Fri 6 Sep, 2019

It’s a smokescreen, masking the huge cuts which have been made to specialist ASN provision Ross Greer

The hiring of pupil support assistants by the Scottish Government is a smokescreen to obscure the growing lack of specialist provision, the Scottish Greens have said.

The party’s education spokesperson Ross Greer said: “Schools can always do with more classroom assistants, but we shouldn’t pretend they will replace specialists for pupils with additional needs.

“This is the same government who last year announced they would stop publishing the number of real Additional Support Needs assistants in our schools and would instead merge that category with general classroom assistants, thus 'pupil support assistants'.*

“It’s a smokescreen, masking the huge cuts which have been made to specialist ASN provision.

“John Swinney needs to clarify if these new roles are for actual specialists or if general classroom assistants, often some of the most poorly paid staff in a school, will be asked to support pupils with some of the most complex needs without the appropriate training.”

“More than one in ten ASN teachers have been cut since 2010, despite an explosion in diagnosed additional needs. Even if these new assistant posts become real ASN specialists, they will not make up for that lost teaching capacity. This government must get to grips with how badly it has failed some of Scotland's most vulnerable children.”

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School Reopening: Letter to the Cabinet Secretary for Education

Ross Greer Mon 29 Jun, 2020

To: John Swinney MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Education

29 June 2020

Dear John,

Measures to protect pupils and staff in schools

I am writing following your statement to Parliament on Tuesday 23rd, announcing the Government’s intention that schools return full time and without social distancing on 11th August. As I am sure you appreciate, it is vital that the appropriate measures are in place to ensure the health and safety of pupils, staff and the wider community.