Jobs boost for probationers

7th December 2012 at 00:00
Why prospects are looking up for new teachers

More than a third of last year's probationers had found full-time permanent jobs by autumn this year. And only one in 10 newly qualified teachers was unemployed - a five-year low - according to the latest General Teaching Council for Scotland employment survey.

The number of new teachers in full-time permanent posts has been rising steadily since a low of 16.1 per cent was recorded in 2010, the results show.

At the same time last year, 20.9 per cent of new teachers had full-time permanent posts. But this has risen to 35.4 per cent this year, the highest level since 2007 (40.8 per cent).

The findings bear out the results of TESS's own post-probation employment survey, (24 August, 2012), which found that the number of post- probationers landing permanent jobs was at its highest level in five years.

However, a gap remains between current employment levels and those experienced in 2005 when the GTCS reported 63.3 per cent had full-time permanent contracts and just 5.3 per cent were unemployed.

Like TESS's survey, the GTCS poll also showed an increase in the number of teachers in full-time temporary posts - more than a quarter (26 per cent) and the highest level since the GTCS survey began in 2005.

EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan has expressed fears that many teachers categorised as "temporary" are effectively in permanent positions - only without the job security and conditions that should bring.

He also expressed concern about "the dwindling number of supply teachers working across Scotland". New teachers securing supply work fell from 24.6 per cent last year to 15.2 per cent this year, found the GTCS.

Mr Flanagan said: "Changes to supply teacher pay and conditions clearly have had a detrimental impact on the availability of supply teachers, a vital part of the education service. The EIS will be making this a priority in the imminent negotiations at the SNCT."

Anthony Finn, GTCS chief executive, also noted the fall in the number of supply contracts. On the overall figures, he commented: "It is clear that these figures show an improving trend in employment prospects for new teachers in Scotland."

But he added: "Despite this good progress, there is still some way to go."

A Scottish government spokesman said: "We welcome the survey's findings showing that post-probation employment rates are now better than they have been since 2006-07. Teacher unemployment is lower in Scotland than anywhere else in the UK."

This year, 570 new teachers responded to the GTCS survey - 30.7 per cent of the total 1,847 new teachers. It is the lowest response rate recorded since 2007, when 46.5 per cent replied.


In numbers

  • 35.4 per cent - proportion of new teachers with full-time permanent posts this autumn;
  • 63.3 per cent - proportion of new teachers with full-time permanent contracts in 2005;
  • 46.1 per cent - proportion of new secondary teachers with full-time permanent contracts this year, compared with 33.2 per cent of primary teachers;
  • 10.4 per cent - proportion of new teachers reporting they had secured no work as a teacher this year, not even a day of supply work, compared with 18.8 per cent in 2011 and 27.1 per cent in 2010.

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