'Give all new teachers jobs' call

02-08-2005

Wales's largest teaching union has called for all newly-qualified teachers to be given jobs. NUT Cymru said urgent action was needed to stop them leaving the profession because they could not find work.

It said there had been improvements, with new teachers able to work as short-term supply staff.

The assembly government said a review of need for teachers was under way, including examining the possibility of a guaranteed post in induction year.

Union secretary Gethin Lewis argued that improvements were still needed, such as matching new teachers with the needs of individual schools.

"The present situation is still just not good enough," Mr Lewis said.

"It is unfair to the hundreds of newly-qualified teachers coming out of colleges in Wales with no hope of finding a permanent post in a school in Wales.

"The Welsh Assembly Government pays for the training of many more teachers than are employed by Welsh schools.

"The result is a very large number of demoralised young people who feel that they have been misled into taking a teaching qualification because, when they start looking for a first teaching post, the jobs are just not there..

"A start has been made, but it is not enough," added Mr Lewis.

"A radical re-think is necessary in the interests of the Welsh Assembly Government and, most importantly, in the interests of those being trained to become teachers.

"NUT Cymru proposes that the Welsh Assembly Government should, as a matter of urgency, consider guaranteeing newly-qualified teachers trained in Wales a teaching post so that they can complete their statutory induction year."

Mr Lewis said the union's view was that, if newly-qualified teachers did not get a contract for a teaching post within a short period of leaving college, it was unlikely they will be able to become teachers.

"NUT Cymru believes that the present situation is unacceptable, unsustainable, wasteful of human and financial resources and deeply unfair to the newly qualified teachers and schools of Wales," he added.

An assembly government spokesperson said the number of teachers needed in the future was being covered by a review of initial training.

That review would consider current training provision and "advise on how it may more effectively meet the current and future needs of maintained schools in Wales".

"The review's terms of reference say that if it considers appropriate, the review should recommend whether the assembly should consider studying, as a separate exercise, the issues that might surround the introduction of a guaranteed post in which to complete their induction year," said the assembly government.

"We look forward to receiving the review report later this year."

BBC News

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