Jobs to replace contracts

4th September 1998 at 01:00
Glasgow has taken another step to answer critics of temporary teacher contracts, which it accepts are demoralising and demotivating.

Thirty permanent jobs will be created to cover for long-term absences and secondments, initially in the pre-school and primary sectors. The scheme is likely to be extended to secondary schools when the effects of the city's school closures programme work through. Special schools will also benefit.

A computerised booking system will also be introduced to save time chasing-up supply teachers required for short-term absences.

The moves follow the appointment of 223 teachers to unpromoted posts on a permanent basis last year, the first such appointments by the cash-strapped authority since December 1995.

While Glasgow says the freezing of permanent posts was an unavoidable consequence of its financial plight, it now admits that filling jobs on a temporary basis, which the unions have condemned as the "casualisation" of the profession, may have too high a price.

George Gardner, depute director of education, says many temporary teachers are newly qualified, enthusiastic and innovative. But he warned: "Inability to obtain some stability through permanent appointments undoubtedly erodes morale."

Officials also pledge that half of all short leets for substantive unpromoted posts will be reserved for those in the permanent supply pool.

Absence cover currently costs the council just over Pounds 3 million, part of which is devolved to schools. The 30 permanent cover posts in pre-school and primary will cost Pounds 600,000, paid for out of the contingency reserve.

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