AN MSP has expressed deep concern over the fall in the number of teaching graduates getting permanent jobs.
Wendy Alexander has highlighted new statistics from the General Teaching Council Scotland that show that the percentage of probationary staff who have obtained full-time permanent posts in 2009/10 has fallen to just 16.1 per cent – down from 60.3 per cent in 2004/05.
It means fewer than one in six teachers are getting a full-time permanent job.
A quarter of probationary teachers now have no teaching job at all.
MSP for Paisley North, Wendy Alexander MSP, said the figures showed the SNP government was “mismanaging” the education system.
She said: “These figures clearly show the damage being done to the education system due to the SNP’s mismanagement.
“Because the SNP has broken its promises on teacher numbers and class sizes, highly-trained, qualified teachers are being forced to look for work on a weekly or daily basis. Very few newly-wqualified teachers are obtaining permanent or even temporary employment.
“Both probationary teachers and children in the classroom lose out.
“Failure to appoint teachers to permanent posts deprives children of continuity in teaching.”
She added: “The SNP’s record on education is one broken promise after another.
“Fewer teachers, bigger classes, PE pledge missed, school meals pledge quietly dropped.
“Michael Russell was brought into the education job after his predecessor was sacked for her many failures. These figures clearly show his performance is worse not better.”
The figures also showed 35.6 per cent of newly-qualified teachers have found full-time work, either permanent or temporary, the same level as last year.
Education Secretary Michael Russell defended the government’s record and said the figures showed the proportion of post-probationary students in full-time teaching had stabilised.
He said: “The results of the GTCS survey provide further evidence that we have turned the corner as far as teacher unemployment is concerned.
“After falling for four consecutive years, the proportion of post-probationers in full-time teaching has now stabilised.
“This is consistent both with recent Job Seekers Allowance claimant figures being lower than this time last year and with the teacher census results showing that the loss of teaching posts is slowing down.
“While the steps we have taken to reduce the total number of unemployed teachers have clearly been effective, there is still more work to be done.
“Our recent agreement with CoSLA as part of the 2010 Spending Review will ensure there are sufficient teaching posts available for all probationers who successfully complete their probation in summer 2011 to apply for, as well as making further inroads into overall teacher unemployment levels.”