Tougher to find a full-time post

17th March 2006 at 00:00
This year's crop of probationers is likely to find it harder than ever to secure a permanent post, the General Teaching Council for Scotland heard last week.

A survey of last year's probationers found that nearly 67 per cent of 1,985 induction year teachers found full-time permanent posts, with 74 per cent finding work in their placement authority. But senior council figures warned that this success rate is unlikely to be repeated this summer.

May Ferries, a former president of the Educational Institute of Scotland and Glasgow primary depute head, said her concerns about probationers'

employment prospects were shared by others around the country.

"Additional staffing for the reduction in class contact time is not as generous as we first anticipated, and there is a tightening of staffing standards because of falling rolls and local authority budget cuts. In this context, there will not be such a rosy picture for the current group of probationer teachers. In Glasgow, the prospects are not looking very good,"

Ms Ferries said.

Patrick Boyle, a Paisley primary head, said many would find a job on the supply lists but people wanted a secure job with a regular income. "The danger is that people will drift out of the profession just as they did 10-15 years ago," Mr Boyle said.

Matthew MacIver, GTC registrar, said it was important to be "vigilant" with 600 more probationers looking for posts this year. That was why the council would continue its annual survey.

The survey was based on replies from 47.7 per cent of last year's newly qualified teachers. Findings show 66.8 per cent had a full-time permanent post, 2.9 per cent were part-time permanent, 15.4 per cent full-time temporary, 3.2 per cent part-time temporary and 11.7 per cent supply.

More than 96 per cent of those who responded were in a teaching post, and nearly 95 per cent of them were in Scotland. Only 0.6 per cent of those replying had given up on teaching.

Kay Barnett, chair of the GTC professional standards committee and an EIS member, also cautioned that some probationers were failing to receive the support they needed from mentors and headteachers. Some secondary school departments had problems supporting students and probationers at the same time.

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