MORE students are choosing teaching as a profession,

as latest statistics reveal there were nearly 4000 new

student teachers in Scotland this year.

Figures from the Teacher Workforce Planning Advisory Group found that intake increased for the third year in a row, reaching 3902 in 2018 compared to 3376 in 2015-16.

Student primary teacher intake rose to 2082 and exceeded targets for 2018, with 1494 student teachers starting at secondary level, up from 1226 in 2017.

The statistics also show that permanent full- and part-time vacancies in primary schools fell from 309 in 2017 to 204 this year and from 507 to 402 in secondary schools. Posts vacant for more than three months fell more sharply, from 136 to 49 in primary and 229 to 148 in secondary.

The data also shows growth in teacher numbers across all STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

Education Secretary John Swinney said: “We have increased targets for recruitment into initial teacher education and created new routes to make it more practical and flexible for people to access courses.

“Our STEM bursary for career changers has contributed to concentrated growth in this area, providing more pupils with the opportunity to be inspired by a teacher with real-world experience, while our recruitment campaign is reaching out to people to highlight the opportunities of a teaching career.”

Data on student teacher numbers can be found on the Teacher Workforce Planning Advisory Group website.