Councils should be fined for missing teacher targets, says EIS

The Education Institute of Scotland (EIS) is calling for Scottish local authorities to be fined for failing to meet targets for teacher numbers.

The union claims some councils have been ‘ambivalent’ towards their commitment to maintain teacher numbers.

National teacher numbers have been maintained in Scotland, but the EIS claims this is due to 22 local authorities meeting or exceeding targets, while ten failed to meet their individual agreements. The union claims this is particularly disappointing as an extra £51 million of additional funding was allocated for the specific purpose of maintaining teacher supply.

As a result, the EIS suggests the Scottish government could now fine these authorities who have failed to meet targets under the terms of their agreements.

Larry Flanagan, EIS General Secretary, said: "It is profoundly disappointing that ten local authorities, having signed agreements and accepted additional funding, have failed on their teacher number commitments. It should not be forgotten that a total of £51 million in additional funding, from the Scottish Government, was allocated to local authorities for the specific purpose of maintaining teacher numbers.

"Clearly, there are challenges to be overcome on teacher recruitment in some parts of the country, such as in rural and remote areas. But there is simply no excuse for councils where these recruitment challenges do not exist, including some notable large authorities in the central belt, for failing to meet their obligations on teacher numbers.”