Greenock and Inverclyde MSP Stuart McMillan has backed an innovative new Scottish Government proposal to develop teachers of the future.
Over £1 million from the Scottish Government Attainment Scotland Fund is to be directed towards getting new teachers into the classroom more quickly for priority Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects.
Other proposals include:
- Targeted help for former teachers looking to return.
- The development of teachers able to work in both primary and secondary.
- Fast track routes combining post-graduate education with the probation year.
- Offering more joint degrees in teaching and specialist subjects such as chemistry.
The plans, which will bring more than 200 new teachers into the profession, have been put forward by the Scottish Council of Deans of Education and are aimed at helping tackle teacher recruitment challenges being experienced in some subjects in certain parts of the country.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney has revealed the plans on a visit to the University of Dundee. He said:
“Teachers are the bedrock of Scotland’s education system and I want to ensure we do everything we can to attract talented graduates to a career in teaching. The quality of teaching is key to helping pupils achieve and to our aspiration of closing the attainment gap.
“These innovative proposals are designed to do just that while, crucially, maintaining the traditionally high standard of teaching in Scotland.”
Commenting, Stuart McMillan MSP said:
“This is exactly the sort of collaborative approach we need if we are to realise our ambition of achieving excellence and equity in Scottish education.
“Flexibility is crucial when trying to attract new people into the teaching profession and to address the issue of teacher shortages. The Scottish Government will not change the standard we expect new recruits to attain before they become fully-fledged teachers, but is determined to broaden the routes into the classroom and speed up the process, which will benefit schools in Inverclyde.
“Investing in the skills, knowledge and confidence of our teachers is crucial. By offering more joint degrees in specialist subjects, developing teachers to work in both primary and secondary schools, whilst maintaining the same high standard of qualification, will ensure that we have highly qualified and empowered staff.”