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Scottish election 2021: Lib Dem plan to keep new teachers in ‘hard to fill’ vacancies

Lib Dems want more support for new teachers.

New teachers should be given longer contracts to help fill vacancies across the north and north-east, Lib Dems claim.

The party makes the call in its Holyrood election manifesto, we can reveal.

The new contracts would include the option of extending from one to three years for probationers.

Lib Dems also say they would expand remote teacher training opportunities, if they were in power at the Scottish Parliament.

Regions including the Highlands and Aberdeenshire have struggled to fill all posts and keep people in the communities once the contract is over.

‘Better opportunity’

Rosemary Bruce, a party candidate in the North East region, said: “Our plan for new three-year packages will remove the normal end-of-probation precariousness that many new teachers dread.

“It will also give people a better opportunity to build a life in that community, which should encourage more people to make their posting long-term.

Liberal Democrats teachers
Rosemary Bruce.

“At the same time, if someone is settled in a community and could be persuaded into a career as rewarding as teaching, they shouldn’t have to relocate to take that up.

The pandemic has shown the possibility and opportunity of remote working. We want to make the most of that, by setting up more remote teacher training opportunities.

“From our Education Bounce Back plan to our ambitious plans to fix the jobs crisis and tackle the climate emergency, Scottish Liberal Democrats have a positive plan to put recovery first. There is a chance for change, if we work without distraction.”

Transport goals

Meanwhile, Lib Dems in the northern isles set out what they want from the next government.

If in power, the party would set up a universal public transport ticket system for buses, trains and ferries across Scotland. And they want to extend free bus travel for young people to include ferry links. They would also scrap car parking charges at Sumburgh airport.

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