Skilled, confident teachers are vital to educate and inspire young people. We want to encourage people into teaching and to support continuous professional development and leadership habits from the start.
Some local authorities are facing challenges when it comes to teacher recruitment. We have raised funding for trainee teachers to increase teacher training numbers and run specific campaigns to encourage people to consider teaching as a profession.
We set up the Teacher Workforce Planning Advisory Group to forecast and advise on demand for teacher numbers and subsequent student places in universities.
Primary and secondary teacher recruitment
We run a teacher recruitment campaign and website - Teaching makes people - to attract high quality people into priority areas.
The campaign currently focuses on undergraduates in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), english and home economics subjects and to encourage professionals working in these areas to consider retraining.
Teacher shortages - UK Migration Advisory Committee
In June 2016, the UK Government asked the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to review whether there was a shortage of teachers in the UK, which it would be sensible to fill through non-European Economic Area (EEA) migration.
Local authorities are the employers of teachers in Scotland and therefore the benefit to them of teachers being included is that they can recruit from outside the EEA and they do not need to satisfy the Resident Labour Market Test (where employers need to prove that no other UK or EEA national could do the job).
We submitted a joint response with COSLA to the MAC's review in October 2016, with recommendations to 'maintaining maths, physics and chemistry teachers and including computer science, and design technology teachers on the Shortage Occupation List (UK and Scotland only).'
The Migration Advisory Committee Teacher Shortages in the UK report was published in January 2017.
New routes into teaching
We are supporting new routes into teaching to encourage more people to consider it as a career change. For example, encouraging employers to allow employees to retrain while working or through redefining the rules around teacher qualifications to allow secondary teachers to teach in primary schools. We are introducing a STEM bursary to encourage people to consider a career change,
Initial teacher education
All teacher education programmes in Scotland are university-led. There are two routes available to prospective primary and secondary school teachers: a four year undergraduate programme and a one year Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE).
We are taking action to ensure that all initial teacher education programmes, including student placements, are high quality, consistent and deliver appropriate content, particularly around literacy, numeracy, health, wellbeing and equality.
Initial teacher education: content analysis is a quantitative look at the number of hours dedicated to key curriculum areas within initial teacher education programmes.
The Teacher Induction Scheme is a programme for newly qualified, Scottish trained teachers which guarantees the offer of a one-year teaching post in a Scottish local authority. Teachers are allocated to one of five local authorities of their choosing. Teachers on the programme have a maximum class commitment time equal to 82% to that of a full-time teacher, allowing additional time to be devoted to professional development. All have access to the services of an experienced teacher as a mentor.
Following induction, teachers should be ready to gain full registration with the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS).
Professional development of teachers
An ethos of continuous improvement for teachers and support for leadership are a key part of supporting Curriculum for Excellence and ensuring that we raise attainment and close the attainment gap between pupils from different social backgrounds.
Teaching Scotland's Future (TSF), published in January 2011, outlined many areas for improving teacher education. Progress has been made in developing a spectrum of career-long professional learning for teachers including: revised teaching standards, mentoring guidance and revised professional review and development guidance.
The Scottish College for Educational Leadership (SCEL) supports leadership development at all levels. This will develop high performing leaders equipped to tackle the significant task of leading and managing in challenging and changing times and provides good examples of the ways in which teachers can engage in professional learning for leadership. The Scottish Framework for Educational Leadership supports this.
Head teacher recruitment
We will create a specific recruitment campaign for head teachers to encourage existing teachers to apply and continue their professional development.
Teachers' pay and conditions
Teachers' pay is negotiated by the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT) which comprises teaching organisations, local authorities and the Scottish Government. Negotiations begin once the unions have formally lodged their pay claims.
It should be noted this government was the first in the UK to commit to lift the 1% public sector pay cap, and the teachers' pay deal for 2017 to 2018 reflects this commitment. That deal also commits members of the SNCT to undertaking a strategic review of pay and reward to ensure teaching remains an attractive career. Find out more: Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers
Strategic Board for Teacher Education
The role of the Strategic Board for Teacher Education is to oversee and evaluate reform to teacher education since the publication of Teaching Scotland's Future. Find out more: Strategic Board for Teacher Education
The Teacher Panel is a represenative group of teachers set up to discuss Scottish education and to assess proposals for reducing workload in schools. Find out more: Teacher Panel.