Teacher numbers top 56,000

Scotland had 56,500 teachers in the third quarter of 2005, a 1.8 per cent increase on the same period the previous year and up 5.5 per cent since 1999.

But the Scottish Executive is not celebrating going well beyond its target of having 53,000 teachers by 2007.

The public sector employment statistics, released last week, involve some double counting. They include teachers on maternity or sick leave as well as their supply replacements. Teachers seconded to work out of school, together with those covering for them, are also in the figures.

An Executive spokesperson said the target of 53,000 teachers was for actual teachers in schools.

The figures show a major 47 per cent increase in other education staff employed by local government between the third quarters of 1999 and 2005, and a 7 per cent rise since 2004. These include classroom assistants, music instructors, library and clerical staff, as well as the directorate and cultural and youth services staff who are employed by local authority education departments.

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