Teaching posts in Dundee : Funding is the equivalent of employing 16 of Dundee's 74 probationer teachers

2 February 2011

The money that Dundee City Council is likely to receive from a Scottish Government -COSLA agreement on teacher employment would be the equivalent of providing 16 full time posts for its current 74 probationary teachers.

Ms. Glen sought confirmation of the funding arrangements from Dundee City Council.

They informed her that Dundee’s share of the £15 million funding was expected to be "in the region of £430,000".

The council indicated that this level of funding would be " equivalent to roughly 16 Full-Time Equivalent probationer teachers."

The council says that it has 74 probationary teachers this session, 33 in primary schools and 41 in secondaries.

Ms. Glen said Education Secretary Mike Russell had " gone back on an agreement " which he had made last year whereby all probationer teachers would get places on the successful conclusion of their course.

Under an agreement struck between COSLA and the Scottish Government, funding was to be made available to councils to ensure places would be available for those new teachers beginning the probationary course this in August , and for those passed the one-year course by this summer.

A joint letter last November from the Scottish Government and COSLA circulated to individual councils laid out the agreement.

"protect the number of teacher posts as far as possible in order to secure:

"Places for all probationers who require a place under the induction scheme in August 2011

"Sufficient teaching posts for all probationers who achieved the standard for full registration in summer 2011 ( i.e. successfully complete their probation) and,

"a reduction in the total number of unemployed teachers.

"The Scottish Government has included £15m within the total of £11.548 billion to cover the education costs associated with protecting, as far as possible, the number of teacher posts.

However, Ms. Glen said that when she questioned Mr. Russell on the agreement in Parliament earlier this month ( 13th. January), Mr. Russell said that "local authorities have agreed to provide sufficient vacancies for all probationers who successfully complete the induction scheme in June 2011 to apply for.

"Of course, no individual can be guaranteed a post, and the posts will be available to all teachers who seek employment through fair and open competition."

"Ms. Glen commented,

" This closing down of career opportunities for new teachers serves to de-professionalise and casualise teaching.

"These latest proposals are taking place against a background of almost 1 out of every 10 secondary teachers in Dundee having left the job in the past two years."

" What is more, over 70 per cent of P1-P3 pupils in Dundee are still in class sizes above the 18 maximum that the Scottish Government promised would be achieved this year."




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