Teaching vacancies in some Dundee schools remain unfilled after almost two years, prompting a plea to ensure pupils are not disadvantaged.
Only one of eight posts advertised in February 2019 for additional support needs staff across the city was filled.
At Baldragon Academy recruitment of a craft, design and technology teacher advertised for in March 2019 was unsuccessful, as was Craigie High School’s search for a business studies teacher in May 2019.
Across the city’s secondary schools around 30 teaching posts advertised between February 2019 and June last year were unfilled, also including vacancies for maths, music and drama teachers.
Recruitment for a further nine jobs advertised between January and October last year continues.
The data was revealed in response to a freedom of information request made by the Scottish Conservatives.
North East MSP Bill Bowman urged the Scottish Government to do more to ensure pupils were not disadvantaged by a lack of subject choice as a result of staff shortages.
He said: “Under the SNP’s leadership, Dundee schools have been understaffed and this has continued into the pandemic with more and more pressure being put on our hardworking teachers.
“These figures highlight how difficult it is for Dundee schools to hire teachers for more niche subjects and it’s clear more funding needs to be put in place to assist with this.
“These figures highlight how difficult it is for Dundee schools to hire teachers for more niche subjects and it’s clear more funding needs to be put in place to assist with this.”
Bill Bowman, Conservative MSP for North East
“I’m concerned that the lack of action by the SNP, coupled with the struggles of the pandemic, will mean it’s not possible for pupils to study in all curriculum areas which disproportionately affects disadvantaged students.
“There are still nowhere near enough teachers to deliver the same high standard of schooling that was possible before the SNP came to power.”
He said the Scottish Conservatives’ rural teacher fund was a commitment to increasing teacher number in areas such as Dundee to ensure the same opportunities offered in the central belt.
However, Dundee City Council’s children and families service convener Stewart Hunter pointed to improving attainment levels, the appointment of additional teachers during the pandemic and the efforts of teaching staff.
He said: “Our schools work extremely hard to ensure that no pupil is disadvantaged and we support them in every way possible to achieve this.
“They also work creatively to deliver opportunities for our young people.
“The result of all of our school’s efforts and the efforts of all our staff is that our attainment levels, exam results and positive destinations continue to improve.
Our schools work extremely hard to ensure that no pupil is disadvantaged and we support them in every way possible to achieve this.”
Councillor Stewart Hunter, Dundee City Council
“Strangely, Mr Bowman has never congratulated our schools, staff and especially our young people for their achievements. I guess that doesn’t suit his political agenda.
“As an administration we are extremely appreciative of all our staff in our schools for all their hard work especially in the last year throughout the pandemic. Their efforts have been phenomenal and should not go unrecognised.
“We are also grateful for the additional funding that the Scottish Government has given us which has enabled us to employ additional teachers to support schools through these difficult times.
“They have made a significant contribution to helping our young people and their efforts should also not go unrecognised.”
The Scottish Government has been approached for response.