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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-12808: Michelle Ballantyne (South Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 17 November 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking in response to its recent figures suggesting that only 47% of the target number of student maths teachers for 2017-18 have been filled.

Answered by: John Swinney 23 November 2017

The Scottish Government is taking a range of actions to help increase the number of student teachers.

We have:

  • committed £88m this year to make sure every school has access to the right number of teachers with the right skills;

  • provided support to universities in developing new innovative routes into teaching;

  • recently announced STEM bursaries of £20,000 for career changers to train to become teachers of priority STEM subjects, which includes maths, starting in August 2018;

  • launched the second phase of our “Teaching Makes People” recruitment campaign on 30 August and

  • created a new route into teaching specifically designed to attract high quality graduates in priority areas and subjects. The tender exercise for this closed on 16 November and the evaluation process will commence shortly.

Student teacher numbers have risen by 7.5 per cent overall from 3,591 in 2016 to 3,861 in 2017. With these measures now in place we expect to see the number of people training as teachers continuing to rise.