The number of new teachers fleeing the profession has spiked this year as opposition politicians blame poor pay and violence in classrooms for the exodus.

More than 1300 teachers have left the profession within the first five years of their career since 2018, according to figures from the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS).

Responding to a freedom of information request from the Scottish Liberal Democrats, the GTCS said 1337 teachers had left the register within five years.

Last year the recorded figure was the highest since 2018 at 338 quit - meaning they are no longer able to teach in Scotland.

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Lib Dem education spokesman Willie Rennie pushed for "properly resourced schools and education authorities with a plan for getting Scottish education moving in the right direction".

A spokesperson for the Scottish Government said teachers' current pay deal is the "most generous since 2001" and "surpassing the landmark pay deal of 2018-21.

However, Mr Rennie said: "With industrial disputes becoming a regular occurrence and reports of violence in classrooms, I can understand why teaching is not as attractive a career as it once was.

"Those who have completed their probation aren't being offered stable contracts, with many turning to casual work or supply lists instead.

"Teachers who are just starting out on their careers are feeling demoralised, disillusioned and disincentivised.

"The SNP once claimed they wanted to be judged on their record on education.

"They certainly aren't saying that anymore.

"If we want to give our young people the best chance of getting ahead in life, they need access to great teachers and a great education.

"Scottish Liberal Democrats want to see properly resourced schools and education authorities with a plan for getting Scottish education moving in the right direction.

"We would make teaching a more attractive career path by bringing back principal teachers for key subjects, halting teacher cuts, stable contracts and boosting in-class support."

The figures come as the head of the country's biggest teaching union urged the Scottish Government to improve its pay offering to teachers to attract more graduates into the classroom.

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EIS general secretary Andrea Bradley said: "Not enough new teachers are coming into the profession, and increasing numbers of experienced teachers are leaving the profession early.

"While pay is not the only issue that impacts on teacher numbers, it is still an important factor in the recruitment and retention of highly-qualified graduates.

"With all the challenges that our schools currently face, and the ambitions that we hold around excellence and equity, we simply cannot afford not to attract new people into the profession or to lose qualified, experienced teachers to other professions where pay is higher, workload is less and work environments are safer."

A spokesperson for the Scottish Government said: "The current pay deal is the most generous pay deal for teachers since 2001, even surpassing the landmark pay deal of 2018-21.

"The deal has a cumulative value of 14.6% and will mean an overall increase of more than £6,100 over two years for the majority of classroom teachers.

"The 2024/25 Budget further supports teachers with an investment of £390 million to protect teacher numbers and fund the teacher pay deal."