, however, is consistently the worst month for teacher unemployment, with figures tending to fall thereafter before rising again in the spring.

The number of unemployed teachers reached its highest point of 745 in August 2010: 320 secondary, 390 primary and 35 special needs.

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