The number of newly qualified teachers finding employment is on the rise, but concerns are mounting for the prospects of those who will follow them into the profession.
Figures published by the General Teaching Council for Scotland show that among the 2006-07 group of probationers, the overall rate of employment in April was 92.7 per cent, up from 87.8 per cent in September 2007. The number of respondents in permanent posts, full-time and part-time, has gone up to 51.3 per cent from 43.4 per cent.
Of those with jobs, the number of secondary teachers in permanent posts is up to 74.2 per cent from 70.9 per cent; the number of primary teachers in permanent posts remains far lower, despite a jump from 30.5 per cent to 40.3 per cent.
The GTCS has warned against an overly-optimistic reading of the figures, however, stressing that the response rate fell from 46.5 per cent in the autumn to 33.4 per cent for the current survey; some 1,100 teachers responded out of a possible 3,300.
Convener May Ferries, speaking at the GTCS meeting this week, said people without jobs were unlikely to respond to the survey. She added that she was "particularly concerned" about the job prospects for current probationers about to achieve full registration.
The figures were described as "encouraging" by Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop. Retiring teachers would mean a "steady flow of employment opportunities", with about 6,000 teachers leaving the profession this year, or 400 more than last year.
The GTCS carries out an anonymous survey every autumn of probationary teachers, but this is the first time it has conducted a follow-up in the spring.