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Scotland - Probationer job numbers hit new low

The number of probationers in Scotland finding permanent jobs has plummeted to a new low, according to The TESS.

Returns of its annual survey from all 32 authorities show that only 477 out of 3,153 probationers employed last session have secured permanent teaching posts. At around 15 per cent, this has fallen from 32 per cent since the first TESS probationer survey in 2007.

Three councils could not provide any permanent jobs: Glasgow, Scotland's largest education authority, Inverclyde and Renfrewshire. At this stage in 2007, Glasgow had found 70 permanent non-supply jobs for probationers. A spokeswoman said there are 1,000 fewer pupils in the city compared with 2008 but that a staffing review looked likely to create some permanent posts.

Even when temporary posts and supply lists are factored in, only half of last year's probationers have found work in Scotland.

Worried teachers' leaders have called on the government to provide attractive retirement packages to free up more teaching jobs. Education directors fear the recession is making teachers delay their retirement plans.

The picture varies widely across Scotland, but not a single authority found permanent jobs for more than half of its probationers.

Ronnie Smith, general secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland, was concerned not only about the overall number of people getting jobs, but the quality of those jobs. This was reflected by the falling number of permanent posts which, he said, was "really, really bad news". HH.

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