MORE than 2,200 teaching posts have had to be re-advertised in the last three years because no-one could be found to fill them.

Figures show councils struggled to hire anyone in at least 2,275 cases since 2014.

It comes as Scotland continues to struggle to recruit enough teachers, with particular pressure on key subjects such as science and maths.

Loading article content

Critics said the latest statistics showed "an urgent need" to make teaching more attractive as a profession.

Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesman Tavish Scott called for an extra £500 million investment in education and a review of teachers’ terms and conditions.

He said: "Parents and pupils will be worried to learn that almost 2,500 teaching posts have had to be advertised on multiple occasions.

"There will be occasions when people do apply and subsequently do not take up the post forcing councils to re-advertise. However, there is no doubt that teaching posts across Scotland are proving stubbornly hard to fill.

"The impact of a decade of mismanagement by the SNP is clear. Teaching is an amazing and rewarding profession.

"But there is an urgent need to make it more attractive to both existing and potential teachers. That starts by having an honest conversation about how much they currently do.

"Every teacher knows support staff have been cut and their workload has increased. That is why the Education Secretary must now respond to our calls for a new independent root and branch review to ensure teachers have the conditions, numbers and support to match the demands placed upon them.

"There is also an opportunity for the Scottish Government to include in its budget an additional £500 million for education.

"It could help provide additional support in every classroom, benefitting pupils and teachers alike."

Figures released to the Scottish Liberal Democrats under Freedom of Information laws show that in the last financial year alone, 1,004 posts had to be re-advertised.

It comes after research by The Herald last summer showed there were more than 700 unfilled teacher vacancies before the start of term.

Earlier this week one leading expert said a rise in the number of pupils staying on at school until sixth year was heaping further pressure on over-stretched teachers.

Douglas Weir, emeritus professor of education at Strathclyde University, said staying on was not always the best option for pupils – and was also a drain on resources.

A Scottish Government spokesman said there had now been a rise in teacher numbers for two years running.

He said: “Although teacher recruitment is a matter for local authorities, we recognise some areas have faced challenges filling vacancies.

“This is why we have invested £88 million in 2017, resulting in 543 more teachers than last year – the second year in a row that there’s been an increase in teacher numbers.

“In Aberdeenshire, the number of teachers increased this year to 2,675 – the highest in over five years.

"We have taken decisive action to help recruit and retain teachers through our Teaching Makes People campaign, focusing specifically on attracting new teachers and career changers into STEM and other subjects.”