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Extra teaching places created to meet primary school demands

An extra 370 university places for teacher training will help meet demand in primary schools, according to the Education Secretary.

A growing number of under-fives means there will be a focus on primary, while secondary teacher numbers will be maintained, Michael Russell said.

"We inherited an unsustainable position in teacher employment," he said during a visit to the University of Aberdeen.

"We have addressed this by taking difficult decisions. As a result of those actions we continue to see year-on-year improvement in teacher unemployment and the expert workforce planning group now recommends an increase in teacher training places, advice I am delighted to accept.

"I want every person who commits to teaching our children and young people to have job opportunities at the end of their study.

"Universities across Scotland will offer places and I know our councils will continue to meet their commitment to maintaining teacher numbers in line with pupil numbers. We will continue to do all we can to support our teacher workforce and ensure their talent and skills are given their rightful place: in classrooms across Scotland."

The additional places, backed with £2.9 million investment, brings the trainee teacher total to 2,770, the Scottish Government said.

Census data released last month showed 293,000 children were aged under five in 2011, an increase of 6% from 2001.

The defender has signed for four and a half years and severed ties with Sheffield Wednesday after spending most of the last 18 months on loan at Pittodrie.

The 25-year-old is happy both he and the club have the stability provided by the permanent deal and now wants to make sure that is reflected on the pitch.

Reynolds, who moved to Wednesday from Motherwell for around £100,000 in January 2011, told RedTV: "We are settled here, the wife and I have just had a kid who was born in Aberdeen, we love it up here and it gives us a bit of stability, the club a bit of stability.

"We can work toward the future, and lock down a team who can go on and win things and be more successful than we've been.

"It allows me time to build something up here and get successful years back at Pittodrie.

"It is a great place to come to work every morning, things have jumped massively behind the scenes.

"I've only been here 18 months and I've seen lots of changes.

"Everything is going forward and in the right direction, so we can start getting results to mirror what is happening in the background."

Aberdeen need a result at Easter Road on Sunday, when they face Hibernian in the William Hill Scottish Cup fifth round, to retain hope of winning something this season.

The Dons have not won yet in four games in 2013 and cup ties bring their own pressure at the club given Aberdeen have not won a trophy for 18 years or reached a final for 13 seasons.

Reynolds is aware of the pressure of the game but believes they can meet the challenge.

"We need to step up to that pressure and realise that this is a pivotal point in the season," the centre-back said.

"People want to see us in the finals and see us winning trophies and the players want to deliver that.

"I think we can step up and provide the result.

"We are confident that we can change things around, and personally confident that I can play and influence the team and try and do well.

"I know recent form has been poor and people are starting to talk about statistics but a couple of wins and a win in the cup on Sunday can get us reignited and give us that second wind for finishing strongly."

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Education

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