Colin Smyth MSP
Colin Smyth MSP

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has questioned the Scottish Government about why so few probationary primary teachers in Dumfries and Galloway managed to secure full time employment in the region.

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament during a question session on education recently, Colin Smyth asked Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills Shirley-Anne Somerville “what proportion of 2021 graduate probationary primary teachers have secured full-time employment in Scottish state schools after completing their probation”.

The local MSP continued: “Primary teachers who carry out their probation in Dumfries and Galloway have one of the lowest rates of permanent employment.

“Only three teachers—just 6 per cent—of the 2020-21 cohort secured a permanent teaching position.

“One of the many teachers who is stuck on the supply list wrote to me and said: ‘Myself like many others have worked hard to get to where we are. Teachers are feeling very unvalued at the moment and so many are currently looking at leaving the profession. I feel like my life is on hold and I cannot plan for the future. Do you think this is fair?’

“Cabinet secretary, there is a problem across Scotland, especially in rural areas.

“What additional steps will the Government take to support local authorities, particularly in rural areas, to fill teaching vacancies and enable those newly qualified teachers to pursue the career that they want? My constituent is right to say that it is not fair.”


Speaking after the session, Colin Smyth added: “It is time that the Scottish Government stopped ignoring this serious issue and started supporting councils, especially rural councils like Dumfries and Galloway, to fill teacher vacancies.”

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