Scotland: Jobless tally hits new heights

4th September 2009 at 01:00

Teacher unemployment is at its highest for four years and has doubled since last July.

It has also emerged that record numbers of "increasingly desperate" probationers - the Scottish equivalent of NQTs - have been tempted to rural and remote areas by the Government's financial incentive to disperse them throughout Scotland.

The figures reinforce the dire picture of job prospects for new teachers revealed last week in the annual TESS survey. It showed that the number of last session's probationers securing permanent jobs at the start of the school year had dropped from 32 per cent in 2007 to 15 per cent this year.

The number of teachers claiming unemployment benefit last month rose to more than 500, the highest number of nursery, primary and secondary teachers on the dole in any month since January 2005, according to the Office for National Statistics.

This June, 255 teachers were claiming unemployment benefit, rising to 535 in July. This is a significant upward trend: 125 signed on in June last year, and 270 last July. The July figures for teachers claiming unemployment benefit for the three years from 2005 to 2007 were 205, 270 and 235, respectively.

A government spokesman said: "Teacher recruitment picks up with the reopening of schools as adjustments are made to their staffing requirements.

"We wouldn't expect every probationer to have a job at the start of the school term as vacancies arise throughout the year."

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