Councils across Tayside and Fife are casting their net far and wide in an effort to fill vacant teaching posts.
Almost 90 vacancies exist across the regions, with thousands of pupils likely to find temporary teachers behind desks when they return next week.
The situation is the result of a national teaching shortage that has madequalified staff a hot commodity, with many receiving job offers from multiple councils.
In an effort to address the shortage, a number of steps have been taken by councils, beginning with askinggraduates without teaching qualifications to consider new careers.
There has also been widespread advertising across the UK and Ireland, while job graduates and experienced teachers have been targeted in Germany to meet demand for the secondarysubject.
In many areas, however, the hiring of staff has stalled and further effortswill have to be made during term time with supply teachers in place in the meantime.
During the past year there wasconcern in some schools in Dundee where teachers had to take on dual roles by taking classes in which they had no familiarity with subjects.
Dundee City Council still has 28 posts to fill 13 in primary and 15 at secondary schools.
“This is not ideal and obviously we want to see all these posts filled as swiftly as possible,” said the city’s education convener Councillor Stewart Hunter.
“This is a national issue, and with all councils trying to get teachers many have had more than one option.
“Had every teacher taken the jobwe have offered them then we have largely addressed this problem but unfortunately that has not happened.
“We will continue working to try and get teachers in and will try to increase our supply pool until we can providefull-time staff.”
Mr Hunter added: “We have made huge strides since the end of the year, but as a parent myself with two children at school I can understand why this may be worrying.”
He added: “We are very fortunate that we have such fantastic staff, many of whom go well above and beyond the call of duty.”
Perth and Kinross Council, which has 11 primary teaching positions and eight secondary posts vacant, said it wascontinuing to seek new ways to fill the vacancies. They include offeringcurrent (non-teaching) employees with a degree the opportunity to make a change in their career and learn to be a teacher.
Fife schools are seeking five staff tofill primary school posts and ninesecondary teachers, having hadconsiderable success in providing a full complement of teachers.
Councillor Bryan Poole said: “The filling of teacher vacancies is an on-going process and this is constantly changing.
“Given that Fife Council has a teacher workforce of around 3,500, and there is a national shortage of teachers, I think Fife is looking not too bad.”
It has sought staff in Ireland andGermany through campaigns.Angus Council has yet to fill sixprimary vacancies and 19 secondary posts, with providing music instructors one of the greatest challenges.