Changes to Moray Council’s recruitment process for new teachers has led to more opting to teach in the area.
Previously the council’s schools were losing out to new staff from a lengthy interview process, where schools were essentially competing with each other for new recruits. The time this process took meant that many accepted posts in other authority areas.
This year the NQTs underwent just one interview and were deployed to vacancies across the area within weeks.
The new process has meant that 22 newly-qualified teachers (NQTs) will be boosting numbers in Moray’s schools from August.
In addition, many were originally from the area and had come back after university to complete their training and start their teaching career on home turf.
Yesterday the new teachers gathered at Elgin Town Hall to present their research projects to senior staff and their peers – part of their development training.
Acting director of Education and Social Care, Graham Jarvis, said the work Moray Council has been doing with university partners is starting to produce results.
“We’re delighted to welcome so many new teachers to our area, and to see our engagement with universities is having a positive effect,” he said.
“Clearly, changing the process to make it better for NQTs and head teachers has made a huge difference, but the offer from Moray around professional development, career opportunities and the fantastic quality of life here makes for a very attractive package.
"Despite this welcome influx of teaching staff, a number of vacancies still exist for the start of the new term in August. These are currently being advertised on the national portal, myjobscotland."
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Alex Charles-McKeating, an Honours graduate in music, is going to Anderson’s primary in Forres. A native of the area, he lives in Kinloss with his wife. One of his targets next year is to teach the class ukulele.
“I have settled in really well, this year I’ve taught the P2/3 class and although I originally wanted to teach a higher age group, I’ve really enjoyed the last year so much I’m looking forward to the P3/4 class next school year. It’s been challenging though, especially tackling the paperwork and reports.
“I have had a brilliant mentor and I’ve been really lucky that everyone has been so welcoming and helpful.”
Hazel McLeod worked in Bishopmill Primary and took part in Moray Council and Aberdeen University’s DLITE programme, studying part time over 18 months while working for Moray Council.
She’s taught the P3/4 class at the Elgin school this year and says it’s been a memorable experience so far.
“It’s challenging because it’s my first full year in the classroom, but I’ve had a fantastic support team at the school and the kids have been lovely.”
Hazel lives in Elgin with her family and says teaching is what she’s always wanted to do.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better school, support team or class to start my career – I feel very lucky.”
Jenna Ogg has spent her probationary year at Milne’s High School in Fochabers as a Business Studies teacher. She’s delighted to have secured a job dividing her time between there and at Lossiemouth High next year.
Jenna grew up in Aberlour, and has returned to Moray after studying for a PGDE at Aberdeen University.
She says Moray is a safe and welcoming place to bring up her family.
“I’ve enjoyed my year at Milne’s and I know that I’ve definitely chosen the right career. After I graduated from Robert Gordon University with BA Hons in Management, I wasn’t sure what to do as a job.
"Now I’m settled into teaching and really enjoy helping the pupils prepare for their exams and see them do well; seeing the satisfaction and pride they get when they achieve something is the best part of the job."
Famous for its colony of dolphins, fabulous beaches and more malt whisky distilleries than any where else in Scotland, Moray is a thriving area and a great place to live. Nestling between Aberdeenshire and the Highlands, Moray stretches from Tomintoul in the south to the shores of the Moray Firth, from Keith in the east to Brodie Castle in the west.