Retired teacher-educator and former Associate Dean for Quality Assurance at the University of the West of Scotland, Dr John Robertson has reassured parents that Scotland’s schools are the best-equipped in the UK to help pupils recover from the effects of the pandemic.
As the General Teaching Council has indicated without any expression of concern, around 2 600 new teachers were awarded full registration in each of the last five years while only around 500 dropped or lost their registration. This is a healthy turnover, bringing much needed ‘new blood’ into the system.
Overall, Scotland’s schools are far better staffed than those in England with significantly more teachers in post per pupil:
The total number of full time equivalent teachers has risen to its highest figure since 2008, official statistics confirm. New figures have revealed that there were 53,400 teachers employed in early learning and childcare, primary, secondary and special schools or centrally employed.
This is 1,153 more than the 2019 total (52,247). Average class size in primary schools fell to their smallest since 2012, down to 23.1 from 23.5 in 2019. The 2020 pupil teacher ratio for all publicly funded schools was 13.3, an improvement on 2019 when it was 13.6.
The ratio in Primary schools is now 15.4 pupils to 1 teacher and in Secondary schools, 12.5 to 1.
- In state-funded primary schools, the PTR has remained at 20.9 in both 2018 and 2019 despite a continued increased in pupil numbers.
- In state-funded secondary schools, the PTR has risen from 16.3 in 2018 to 16.6 in 2019, continuing the trend of year-on-year increases seen since 2012.
Note, the English figures include unqualified teachers (!)
Now, whose fears were those?
Larry Flanagan of the EIS who was at Stirling University with Richard Leonard and Jamie Greene MSP (Con) are ‘concerned’ but what about the GTCS? Not so much as a wee worry expressed by them, unsurprisingly.