Aggressive pupils and high workloads blamed for teachers snubbing Dundee schools

The council has seven posts advertised at Grove Academy

Aggressive pupils and excessive workloads are being blamed for teachers not wanting to work in Dundee — leaving 18 vacant posts.

The Tele can reveal that Dundee City Council is still trying to fill the positions a month after pupils went back to school.

It is understood that three head teacher posts in the city also remain unfilled, with depute heads covering the positions.

David Baxter

David Baxter of the EIS said the union was “extremely concerned” about the situation.

He said: “From what we are hearing from members, aggression and bullying towards teachers in city schools by pupils, as well as excessive workloads, is resulting in teachers not applying for jobs in Dundee.

“Word spreads and teachers know which schools they will face problems in. Teachers do not want to have to face aggressive pupils when they go to work.

“It has become apparent that little effort has been made by Dundee City Council to resolve these issues.

“Teachers are telling us they would rather go to schools in other areas where there are not the same problems. The EIS will continue to lobby the city council to tackle aggressive pupils.”

Mr Baxter said that the council also needs to deal with the excessive work he says teachers are having to cope with.

He said: “There are currently 18 teaching jobs advertised in the city but in reality I believe there are actually very many more unfilled posts.

“It is also of concern the lack of supply teachers. I am aware that the council is constantly contacting retired teachers to ask if they are prepared to go on the supply list.”

Georgia Cruickshank, Labour’s spokeswoman for education, said she was concerned the effect the lack of teachers at primary and secondary schools was having on education.

She said: “If the council is serious in wanting to close the attainment gap in Dundee, something needs to be done to fill vacant posts.

“It is the education of our children that is suffering by the inability to fill these vacancies.”

Posts advertised in Dundee include seven at Grove Academy, two at Harris, one at Morgan, as well as at primary schools including Eastern and St Ninian’s RC.

Teachers are sought for a variety of subjects, including business studies, physical education and maths.

But children and families services convener Gregor Murray said: “The situation is Dundee is far better than in other authorities.

“There is a national shortage within some subject areas, and this will take time to fix — but our officers are working extremely hard to fill every post we have.

“We are doing better than in previous years and better than other councils around and about.

“For this reason, I entirely reject Mr Baxter’s comments, as the evidence just isn’t there to back that up.”