Schools across Scotland are facing a sever teaching shortage.
Primary School pupils in Moray may be forced to attend part time due to a shortage of teachers, and a large number of staff on maternity leave or holiday.
The region currently has 40 vacancies for teachers, meaning that a scheme where pupils only attend on certain days could be implemented imminently.
It is not just Moray that is effected, earlier this year it emerged that a school in Glasgow had had 20 teachers for one class over four years. Schools in Edinburgh have had similar problems with retaining teaching staff pointing to a systemic shortage in qualified teacher.
In a letter to parents in Moray, signed by the council’s head of schools and curriculum development Vivienne Cross, parents were told: “Headteachers have tried a variety of different options to cover classes, including using Support for Learning teachers as well as promoted staff (where available) and themselves to ensure that classes have a teacher.
“Headteachers are working tirelessly to ensure that a full service provision is available. However, the situation has become so grave that a number of schools are at a point where they have to consider partial closure eg a year group or class may be asked not to attend on specific day(s).” Ms Cross added: “If you know of any primary school teachers who would be willing to come and work in Moray or be added to our supply list, please contact...”
A representative of Moray council linked the shortage to the SNP's policy of keeping rural schools open. Whilst there may be enough teachers in a region, the number of local schools means that a higher number of teaching staff are required per child.
Earlier this week the Economist published a piece on the increased use of video link teaching in the Scottish Islands. e-Sgoil (which means “e-School” in Gaelic) was founded in 2015 by the outer Hebrides council to broaden the number of subjects available to pupils and reduce teaching costs. Pupils taught by tele-teaching out performed their expected grades, councils on the mainland have been in touch and are increasingly considering it as an option.