Number of teachers under 60 leaving classrooms 'deeply worrying'

The number of teachers over the age of 40 leaving classrooms in Scotland is been described as deeply concerning.

Since 2004, there has been a reduction of 4,000 in the number of teachers across the country.

But there is real concern that around 12,000 teachers between the age of 43 and 60 have left the profession early.

Parents in Fife have raised concerns in the past around staff shortages as it's impacting on what subjects their kids can choose at school.

Mid Scotland and Fife MSP and former teacher Liz Smith said: "These statistics are deeply worrying in terms of the numbers of the most experienced teachers leaving the profession and leaving it early. 

"Most worrying are the high numbers leaving in their early fifties when, in previous generations, there was a much higher rate of retention.

"It is this retention issue which is as much a concern as the fall in the number of teachers in our schools which has taken place while the SNP has been in power.

"There are some encouraging signs of increased recruitment in the younger years but that does not compensate for the huge loss of older and more experienced teachers.

"This loss ties in with the difficulties of recruiting heads and deputy heads - something that is worrying both local authorities and the teaching unions.

"There is a clear need for the SNP to investigate why older teachers are leaving the profession, and taking with them much needed experience, and tackle this growing problem.

"So much for Nicola Sturgeon's top priority.

"The SNP must reduce the burdens on teachers and focus on retaining more of these teachers which would in itself tackle the current teacher deficit."

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