FMQs: Angus deprived of new teachers amid SNP’s schools crisis, says Davidson

Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party Ruth Davidson MSP speaking following an urgent Statement by the First Minister on the Attack on Manchester. 23 May 2017. Pic - Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament

Scotland’s teacher crisis has been laid bare by the SNP’s failure to send enough newly qualified teachers to Angus, says Ruth Davidson.

The council requested 40 probationer teachers for its secondary schools but was allocated just 23 for the start of the school year, as reported in The Courier on Monday.

At First Minister’s Questions, Ms Davidson accused the SNP leader of failing to tackle teacher shortages.

As well as the shortfall of NQTs in Angus, the Tory MSP pointed to the struggle for school leaders to put teachers in classrooms in Perthshire and Edinburgh.

Earlier this year, Blairgowrie High School issued a plea to parents to help with the lack of maths teachers because of long-term vacancies there.

Trinity Academy in the capital sent a similar letter this week.

In a briefing paper for Angus’ children and learning committee last month, officials said there were 21 teacher vacancies in its secondary schools.

It added: “Angus Council requested 40 secondary probationer teachers from the Scottish Government and was allocated just 23.”

Ms Davidson said the SNP had overseen “10 years of failing children” by not addressing teacher shortages.

The Scottish Government provided an extra 231 probationers to schools this August than in the same month last year, Nicola Sturgeon said.

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