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MSP welcomes plans to boost rural teacher numbers in Aberdeenshire


By Kirsty Brown

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Scottish Conservative MSP for Aberdeenshire West, Alexander Burnett, has welcomed plans by party leader Douglas Ross to boost rural teacher numbers across the north-east.

The Scottish Conservatives recently unveiled their schools plan to recruit 3,000 more teachers across Scotland and help reverse cuts in teacher numbers.

In Aberdeenshire, between 2010 and 2019 there was a drop of 26 teachers working in schools across the region from 2,741 to 2,715, looking after almost 21,000 pupils.

Under the party’s plans, £30 million would be set aside to incentivise the recruitment of rural teachers across Scotland, while early career support would also be given to them and a scheme would be created to allow prospective teachers to study qualifications in their home communities.

Commenting Mr Burnett said: “Our rural schools across Aberdeenshire have continually faced problems to recruit staff that simply aren’t faced in our urban and central belt areas.

“In the 13 years they have been in power, the SNP Government simply haven’t done enough to tackle teacher shortages in Aberdeenshire. As a result, there’s been a huge drop in the number of teachers now working in our schools.

“The Rural Teacher Fund is a commitment from the Scottish Conservatives to increase teacher numbers in the north-east and ensure that pupils in Aberdeenshire can have the same opportunities that children in central belt postcodes get.

“The SNP have neglected our rural communities and the Scottish Conservatives, led by Douglas Ross, are determined to put that right.”



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