The first phase of a significant 10-14 reform in Aberdeenshire is now under way with the appointment of up to 50 extra primary specialists.
The authority is using the need to make cuts in class contact time to expand the number of visiting specialists in its 156 primaries, many of which are small and rural.
Doug Marr, curriculum and management co-ordinator, said the 34 current full-time equivalent staff would rise to nearly 80 once all the appointments are made. More than 170 staff have so far applied for the new posts.
The new specialists will work with P4-P7 children. "This is the first phase of a process spanning 10-14. It is said that there are too many specialists for pupils in S1 and S2 and not enough in P6 and P7. We also want to see generalists in S1 and S2," Mr Marr said.
He added: "A significant proportion of the new staff are secondary registered, so there is a CPD (continuing professional development) issue and we will be running an induction course on the ethos and pedagogy of the primary school."
Aberdeenshire's plans have been approved by the General Teaching Council for Scotland which believes retraining is the key to greater staffing flexibility between primary and secondary. The authority is particularly keen to recruit science and ICT qualified staff, areas in which primary teachers have traditionally been less confident.