Council chiefs have attempted to play down growing concerns about a teacher shortage at Nairn Academy – while acknowledging that a region-wide recruitment problem persists.
The head of maths and computing, along with a computing teacher, left last October and have yet to be replaced, despite being advertised.
A source close to the school has described the staffing situation within the department as “chaotic.”
Education director Bill Alexander said: “Where there are schools that are over budget we’re having to consider the council’s capacity to fill vacant posts as they arise. But we also need to take account of the challenges around particular subjects.
“So, computing is a subject in Nairn where we recognise the priority and action is being taken to see if that is being addressed.
“Other posts in Nairn will also be recruited, but we can’t guarantee that we can fill every post in every school until the council has determined a balanced budget and until we know that all schools are operating within their budget.”
The council meets to set its 2016/17 budget next week.
Education chairman Drew Millar acknowledged a continuing teacher shortage across the region.
“It affects various subjects throughout Scotland and Highland,” he said. “It has been difficult to attract teachers to come to work in Highland.”
Nairn Provost Laurie Fraser, a member of the council’s independent-led minority administration, has heard the complaint from teachers and parents.
“It’s a Highland-wide problem, not just Nairn.” he said. “They’ve been trying to recruit but just cannot recruit anyone, anywhere.
“We knew 10 years ago that with pending retirements, half the teachers in Scotland were due for retiral. There was a big push on, four or five years ago, to get more people into the profession.
“The warnings were there, to give us time to avert a crisis. It’s hard to gauge how serious the situation is. Some schools will be able to cope, some won’t.”