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School plea to parents to help with maths teacher shortage

The headteacher of a school in Edinburgh said there was a 'national shortage' in the subject.

School: Letter written to parents.
School: Letter written to parents.

The headteacher of a school has appealed for parents' help over a shortage of maths teachers.

Bryan Paterson, headteacher at Trinity Academy in Edinburgh, said there was a "national shortage" of maths teachers.

A letter was sent to parents earlier this week in which the headteacher said some classes would have to share teachers.

He asked if parents could provide any "support" to the school but did not elaborate further.

In March this year, Blairgowrie High School in Perthshire also appealed for parents' help due to a shortage of maths teachers.

'If any parent can support us in any way, or knows anyone who might be able to do so, please contact me directly.'
Bryan Paterson, headteacher

Mr Paterson said in his letter: "I write to assure you that plans have been put into place to mitigate against the national shortage and to ensure that all classes are supported by mathematics ­teachers.

"Where necessary, maths teachers may also share some classes, particularly in S1-S3, with colleagues from other faculties who have a mathematics background.

"Finally, if any parent can support us in any way, or knows anyone who might be able to do so, please contact me directly."

Councillor Ian Perry, education convener for Edinburgh city council, said the shortage would be temporary.

'In common with many Scottish local authorities vacancies in maths are more difficult to fill.'
Cllr Ian Perry, education convener

He said: "In common with many Scottish local authorities vacancies in maths are more difficult to fill.

"We want to reassure parents that we are working very closely with the school to support them over this temporary shortage and to minimise any disruption to the pupils' learning.

"Our priority remains ensuring that the curriculum continues to be delivered to the highest possible standard."

The Scottish Conservatives said the shortage was a "scandal" while Scottish Labour said schools were facing a "workforce crisis."

A Scottish Government spokesman said: "It is good that Trinity have sought to provide reassurances on the actions taken to address their current circumstances, and teaching and learning for our young people must always be of paramount importance.

"Although teacher recruitment is a matter for local authorities, we recognise some recruitment challenges remain."

The spokesman continued: "This year alone we have invested £88m so every school can access the right number of teachers.

"We have worked with local authorities to increase teacher numbers, with an additional 253 this year - and we have increased the funding and places for our universities to recruit trainee teachers."

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