When Moray Labour held the education portfolio in the Moray Council we secured the greatest investment in school buildings and estates, in real terms, in the history of the Council’s history. That legacy can be seen today in the new and renovated school buildings in every community in Moray.

However, the present Council Administration’s failures to adequately staff these schools is a betrayal of that legacy. Moray presently has 33 vacancies for teachers5 – vacancies which are proving increasingly difficult to fill. To lay the blame entirely on the Council Administration, however, would be unfair. The root cause of the problem is the failure of the Scottish Government to adequately train sufficient teachers to fill vacancies, and their failure to provide support for more remote authorities to attract teachers to their area.

Insofar as the Council is concerned, we believe that more needs to be done to identify prospective teachers locally. Support and information should be made available to encourage people who live and work locally to retrain as teachers. In particular, we believe that owing to the parlous state of the North Sea oil and gas sector, shortages in maths and science could be met by retraining highly skilled workers from the oil industry as teachers. More flexible ways to train as teachers should be encouraged, in particular for individuals who wish to change career, including options for part time study and on-the-job training. Moray Labour Councillors will propose the establishment of a scheme to encourage local people to train as teachers.

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