A chronic shortage of specialist teachers is preventing some north-east youngsters from taking the Stem subjects they are passionate about.
New figures have revealed that more than one-quarter of Aberdeen’s technical teacher posts and 10% of its maths positions are currently unfilled.
And while most are able to cope, some schools have been forced to restrict the curriculum options they can pass onto students.
Harlaw Academy, which requires new biology, chemistry, physics and maths teachers, has had to limit the number of junior students able to sit these subjects.
Meanwhile, Hazlehead Academy has had to limit the number of pupils in its design and technology classes.
Efforts have been made to make teaching a more attractive profession and lure new educators to the region.
In recent years Aberdeen City Council has offered “generous” relocation packages and embarked on extensive advertising campaigns in the hope of more school staff.
But the EIS union has said wider changes are needed to prevent this work from going to waste.
Joint secretary for the Aberdeen branch, Ron Constable, said: “Aberdeen City Council has made significant efforts to recruit teachers to the city and there has been some reduction in vacancies compared with this time last year.
“However, the vacancies in design and technology and maths only highlight the difficulty in filling vacant posts.
“A growing number of experienced teachers are choosing to leave the profession early and not enough new teachers are coming into the system.
“In order to make teaching an attractive career option, issues such as severe workload, additional support needs and health and wellbeing must be addressed.”
A city council spokesman said: “We continue to take positive action to address the challenges of recruitment.
“These include generous relocation packages, a social media campaign to support recruitment processes and working successfully for the first time with two agencies to try to help us fill hard to reach posts.”
Issues have also been experienced in Aberdeenshire, albeit to a lesser extent.
Several schools have reported “struggles” in recruiting for certain specialisms, but most said there has been little impact.
Peterhead Academy has been unable to offer the Advanced Higher Chemistry course, while Aboyne Academy said it had to “streamline” its offerings after being without a technical teacher for a year.
An Aberdeenshire Council spokeswoman said: “The vast majority of our schools are offering the full complement of Stem courses.”
She pointed to a number of approaches it is using to find more school staff including distance learning, schemes with universities in Aberdeen and Inverness and social media advertising.
Ongoing teacher shortage
Councils are being forced to pay millions of pounds every year to mitigate the effects of the ongoing teacher shortage.
While the number of trained educators is continually rising, with steady streams of school-ready teachers from universities across the country, difficulties have been reported in recruiting and retaining them.
Unions say the profession is less appealing than others due to a comparatively low salary and a lack of career progression.
It means that, as well as trying to find new teachers, local authorities also have to divert funds to stump up for supply cover to fill the gaps.
Complaints have also been raised regarding the “excessive” workload many find placed upon them.
A survey by the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) earlier this year found that more than three-quarters of classroom staff felt stressed either “frequently “ or “all of the time”.
The union described the combination of “soaring workload and declining pay” as a “toxic combination” and called for further intervention and investment to solve the issue.
However several initiatives have been implemented by the Scottish Government to attract new entrants to the profession.
It has increased recruitment targets, created new routes to make it more flexible and practical for people to re-train as a teacher and launched a number of marketing campaigns to encourage people to consider the career.