Recruiting teachers proves challenging

Rachael Hamilton wants numbers collected
Rachael Hamilton wants numbers collected

Teacher recruitment in the Borders is proving challenging Scottish Borders Council admitted this week.

There are currently 24 teaching jobs advertised on the council’s job web site: a head teacher for Ayton Primary school and teachers in maths, physics, physical education, religious studies, history and modern studies.

A spokesperson for Scottish Borders Council said: “Like many other local authorities we are experiencing recruitment challenges for teachers of maths, business studies, home economics, physics, computing and technical. Being a rural authority we are also finding recruitment to temporary posts to be increasingly challenging.

“Our education staff continue to work with HR to review our vacancies to ensure posts are filled as quickly as possible and have reconfigured some posts to maximise interest in them.

“We also held a high-profile recruitment event in March 2017 which resulted in a significant number of applicants from across the UK for leadership posts across the Scottish Borders. We have embarked on a ‘Grow Your Own’ project for primary teachers and are keen to extend this to secondary in the next session and in the 2017/18 session, will be sponsoring people to return to teaching.”

They added that 24 jobs advertised is not unusually high for the start of a school year and the council is committed to recruiting throughout the year.

John Swinney, Scottish Education Secretary admitted that there are challenges in recruiting teachers.

Borders MSP Rachael Hamilton (Conservative) said: “Teachers in the Scottish Borders do a fantastic job under tough conditions and circumstances. However, these conditions and circumstances are being made tougher by teacher shortages.

“Teachers may have to provide cover for the vacant positions and that is far from ideal.

“The Scottish Borders is also missing other valuable positions in additional needs assistants and breakfast club workers.

“John Swinney has admitted to a recruitment problem and we in the Scottish Borders are not immune from that problem. The SNP Government need to act fast to help the Borders and other parts of Scotland.”

Other school positions needing filled include - supply teaching posts, additional needs assistants, a breakfast club worker, cleaners and a school crossing patroller at Eyemouth.