Murdo Fraser MSP has criticised the SNP-Green government for “short-changing” local authorities in relation to requests for probationary teachers.
A response by SNP Education Secretary Jenny Gilruth to Scottish Conservative Shadow Education Secretary Liam Kerr MSP reveals that in May 2023, Scotland’s 32 councils received a total of 3,161 probationary teachers.
However, that was 657 fewer than councils had asked the SNP-Green government to allocate them.
Mr Fraser says this is typical of SNP-Green government ministers failing to provide Perth and Kinross with the resources needed to support schools and teachers in the area.
In Perth and Kinross, 58 probationary teachers were requested, but the SNP-Green government allocated only 45. Mr Fraser says this is “further evidence” of how the SNP are failing to hire the number of teachers required in schools in Perth and Kinross and even when there is an over-reliance on temporary teachers, they are still failing to provide enough.
Mr Fraser has urged the SNP-Green government to urgently lay out a plan to deliver more permanent teaching posts in the region and in the meantime, ensure that the shortfall of temporary teachers is addressed.
Commenting, he said: “Yet again, the SNP-Green government are short-changing Perth and Kinross Council.
“Despite requesting 58 probationary teachers, the SNP-Green government allocated them only 45.
“This is all too typical of SNP-Green ministers failing to give Perth and Kinross Council the resources they need to support schools in our communities. It is further evidence of them failing to hire enough teachers and, even when they continue to over-rely on probationary teachers, they cannot provide enough teachers for Perth and Kinross.
“This has a harmful effect on our pupils and the teachers already employed in schools in the region.
“We need to see ministers lay out an urgent plan for how schools will be fully supported in light of this shortfall and how more permanent teaching posts will be created.”