TEACHERS are to be trained at home under a new initiative to help solve Scotland’s school recruitment crisis.

Under the scheme, graduates from Argyll and Bute who want to become secondary teachers will be offered financial support to stay in the area to train.

As well as studying online at home, prospective teachers will also work in local schools to build their experience.

The move is a significant because it marks a shift from the traditional route into the profession where teachers study at university.

Research by the Herald last summer showed there were more than 700 unfilled teacher vacancies before the start of term, with the shortfall blamed on a rise in numbers quitting the profession early and historic under-recruitment.

Read more: More than 700 vacancies in Scottish schools

Shortages are particularly acute in the so-called Stem subject of science and maths where graduates can secure better pay working in industry.

Rural areas such as Argyll and Bute have also been hit hard with a lack of local training facilities one of the main reasons for the shortfall.

Most universities which offer teacher training are in the Central Belt and newly-qualified teachers are often recruited by schools in more urban areas.

Argyll and Bute Council said it had been working in partnership with Dundee and Highlands and Islands universities to agree a programme which will see student teachers based in local schools over an 18 month period.

Read more: Classroom assistants asked to retrain as teachers

The training, which is funded through a Scottish Government bursary scheme, will also enable students to study from home.

Subjects currently being offered are chemistry, computing, home economics, maths and physics – all of which are experiencing a shortage of qualified teachers across Scotland.

Yvonne McNeilly, Argyll and Bute Council’s policy lead for education, said: “We want the very best for our young people and we are committed to training, attracting, and keeping the highest calibre of teaching staff .

“This scheme is a great opportunity for young people in Argyll and Bute to become fully qualified secondary teachers whilst being given the opportunity to stay in the area.

“It compliments our existing teacher training scheme which saw 13 students gain their diploma in primary education last year..”

Anne Paterson, the council’s head of education, added: “Together with our university partners, we have been working extremely hard to get this scheme off the ground.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for anyone wanting to progress their career and become a secondary teacher, whilst having the option to stay in Argyll and Bute.”

The closing date for applications is the first week of September, with the first intake of students in December this year.

Subject to ratification by the General Teaching Council for Scotland, successful students will be awarded a postgraduate diploma in education.

Read more: Government offering £20,000 bursaries for science professionals to retrain as teachers

Earlier this year staff from Argyll and Bute visited Northern Ireland to try and attract additional staff.

The Scottish Government is also offering £20,000 bursaries to those considering a change of career to become science, technology, engineering or maths teachers.