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Postgrads may fill gap

APPLICATIONS for primary teaching remain healthy in contrast to some secondary subjects. Intakes to the four-year primary BEd have been held by the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council for the coming session at 600 and are projected to rise to 1,000 over the next five years.

Any shortage is likely to be met from the postgraduate entry. A further 250 places have been earmarked for the new session with almost 2,000 university students chasing a place.

Demand for primary staff will be increased by the commitment to cut class sizes by August 2001. The initial target was an extra 600 teachers but this will be increased. Details about the deployment of the additional 500 staff have yet to be worked out.

Ministers will now be under pressure to expand intakes even further to boost supply lists.

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