Teacher workforce planning for Scotland’s schools



The Education and Skills Committee looked into the recruitment and retention of teachers for Scotland’s schools

This included asking:

  • What are the main challenges in relation to teacher recruitment and retention?
  • Do you have views or insight into the process for recruiting the right number of teachers to satisfy the demand for teachers in Scotland’s schools (including the availability of up to date information such as on supply and demand)?
  • What are the factors that influence whether teaching is considered an attractive profession compared to other professions by those that might consider a career in teaching?
  • Are there patterns or key reasons why some trainee teachers do not complete courses, or do not choose to go into teaching having qualified? 
  • What is the impact of teacher shortages in certain parts of Scotland or in specific disciplines? 
  • How effective are the various approaches taken to cover shortages of teachers in schools?
  • What factors influence teachers deciding whether to stay in the profession or to leave? and
  • What factors influence teachers when deciding whether or not to apply for promotion to senior management/headteacher level?   

Your Views

The Committee sought views on teacher workforce planning received submissions and responses to questionnaires.  The deadline for submissions has passed and the responses can be found below.


The Committee invited comments from organisations on teacher workforce planning and received a number of submissions.

Local authorities

Universities and academics

Trade unions

Other organisations

The following additional responses were from individuals who appeared as witnesses at the Committee.

The following are late submissions.

Questionnaire responses

The Committee invited comments through questionnaires on teacher workforce planning and received a  high number of responses. These responses are collated in the documents below and a summary of the questionnaire responses has been produced by SPICe. 

The following documents are of questionnaires received on or before the deadline.

The following documents are of questionnaires received after the deadline.       

Focus group

On the 17th May 2017 the convener and a further member of the committee attended a focus group and heard the views of teachers, trainee teachers and school support staff on workforce planning for schools. The following documents contains the notes from the focus group.


The Convener wrote to the General Teaching Council Scotland and to the Universities that provide Teacher Education courses in Scotland to seek further information on the content and structure of courses and also assurances that some subject matter is being covered in courses and in a manner that prepares students for the classroom. The correspondence is in the documents below.

The following are the responses to the letters sent by the Convener on the 12 May 2017.

The Convener wrote to the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills regarding the Government’s intention to tender for a new route into teaching.

Initial Teacher Training

The Convener received correspondence from the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills regarding Initial Teacher Training

The Committee received correspondence regarding Teacher Workplace planning from with planning diagram from the Learning Directorate.

The Convener received correspondence from the GTCS regarding statistical information

The Convener received correspondence from SFC  with further information after evidence session of 24 May 2017


The Committee published its report on this inquiry on 1 September 2017.

Responses to the report.

The Convener wrote to the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, the SQA and Education Scotland regarding considerations arising from the Teacher workforce planning for Scotlands Schools report responses.

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