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Stirling probationers still adrift

The anomaly with regard to Stirling University graduates who take up probationer posts has already been highlighted in the The TES Scotland.

Your readers will know that the graduates of 2002 who were ready to take up teaching posts in January 2002 were completely excluded from the new scheme since it had started the previous August.

The graduates of 2003 who are ready now to take up jobs are being offered places on the scheme this year, but not until August. This is hardly an ideal situation.

More importantly, however, the concession offered to the Stirling 2002 graduates was that they would be able to complete their probation in 18 months instead of two years as previously, although the scheme of course enables probation to be completed in one year (with full support).

My understanding of the scheme was that, until the probationers had completed their year (end of June 2003), they would not be eligible to apply for permanent positions, again hopefully levelling the playing field a bit as the "old style" probationers would be in a position to apply for any vacancies throughout the year.

It appears, however, that this agreement has been breached by a high school in East Lothian which advertised a permanent teaching post in November 2002 and proceeded to employ its incumbent probationer.

But, as heshe will not be eligible to take up the post until August, the school is holding the post.

Meanwhile many teachers (qualified and probationers) wasted their precious time applying for this position and it seems doubtful whether anyone was given a "fair interview", the whole procedure merely being academic.

It would be interesting to know how often this has happened and how often it will happen in the coming months. Some clarification is required - urgently.

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