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Covid-19 (Education)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 19th March 2020.

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Photo of John Swinney John Swinney Scottish National Party

There is absolutely no reason why probationary teachers should not continue to be employed, but I do not have the answer to that at the front of my head, so I will check for Mr Macdonald and write to him after the meeting. Certainly, those probationary teachers should be paid—there is no way that they should suffer disadvantage of that type.

On the regulatory requirements, this is probably trespassing on territory where I should not be, but I will just say that I think that it would be unreasonable for the General Teaching Council not to accredit probationary teachers with a full year of probation because, through no fault of their own, their opportunity has been interrupted. On Monday, the General Teaching Council and the Scottish Council of Deans of Education withdrew teachers who were on placement and said that, provided that they have achieved the necessary standard, they will be judged to have completed their placement activity, even though it has been concluded early

. The logic of that decision is that probationary teachers should be confident that this year has been secured, but I will confirm that in writing.