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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-19281: Liam Kerr (North East Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 8 October 2018

To ask the Scottish Government how many people have commenced studying/training as nursery teachers since the announcement of the expansion of nursery hours by 2020, and how long that process takes.

Answered by: Maree Todd 2 November 2018

The following table shows numbers of entrants on primary teaching initial education courses from academic year 2014-15 to 2017-18.

Primary

Level of Study

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

 

2017-18*

Postgraduate

1,060

1,215

1,295

 

1,259

Undergraduate

710

805

830

 

774

Total

1,770

2,020

2,125

 

2,033 [i]

Initial teacher education (ITE) courses qualify teachers in primary education and equips them to work across all ages within primary schools, and within nursery settings delivering early learning and childcare to 3 and 4 year olds. Undergraduate courses take four years to complete, while postgraduate courses take one year.

Teachers are only one component of the early learning and childcare workforce. The majority of the additional workforce that will be required to deliver the expanded hours will be at the practitioner grade. Practitioners in early learning and childcare require to obtain either an HNC Childhood Practice qualification or SVQ Social Services (Children and Young People) at SCQF Level 7, which can be achieved through work-based learning, including Modern Apprenticeships. Local authority plans show that the majority of new practitioners will become qualified through work based training routes (SVQ or apprenticeship).

In 2017-18 we funded the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) for the provision of an additional 650 HNC Childhood Practice places. In 2018/19 we are working with SFC to offer over 1,500 additional places on HNC courses and over 400 additional graduate level places. Uptake of early learning and childcare Modern Apprenticeships increased by 21% in 2017-18, compared to 2016-17 figures. This exceeds the commitment made by Skills Development Scotland to increase early learning and childcare modern apprenticeship places by 10% year-on-year in the period up to the expansion in 2020.

[i] Source: 2014-15 to 2016-17 HESA student data, SG analysis. HESA figures have been rounded to the nearest 5.

*For 2017-18 collection direct from institutions. Not offical HESA data. Official HESA data for 2017 will not be available until January 2019.