Survey reveals paucity of work available for recruits. George Wright reports
Newly-qualified teachers who have spent months searching the classifieds will know that, as far as Wales goes, it is not so much a case of job hot spots as cold spots and ice-cold spots.
A TES Cymru survey of the 22 Welsh councils found poor prospects for most new teachers. Local authority job bulletins for the week beginning December 3 revealed a total of 10 primary jobs, two of them temporary contracts, and 14 secondary places, including two temporary contracts.
Eight councils, Anglesey, Ceredigion, Conwy, Denbighshire, Merthyr Tydfil, Pembrokeshire, Powys and Wrexham, were not looking for any permanent staff.
The highest count was in Bridgend, which was seeking five staff: two primary teachers, two secondary and one supply.
Only five areas wanted supply teachers. This supports anecdotal evidence that the lack of jobs means supply registers are fully subscribed. Swansea, where only 22 primary and 35 secondary teaching posts have been advertised since January, is illustrative of the national scene. The authority's latest bulletin advertises just two secondary posts, neither suitable for NQTs.
A council official said: "There has been even more competition than usual this year, and jobs in the primary sector have been particularly scarce.
Schools have been getting 200 applications for a single teaching post. An extra 100 teachers, including many NQTs, have joined our supply register in the past year or two because they can't find permanent jobs.
"The best they can hope for is a six-month contract or maternity leave."
There appears to be more cause for hope in Carmarthenshire, where NQTs have been appointed to 30 primary and 33 secondary posts this academic year. But of those 63 jobs, only eight were permanent, full-time positions. The rest were for fixed terms of between a term and a year.
As a result, Welsh NQTs have been looking to England for work. And understaffed English authorities are welcoming them with open arms.
Vicky Ward, of Herefordshire's education department, said it was actively recruiting Welsh NQTs. She said: "Every year some NQTs trained in Wales are appointed into Herefordshire schools."
But unions argue that all teachers trained with Welsh Assembly money should be guaranteed work in the country.
Rhys Williams, of the National Union of Teachers Cymru, said: "Rather than cutting back on training places, we should see it as a way to reduce class sizes."
Where the teaching jobs are
1 primary, 2 sec, (2 Welsh teachers - one with management point)
Blaenau Gwent (1)
2 primary (1 temp)
2 sec: 1 language, 1 biology, 1 supply
2 sec: 1 psychology (maternity cover), 1 maths (experienced)
1 supply KS34
1.5 primary: 1 fluent Welsh, 1 pt
supply, business studies
2 sec: art, music, 1 supply
1 sec: health social care
Neath Port Talbot (2.5)
1.5 pri: ft nursery, pt nursery
1 sec: English (temp)
Rhondda Cynon Taff (3)
3 sec: 2 English (1 pt), 1 science (pt)
2 sec: English (curr. manager, +2 mgt points), Welsh teacher
1 sec: food technology (maternity)
Vale of Glamorgan (2)
1 primary, 1 nursery (maternity)