How do you get a teaching job in Scotland?
All teachers in public sector schools in Scotland must hold a teaching qualification and be registered with the General Teaching Council of Scotland (GTCS). The Scottish Parliament recently passed legislation requiring all teachers in the independent sector to be GTCS registered. Teachers who qualified outside of Scotland are not automatically allowed to teach. You will need to apply for registration and may also be asked to undertake an initial period of probation. If you gained QTS without a PGCE, you will need to complete a PGCE top-up award, currently available through the University of Northampton.
The Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers agreed a pay and conditions package in October 2015. The salary scale for main grade teachers starts at £22,416 plus any payments made through the Preference Waiver Scheme, an incentive scheme explained in more detail below.
- Information on teaching salary scales is available from the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) teaching union.
Scotland’s Teacher Induction Scheme
On successful completion of a PGDE, graduates attain the Standard for Provisional Registration (SPR). To meet the Standard for Full Registration (SFR), graduates undertake a period of probationary teaching.
To ease the process of finding suitable probationer posts, the Scottish Government guarantees a one-year (190 teaching days) probationary placement on the Teacher Induction Scheme (TIS) for all eligible graduates in public sector schools. To be eligible for the TIS scheme, graduates need to have obtained a teaching qualification from a Scottish university and be a citizen of the European Union. Probationers in independent schools complete the Flexible Route (see below).
Probationers may be given a place in one of five preferred authorities they choose, or they may choose to go on the Preference Waiver Scheme. This scheme offers an £8,000 incentive payment to secondary teachers and £6,000 payment to primary teachers to undertake their probationary year in any authority the GTCS chooses.
The Flexible Route
If you're not eligible, do not wish to join the TIS, would prefer part-time work, are teaching in an independent school, or want to achieve full registration in a second subject the Flexible Route is another way to gain the Standard for Full Registration.
Completing probation in independent schools
In independent schools, probationers have access to a similiar experience to those completing the TIS. Due to the different alignment of the school year, probation can take up to 270 days to complete and probationers must find their own post. The Scottish Council for Independent Schools (SCIS) offers an extensive professional learning programme to probationers.
Probation through supply teaching and fixed-term contracts
If you’re undertaking the Flexible Route in public sector schools, it will be through supply work and fixed-term contracts. Length of probation service will vary and will be partly dependent on employment opportunities. Probationers may have different professional learning opportunities and support networks available to them.
For those on fixed-term contracts or long-term supply, the probation year should follow a fairly structured process. Those on short-term supply may find that the process is much less structured. In all cases, you must ensure that you complete each of the elements of the probation process (such as observed lessons, professional learning, supporter meeting, Professional Development Action Plan (PDAP) and teaching service) so that you can satisfactorily complete the interim and final reports.
Teaching service elsewhere in the UK may be acceptable towards reaching the Standard for Full Registration (SFR) as long as it is relevant to your teaching qualification and interim and final reports are submitted to the GTCS.
Probation teachers on the Flexible Route have five years to achieve SFR. Contact individual local authorities (LAs) to find out how they operate supply teaching. A proactive approach is highly recommended. Let local schools know you are available for supply work – although work is allocated through the LAs, it can be helpful if schools know you exist and are ready to work. Rates for supply teaching are currently under negotiation. Teachers with provisional registration are normally paid on salary scale 0 but check with individual local authorities. The Educational Institute of Scotland has useful information on recent revised salary and pay conditions.
Getting a job after your probation year
All local authority jobs are advertised through My Job Scotland. Other sources of vacancies are:
- Scottish Council of Independent Schools (SCIS)
- Times Educational Supplement (TES)
- The Scotsman
- S1 Jobs
- The General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) offers comprehensive advice on teaching careers, including information for probationers. Also, visit your careers service for advice, feedback, practice interviews and other support for applying for teaching jobs.