£3 million is being made available to train an extra 371 teachers in Scotland next year.
This increase in places at Scotland’s teacher education universities will bring the total intake in 2017/18 to 3,861, a rise for the sixth consecutive year.
It comes less than a week after the launch of the Scottish Government’s new teacher recruitment campaign which focuses on attracting teachers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney made the announcement at the Aberdeen Learning Festival. He said: “To give all our young people the best opportunity of success, we need to have the right number of skilled teachers in our schools.
“That is why we worked with local authorities to increase teacher numbers this year, with an additional 253 teachers in Scottish classrooms, and are upping student places for the sixth consecutive year.
“We know our student teacher targets are stretching which is why we are supporting universities to meet them through our new teacher recruitment campaign and £1 million from the Scottish Attainment Fund to develop new routes into the profession.
“I recognise that some councils have faced challenges with teacher recruitment. Today’s announcement is a further demonstration of the action this Government is taking to help them attract more people into teaching and widen the pool of available talent.”
Mr Swinney also urged former oil and gas workers to consider a career in teaching. He continued: “Our focus on STEM subjects means applications from people with skills and experience in the oil and gas industry will be welcomed. We have already supported 12 oil and gas workers retrain for a new career in teaching through our Transition Training Fund (TTF) and we are considering how this support might continue in future.”
The annual teacher workforce planning exercise leads to setting student teacher intake targets, based on projected pupil rolls. This is done in partnership with stakeholders including the teacher education universities, local authorities, teacher unions and the Scottish Funding Council.
The University of Aberdeen, University of Dundee, University of Edinburgh, University of Glasgow, University of Stirling, University of Strathclyde, University of the West of Scotland and the University of the Highlands and Islands are the eight providers of teacher training places.