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Teacher Recruitment In Highland - Council Debate 6 August 2020

6th August 2020

Paper presented to the Education committee, Highland council on 6 August 2020.

Most posts filled but some posts to be advertised in August.


Purpose/Executive Summary


This report provides an update to Members on the current position regarding teacher recruitment following the report provided to the Education Committee on 2 July and to provide details of the plans to move forward with, in particular the recruitment to promoted teaching posts across Highland.


Following the statement made by the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills (John Swinney), regarding the progress towards reopening schools and the commitment to provide new ring-fenced funding of "£50 million specifically for the recruitment of additional teachers and support staff for the academic year 2020-21" information is provided on the initial plans to utilise this funding, when the final distribution of this funding is known in the format of a formal grant notification from the Scottish Government.




Members are asked to note:

i. the position regarding the appointment of main grade primary and secondary teachers to date;

ii. the position regarding the planned recruitment activity to be undertaken during August; and

iii. the initial plan for the use of proposed additional funding for the recruitment of teaching and support staff to assist with education recovery, subject to the confirmation of grant funding.




Resource: There are no additional resource implications regarding the routine recruitment to teaching staff as these posts are within the devolved school management budget for each school, calculated on projected schools rolls for August

Agenda Item


Report No




2020. Any additional recruitment agreed to assist with education recovery will be based on funding confirmed and received from the Scottish Government.


Legal: No implications to highlight.


Community (Equality, Poverty and Rural): It is important that careful consideration is given to the allocation of additional staffing taking these factors into account. The proposed national distribution formula will be partly based on a depravation factor which is linked to free school meals uptake. However, this measurement does not wholly reflect the challenges faced across rural Highland communities.


Climate Change / Carbon Clever: No implications to highlight.


Risk: A sudden recrudescence of the Covid-19 outbreak could result in a postponement of the re-opening of schools, however it would be pertinent to continue with plans to recruit to all posts which would be required to support continued quality on-line learning.


Gaelic: No specific implications to highlight.


Context and Current Position


Background: Following a pause in recruitment between March and May due to the closure of schools and the challenges presented by Covid-19, a decision was made to move forward with recruitment to main grade teaching posts across both Primary and Secondary schools during June.


Appointment of Additional Teacher/Support Staff: At the time of writing, the distribution of the announced £50m that the Deputy Frist Minister has identified to assist with education recovery has yet to be confirmed. Planning has begun as to how additional teaching/support resources could best be used when eventually made available. The Service will work in collaboration with Head Teachers and union colleagues to further develop this plan as soon as possible. The intention is to target any additional resources received towards numeracy, literacy, health and wellbeing and the new attainment gap. As soon as priorities and distribution of this additional resource for Highland schools is confirmed, the service will move swiftly to make appointment to teachers, through a process of internal recruitment to teachers in the system, including newly qualified teachers and supply teachers who may not to date have secured a post. Any confirmed additional funding will also be utilised to provide part-time staff with the opportunity to work additional hours in response to local needs.


Primary Teacher Staffing: There were 38 main grade teaching posts advertised during June internally to current staff, including newly qualified teachers and supply teachers. Head Teachers carried out on-line interviews and made appointments to all posts, as fixed term contracts for the duration of next session (where appropriate).


Gaelic Medium Primary Staffing: 18 Gaelic Medium posts were advertised externally on a permanent basis (where appropriate) to attract newly qualified teachers, supply teachers and those from out with the area to apply. Applications were received for all but 2 posts and appointments were made in most cases with


supply cover being arranged to cover any vacancies. Where it was not possible to make appointments, the posts will be re-advertised in August.


Secondary Teacher Staffing: There were 61 vacancies for main grade secondary subject teachers recently advertised internally across Highland schools. These vacancies were open to all current teachers, including newly qualified teachers and supply teachers. Applications were received for all but 8 posts, appointments were made on a permanent basis where appropriate to most posts. Where it was not possible to make an appointment, these posts will be re-advertised in August.


Probationer Teacher Allocation: As part of the national Teacher Induction Scheme, 44 Primary and 41 Secondary probationer teachers were allocated to Highland council and placed in schools in consultation with Head Teachers, as part of their staffing requirements. Each probationer will be allocated a mentor and will have one day of non-teaching time out of class during their induction year, they will be supported by the Probation Support Office who will lead an on-line induction on Friday 7 August.


Promoted Posts: It has proved extremely challenging to move forward with recruitment to promoted posts during the lockdown period. Area Education Managers have agreed interim arrangements, including delaying retirements where Head Teachers have indicated a willingness to do this and continuing with acting arrangements, to ensure that appropriate leadership and management is provided to each school. A decision has now been made to move forward with recruitment of promoted posts including Head Teachers, Depute Head Teachers and Principal Teacher vacancies. It should be noted that not all these posts are currently vacant with some retirements having yet to take place.


Posts to be advertised: Posts will be advertised externally on ‘myjobscotland' the on-line platform used by all local authorities and in the Times Educational Supplement, in print and on-line to maximise exposure of these posts nationally and encourage applications from out with the Highland Council area. It should be noted that, of the 16 Head Teacher posts to be advertised, four of these posts are currently being covered by the substantive post holders who have delayed their retirement/resignation, the other 12 Head Teacher posts are being covered by acting appointments including two Depute Head Teachers from within the school who have stepped-up.

A summary of the promoted teaching posts to be advertised are detailed in the table below:

Post Title

Number of posts to be advertised

Head Teacher

16 Primary (includes 4 re-adverts), 2 3-18 schools (includes 1 re-advert)

Depute Head Teacher

2 Primary, 4 Secondary, 1 Special

Principal Teacher

4 Primary, 7 Secondary, 1 Special


Details of individual posts have been provided to Area Managers for to allow for discussion at a local level.



Conclusions and Next Steps


It is planned to advertise vacant teaching posts during the first week of session and to consult with Head Teachers and union partners on best use of additional funds received and move forward swiftly to recruit to these posts.

Designation: Chief Executive

Date: 3 August 2020

Author: Anne MacPherson, Workforce Planning and Staffing Manager

The Education committee meeting on 6 August 2020 starts at 10.30pm and can be viewed live online or later in archive -