CONCERNS have been raised about the continuing number of unfilled teaching posts in Borders schools.

Just a few weeks into the new school year, education bosses at Scottish Borders Council are advertising for 18 positions - including two headteacher posts.

South Scotland MSP, Michelle Ballantyne, is pushing for more support from Holyrood to combat the current teacher shortage.

She told us: "This year we saw pass levels fall in our exams.

"Although I personally believe that some of the blame must be attributed to the new system, without proper levels of teaching staff our students will continue to struggle.

"The Scottish Government must provide some assurance to students, parents and teachers that this situation will be rectified."

Scottish Borders Council has held a series of teacher-specific recruitment drives over the past few years.

And more intuitive methods of recruiting new teachers are also currently under way.

An education spokesperson said: "Local authorities across the country often face challenges with teacher recruitment however we are in a better position than we have been previously.

"We are working with Dundee University and University of the Highlands and Islands to offer distance learning opportunities for people in the Borders, which will lead to them qualifying as secondary school teachers.

"This is just one move that will help us to attract more teachers in our area.

"Proactive steps were taken during the last term to ensure vacancies were filled for the start of session in August.

"However there have been staff moves, promotions and retirements over the summer holidays that we are now recruiting for.”