Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Ruth Davidson: Boom and bust teacher recruitment has left Scotland with thousands of vacancies

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson.
Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson.

Boom and bust teacher recruitment has left Scotland with thousands of vacancies, according to Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson.

The accusation followed on from education secretary John Swinney’s admission cuts to teacher training places five years ago probably went too far at Holyrood’s education committee earlier this week.

Speaking at First Minister’s questions, Ms Davidson asked Nicola Sturgeon to admit her government had got things wrong.

She said: “It is quite simple: the Scottish National Party government did not listen to warnings from the chamber or from student leaders, who called for an end to boom and bust methods towards teacher training.

“First, it brought on too many trainees, with the consequence they ended up in dole queues and not in the classrooms.

“Then it cut the numbers too drastically, with the consequence we no longer have enough teacher – we have 4,000 fewer than when this government came to office.

“Will the first minister admit that, when it comes to the basic task of putting enough teachers into our classrooms, her government got it wrong?”

Ms Sturgeon said: “No. As those who were in parliament at the time – back in 2010 and 2011 – will recall, at that time we had a significant issue with teacher unemployment.

“It was thought we had a surplus of teachers coming out of the system, many of whom were struggling to get jobs, which is why we took the action that we did.

“Of course, in every one of the six years since then, we have seen an increase in the numbers of students going into teacher education – in fact, this year, we are seeing an increase in teacher training numbers of 371.”

Ms Sturgeon went on to highlight Scottish Conservative comments at the time calling for a review of teachers’ conditions.

She said: “I will tell the chamber who we did not listen to back in 2010: we did not listen to the Tories.

“They wanted us to slash teachers’ pay and conditions.”

Ms Davidson said the first minister must accept responsibility for poor workforce planning.

She said: “The line on education from this first minister seems to be we should forget about 10 years of failure, forget about the mess that the government has made and forget about the children who have been failed by it, and that she is the person to sort it out.

“If she is going to do that, she first has to admit the consequences of getting it wrong.

“She needs to admit that her government’s workforce planning has been disastrous and what that means.

Ms Sturgeon said: “The last point that I will make to Ruth Davidson is this: while I take absolute responsibility for everything this government does, over the next seven days, we need to make sure that we do not end up with another Westminster government that is taking action and making cuts that are likely to push an additional one million children across the United Kingdom into poverty.

“It will not help anyone to raise standards in our schools if we have a Westminster government pushing those children into conditions of poverty.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]

More from the Press and Journal Scottish politics team

More from the Press and Journal