Published: 03/01/2018 16:27 - Updated: 03/01/2018 16:39

A Forres school is still four teachers short

Applegrove lightsPARENTS have reacted to a letter warning of staff shortages at local schools.

The statement by head of schools and curriculum development, Vivien Cross, warned that the situation has become so grave that a number of schools are having to consider partial closure.

Local councillor and former Forres Academy maths teacher George Alexander confirmed Applegrove Primary is currently four full-time staff short.

He said: "The school is trying to get by with short-term supply. Moray Council is advertising two full time equivalent permanent primary teacher vacancies for the authority to be employed at Applegrove in the first instance.

"We have written to all of the primary teachers in the Forres Associated School Group asking, if any are part-time and keen to do more, if they can come forward to offer their services."

Cllr Alexander explained that the General Teaching Council for Scotland is checking its records for teachers residing in the local area who may have let their registration lapse and who might re-register. He added: "We also have a teacher waiting for her visa approval who we are keen to support if the Home Office manages to sort things out at their end. We have been in touch with other Northern Alliance authorities to see if they have any spare capacity willing to come and work in Moray and have offered to pay travel and subsistence. We are working tirelessly and endlessly to try to ensure we provide a continuity of education for the children affected and that this is our number one priority at this time."

Applegrove Parent Council (APC) discussed the issue with head teacher, Lesley Meehan. An APC spokesperson confirmed classes that will be affected by staff movements have been notified.

She said: "The head and depute are currently performing teaching duties to cover the shortfall but a lack of supply teachers may impact the school if unforeseen circumstances arise or a permanent solution is not found. The head and depute teaching leaves little time for management and administration duties. "Some classes which have seen multiple teachers may be impacted and we are only half way through the year."

Parents have asked the local authority what the protocol is if there is a class closure or teacher

sickness.

A spokesperson added: "The APC is aware of a campaign to recruit existing teachers to the Moray area with housing being offered, and that Highland Council also suffer from a similar problem."

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