LIBERAL Democrats have set out their plans to guarantee a job for every teacher and £30,000 starting salaries as part of education proposals ahead of May’s election.

Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie has set out his party’s plans to boost the teaching profession and enhance educational recovery from the pandemic.

The party has called for more in-class support to help young people better reach their potential and a guaranteed job for every teacher for smaller class sizes.

The Lib Dems have demanded an end of the casualisation of the teaching profession that the party claims means one in 10 teachers are on short-term or casual contracts.

Mr Rennie wants serving teachers put at the heart of SQA and Education Scotland which the party also wants to substantially reform – while workloads and conditions for teachers should be reviewed – with a minimum starting salary of £30,000 to help attract graduates into the profession.

Newly qualified teachers in Scotland currently start on a salary of £27,498 in their probation year.

The party has also called for a new “teacher premium” for schools in disadvantaged areas consisting of pay supplements designed to attract and reward the best teachers for the schools in greatest need.

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The Lib Dems will also pledge new, optional, three-year packages for probationer teachers – consisting of the current one-year probationary period plus two further guaranteed years to help local authorities get graduates to take up posts in certain geographical areas.

Speaking on the campaign trail in South Queensferry, Mr Rennie said: “Teachers must be at the heart of our education recovery. Our plan for teachers will be good for education.

“Scottish Liberal Democrats have already secured an extra £80 million for education in the budget but we want to go much further.

"Our education bounce back plan offers unprecedented new entitlements and resources for pupils. Staff are critical to all of the good things we want to do. They have worked flat out to give everyone the best education possible over the last year. But they deserve better from the government.”

He added: “To help children and young people bounce back from the disruption to their education we need to invest in the teaching profession. “Our country is stronger when every individual is able to achieve their potential, but the independent report this week showed a yawning attainment gap and progress falling short.

“My Scottish Liberal Democrats have an ambitious and comprehensive plan to help children and young people bounce back. It puts the recovery first.”