New teachers have no need to fear unemployment

16th February 1996 at 00:00
Your article concerning teacher employment (TESS, January 26) stated that fewer than 10 per cent of the 1994-95 secondary graduates in Scotland were able to find a post. The information on our postgraduate secondary output does not support that figure.

The destination statistics for the output of students with a PGCE secondary qualification is: permanent teaching 26.5 per cent, supplytemporary teaching 26.8 per cent, other full-time employment 6 per cent, other temporary employment 3 per cent, further studies 0.5 per cent, unemployed 8 per cent, unknown 29 per cent. More than half of last year's secondary graduates had found a post in teaching by November 1995, when the census was taken. I believe that our figures would be reflected across the other teacher education institutions in Scotland and would suggest that more than 10 percent of last year's graduates are in teaching employment.

It is unfortunate that misleading information concerning teacher employment continues to circulate and can cause dismay and reduction in morale. The situation may well be very difficult for this year's output given the changes in the local authority arrangements and threats to funding for education. However, I do believe that a reasonable number of our students will gain employment over the next year, particularly those in the priority subjects in the secondary area.

JOHN McCARNEY Strathclyde University

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