University students are not teaching maths at Trinity, Council says

Photo Above: Trinity Academy © Trinity Academy on Wikipedia

By Ian McNally

University students are not solely teaching classes at an Edinburgh high school, the Council has said today.

This is in response to reports that third-year Maths undergraduates from the University of Edinburgh are teaching the subject at Trinity Academy, after two teaching posts were not filled.

Edinburgh Council has said it will draft a letter to the editor of both The Scotsman and Edinburgh Evening News countering what it has described as “misconceptions”.

The Education and Media Officer for the Council, Noel Miller, said: “University of Edinburgh students are not teaching maths to classes. The students will not replace teachers, nor fill vacancies.

“Experienced teachers take the classes, with the students assisting pupils on their learning. No student will be taking a maths class on their own.”

Councillor Ian Perry, Education Convener for the Edinburgh Council, said: “The unfilled vacancies are currently being re-advertised. The previous applicants did not fulfil the essential criteria in one or more areas.

“We have been working closely with the school over filling the vacancies and will continue with the various measures put in place, which has the support of the Parent Council, to minimise disruption to the pupils’ learning.

“Our priority remains ensuring that the curriculum continues to be delivered to the highest possible standard.”

The council added: “In the meantime, the school is continuing with the arrangements that have been put in place since the vacancies occurred. There has been a mixture of specialist external supply and non-specialist internal class cover.

“Rotational arrangements have operated to allow classes to have some subject specialist input and certificate classes, in which pupils will be sitting National Qualification exams in May 2018, have been prioritised.

“An additional partnership arrangement with the University of Edinburgh has seen third year maths students coming in to school. This begins next week and is planned to run until Easter 2018.

“The students will be assisting pupils in S2 and in S5 (at National 5 level).”

According to a recent report by the Scottish Government, a target of 146 Maths teacher recruits was set in 2015, with the actual intake being 76. The report also says that Maths is one of 12 subjects short in terms of teacher numbers.