Unqualified university students are being drafted in to help teach maths at a secondary school in a teaching crisis -- after it failed to recruit staff.

A job advert to fill two vacancies failed to find anyone suitable for an interview after it attracted less than five applications.

The teaching shortage at Trinity Academy, in Edinburgh, has led to angry exchanges between First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Tory leader Ruth Davidson.

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A freedom of information request revealed none of the applicants "fulfilled the criteria looked for, in one or two areas".

And now the school has brought in third-year maths students from the University of Edinburgh to teach S2 and National 5 level pupils.

The move has been branded as "unfair" and "unacceptable" by the Educational Institute of Scotland.

The Edinburgh school has also brought in specialist external help when obtainable and is using nonspecialist internal class cover.

Head teacher Bryan Paterson has stepped in to help too.

The teaching crisis emerged in Septemeber when Mr Paterson contacted parents for help filling the posts.

He said the major cause of the problem was Scotland's national shortage of teachers in maths, science, technology, business, and home economics.

The closing date for the jobs when first advertised was September 28.

They were then re-advertised with a new closing date the following Monday.

Larry Flanagan, general secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland, said: "Deploying as yet unqualified student teachers to cover vacancies is unfair on the student teacher and unacceptable as a means of addressing teacher shortages.

"The solution to these recruitment difficulties must include actions to make teaching a more attractive career to highly qualified graduates - including a reduction in excessive workload pressures and significant improvements to teachers' pay following a decade of salary erosion."

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said they were taking action to have more qualified teachers based in Scotland.

She said: "We have taken decisive action to help recruit and retain teachers through our Teaching Makes People campaign, including recently announcing the introduction of £20,000 bursaries, starting from August 2018, for eligible career changers, to allow them to undertake an initial teacher education course and qualify as a teacher in one of the STEM shortage subjects which includes maths."

Scottish Conservative shadow education secretary Liz Smith was critical of the SNP's approach to workforce planning.

She said: "The SNP's disastrous approach to workforce planning means pupils across the country are getting shortchanged, harming their long-term education prospects."