Summit to tackle teacher shortages

Aberdeenshire Council is to take part in a cross borders emergency summit in Aberdeen next month addressing teacher shortages.

Joining Aberdeenshire Council will be: Aberdeen City; Highland; Shetland Islands; Moray, and Orkney Councils at Aberdeen’s Beach Ballroom.

The meeting, which takes place on Wednesday 7th October, aims to “find a resolution to teacher recruitment and retention in the North and North-east of Scotland” a spokesperson said.

They added: “Our teachers are doing a remarkable job.

“The challenge we face in the North-east is that we are unable to retain sufficient numbers of high quality teachers to provide the best possible education for our young people.”

Scottish Government ministers are among those invited to participate in the meeting.

It has been convened to “enable key stakeholders to engage with Scottish Government Ministers and other agencies on the issue and understand the root causes”.

The task force will explore what can be done at a local and national level at a time when there are “ an unprecedented low number of applicants ”.

Suggestions have already been proposed ahead of the summit. These include: establishing a national campaign to promote teaching, and to reduce the emphasis on raw numbers and focus on teacher/pupil ratios locally.

Aberdeenshire Council have already tried ways of encouraging teachers to come to the area.

A Golden Hellos initiative was introduced where teachers relocating in the ward could get a cash incentive up to £8000.

They also introduced the Distance Learning Initial Teacher Education programme, where members of the council could move into teaching as part of University of Aberdeen course. 15 people qualified to teach in its first year.