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Extra funds to grow more teachers

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By Fiona Reid
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Extra funds to grow more teachers

A SCHEME aimed at creating new school teachers from within the region is receiving a funding boost.

But money for 30 training places through a local initiative comes too late to ensure Dumfries and Galloway Council does not lose £303,000 of funding — after failing to meet a deal with the Scottish Government to maintain teacher numbers.
Education committee chairman Councillor Jeff Leaver said: “I’m very pleased to hear that the University of the West of Scotland will receive funding for an additional 30 trainee teacher places — 20 for primary and ten for secondary.”
He added: “We have the second best teacher/pupil ratio in Scotland but recruiting teachers for a largely rural area is an ongoing challenge.
“Our ‘grow your own’ scheme is an innovative response that has been praised nationally and is deserving of additional funding.”
The Scottish Government has announced it is making £2 million available to train an extra 260 teachers next year.
As a result, the University of West of Scotland and Dumfries and Galloway Council programme will see its trainee places increased to 30 places — comprising 20 primary and ten secondary — up from just ten primary last year.
Announcing the funding, education secretary Angela Constance said: “We want to make sure we have the right number of skilled teachers in our schools to help all of our young people to succeed.
“That’s why we worked with local authorities to maintain teacher numbers this year and aim to do the same again next year, with a further £51 million funding.”
And the move has been welcomed by SNP MSP for the South of Scotland Aileen McLeod.
Dr McLeod said: “The council’s grow your own scheme is a good one and one thing I do think the current administration has got right. I am very pleased therefore that this year will see a very significant increase in the numbers of trainees in the scheme.”
She added: “This announcement is a clear demonstration that the Scottish Government is listening to local authorities and investing in specific local measures to tackle the particular problems with recruiting professionals which affect many rural areas of Scotland.”

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