Greens reveal cost of proposed teacher training scheme

Figures produced by the Scottish Greens reveal that it will be significantly more expensive to produce new teachers under a charity’s fast-track scheme, thought to be under consideration by the Scottish Government, than via existing university courses.

The research, that includes a Scottish Government response to a Freedom of Information request, shows that it costs £8,113 to train a teacher on a postgraduate course and £32,452 via a four year course at a Scottish university, compared to £38,200 with Teach First in England, the controversial social enterprise charity the government reportedly wants to emulate in Scotland.

Ross Greer, the Scottish Greens’ education spokesperson, says the problems facing schools will only be solved “by reversing the budget and staff cuts”, not through Teach First.

West of Scotland MSP, Ross Greer said:

“It doesn’t make sense for the government to needlessly squander resources on a training scheme which is more expensive and less comprehensive than existing university courses, particularly at a time when schools are already facing significant resource constraints.

“All is not well in Scotland’s schools and the government should stop pretending that no damage has been done after a decade of budget cuts. Every penny in the budget is therefore even more valuable and it would ludicrous for the government to fork out more money to train individuals who will be less qualified and prepared for the classroom than their university graduate counterparts, especially given that Teach First teachers have the lowest long term retention rates in England.

“One of the main problems facing Scottish education is the loss of 4,000 teachers since the SNP first came to power in 2007 and only by reversing the budget and staff cuts will we see a significant improvement in this looming crisis. It won’t be solved by giving teachers more administrative functions and less preparation time and support, nor will it be solved by quick-fixes like Teach First.”