Probationer jobs slump
The number of probationers finding permanent jobs has plummeted to a new low, The TESS can reveal.
Returns to our annual survey from all 32 authorities show that only 477 out of 3,153 probationers employed last session have secured permanent teaching posts - or 15 per cent, a fall from 32 per cent since the first TESS probationer survey in 2007.
Three councils could not provide any permanent jobs - Glasgow, Scotland's largest education authority, along with Inverclyde and Renfrewshire. At this stage in 2007, Glasgow had found 70 permanent non-supply jobs for probationers. A spokeswoman said there were 1,000 fewer pupils in the city compared to this time in 2008; a staffing review next week could create some permanent posts.
Even when temporary posts and supply lists are factored in, only half of last year's probationers appear to have found work in Scotland.
Worried teachers' leaders have called on the Government to renege on its concordat with local authorities, and to fund attractive retirement packages to free up more teaching jobs. Education directors fear the recession is making teachers delay their retirement plans.
The picture varies widely across Scotland, but not a single auth- ority found permanent jobs for more than half of its probationers.
Ronnie Smith, general secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland, was concerned not only about the overall number of people getting jobs, but the quality of those jobs. This was reflected by the falling number of permanent posts which, he said, was "really, really bad news".
He believes it may be time for ministers to take greater control and reconsider the concordat with authorities, which allows spending decisions to be made locally.
Mr Smith suggested that more central control could address the widespread failure to achieve targets for lower class sizes, thus creating more jobs. The downward trend also made a case for offering retirement incentives to older teachers.
John Stodter, general secretary of the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland, said: "Local authorities have been struggling within their tight budget settlement, with a lot of demands contained in the concordat. They are beginning to feel the pressure."
He stressed that temporary employment was often a route into full-time employment. Even so, he called for a cash injection from the Government to allow councils to reduce the number of teachers at the end of their careers and increase opportunities for new teachers.
A Scottish Government spokes-man said: "We wouldn't expect every probationer to have a job at the start of the school term, as vacancies arise throughout the year. This is reflected through the regular GTCS surveys, the last in April showing 89 per cent of post-probationer teachers employed in a teaching role."
|Local authority||Probationers 2008-09||Total employed 2009-10 in permanent jobs|
Permanent: Primary Permanent: Secondary
Primary Permanent: Secondary