Please sort out the mess over probationers

After working abroad for four years, I joined the teacher supply lists last September and have had three temporary contracts. I am currently working for a school on one of these contracts.

I interviewed for the post and the head said it was to be for this term with a view to a two-year appointment to cover a secondment. He told me to watch for the job being advertised.

However the job never appeared, so he contacted the council. They informed him that, although he had written confirmation of the opposite, they were not now advertising as they were reserving the post for a probationer teacher.

I have currently now been in the Edinburgh area for nine months looking for a physics post (shortage subject?) and have applied for the grand total of one full-time job. That is all that has been advertised and it was 60 miles away.

Thanks to the teachers' agreement, no older teachers are leaving until they get their pay rises (who can blame them for protecting their pensions?) and other posts are being held back for probationers.

Is it legal for the education authorities not to advertise posts? Is it not infringing on all their equal opportunity policies?

So what of the future? This year's probationers will be released to make way for next year's, and so on. I hope they are not fooled into thinking that they are getting employment from this: they are not being offered jobs, just a one-year extension of their training.

There are no redundancy packages, so people are not leaving. Teaching will be the preserve of the old school who are winding down and younger, inexperienced teachers coming in (into schools that they do not even get to choose; only an area is chosen).

At the moment I am incredibly frustrated and just looking for advice if there is any. If not, then maybe it's time to look at other options professionally. Much as I would like to do it, leaving Scotland is not an option at the moment.

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