New Scottish Government fund could be harming efforts to attract teachers to Moray

Moray Council's director of education and social care, Laurence Findlay, believes the recruitment situation in the region is improving.
Moray Council's director of education and social care, Laurence Findlay, believes the recruitment situation in the region is improving.

Extra funding, designed to break down barriers for children in poverty, could be harming efforts to recruit teaching staff in Moray.

Schools in the region have been awarded £1.3million by the Scottish Government as part of a pupil equity fund for the current academic year.

However, that total has been dwarfed by councils in the central belt with Glasgow given £21.6million, North Lanarkshire £8.8million and Edinburgh £7.4million.

Yesterday, Moray Council’s director of education and social care, Laurence Findlay, revealed larger authorities had focused their efforts on creating extra posts.

And the schools boss revealed the new jobs had adversely affected efforts in alleviating Moray Council’s classroom recruitment crisis.

He said: “Some local authorities are getting considerably more than us. There’s a proliferation of that in the central belt because it’s based on urban deprivation.

“Is it having an impact on recruitment? I think it is. These authorities are taking a lot more teachers, one is taking an additional 30 or 37 teachers through that funding.

“In conservation with our head teachers in the last couple of weeks, they have had people who have accepted a job in Moray and turned it down a week later because they have got a job [somewhere else] they think is more attractive where jobs have been created through the pupil equity funding.”

At the start of the academic year, Moray Council had 44 classroom vacancies across the region with primary school head teacher posts and sciences teachers in secondary schools proving the hardest to attract.

Money from the fund is directly allocated to head teachers on top of their existing budgets from the education department.

At yesterday’s meeting of the council’s children and young people’s committee, Speyside Glenlivet councillor, Derek Ross, was concerned to learn recruitment was being “skewed” by the Scottish Government fund.

Mr Findlay explained that a working group had already been set up at Holyrood to take account of rural poverty when calculating totals to be distributed.

He said: “A number of people are sitting round the table, including the head teacher of Elgin Academy, and they are looking at the current method of distribution.

“It’s in the very early stages and they will make recommendations in the future.”

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