Greer warns teachers at "breaking point" as figures show Additional Support Needs teachers at lowest level in 10 years

Ross Greer MSP, Education spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (11 Jan) warned that classroom teachers are at "breaking point" after new figures showed the number of Additional Support Needs teachers is at its lowest level since the current government took office a decade ago.

In answer to a parliamentary question from Mr Greer, Scottish Ministers have confirmed that the number of full-time equivalent ASN teachers - who support pupils with issues such as health or communication difficulties - has fallen by almost 500 from a high of 3,942 in 2009 to 3,459 in 2016.

Ross Greer MSP said:

“More than one in four children in our schools have additional support needs but after a decade in power, the cuts this government have passed on to local councils have resulted in fewer Additional Support Needs teachers than at any previous point of the SNP’s time in office.

“These cuts don’t just affect children and young people with ASN, they affect every pupil in every classroom as well as the teaching and support staff there to support them. Classroom teachers are at breaking point, with unmanageable workloads due in no small part to the specialist staff who supported them having disappeared in recent years. 

"Giving fair funding to local councils will go a long way to improving Scottish education, and ministers know that the current draft budget, which cuts £157million from council funds and does not fully fund an end to the pay cap for school staff, is unacceptable.

"Rather than the distraction of governance reforms which weren’t asked for and which provide no actual benefit to the quality of education for our young people, ministers need to focus on fully funding the staff our schools need."


Answer from John Swinney to Ross Greer's question