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Policy actions 2 of 5

Additional graduate commitment

We believe that children must have access to highly qualified staff with expertise in early childhood learning and development. This is particularly true for young children, who face the greatest disadvantages where additional support may be required to support our ambition to close the attainment gap.

For this reason we have committed to ensuring that, by 2018, nurseries in the most deprived areas will benefit from an additional graduate: either a teacher with early years expertise, or a graduate practitioner with, or working towards, the BA Childhood Practice award.

Allocation of graduates

We will require 435 additional graduates to deliver the commitment. This is based on Care Inspectorate data and the latest Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) which identify 432 nurseries located in the 20% most deprived postcode areas. We will also provide one additional teacher or graduate for the three local authorities without a nursery in the bottom 20%: Orkney, Shetland, and the Western Isles.

The table below shows how graduates will be allocated, based on each local authorities' share of the nurseries in the 20% most deprived postcode areas.

Local authority Number of additional graduates Local authority Number of additional graduates
Aberdeen City 6 Inverclyde 8
Aberdeenshire 6 Midlothian 3
Angus 3 Moray 2
Argyll & Bute 3 North Ayrshire 24
Clackmannanshire 7 North Lanarkshire 40
Dumfries & Galloway 10 Perth & Kinross 2
Dundee City 21 Renfrewshire 26
East Ayrshire 15 Scottish Borders 3
East Dunbartonshire 2 South Ayrshire 12
East Lothian 3 South Lanarkshire 26
East Renfrewshire 1 Stirling 5
Edinburgh, City of 20 West Dunbartonshire 11
Falkirk 8 West Lothian 19
Fife 28 Eilean Siar 1
Glasgow City 112 Orkney 1
Highland 6 Shetland 1

To ensure this commitment benefits as many children as possible, local authorities will have the flexibility to draw on their local data to prioritise how they allocate these additional places.

While the majority of graduates will be allocated to local authority nurseries/Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) settings, it is expected that local authorities will also identify and work with funded providers in the private and third sectors to deliver the commitment.

The vast majority of identified nurseries/ELC settings in each local authority area will receive a full-time equivalent graduate. However, in some remote and rural areas where class numbers are smaller and/or operating hours are shorter, it may be more appropriate to allocate a graduate over more than one setting.

Meeting the commitment

The commitment will be met through a combination of up-skilling current practitioners and recruiting already qualified teachers or those with, or working towards, recognised graduate level qualifications.

We will give up to £18 million to local authorities in 2018 to 2019 to enable them to pay the salaries of the additional graduates.

We have also expanded capacity within the further and higher education sectors to:

  • support 126 additional teacher training places from August 2017 to enable 100 additional teachers to be available for ELC settings by August 2018
  • support an additional 270 BA Childhood Practice places from August 2017

We are working closely with local authorities to implement this commitment.