Tue 12 Dec, 2017

Giving schools the funds to reverse a small fraction of your budget cuts isn’t a success. Ross Greer MSP

New statistics released today by the government show that only a fraction of the cuts to teacher numbers over the last decade have been addressed says a Green MSP.

The statistics reveal that there are 543 more teachers than last year, however this means there are still 3,570 fewer teachers in Scotland than there were in 2007.

Ross Greer MSP, the Scottish Greens’ education spokesperson, pointed out that the government’s flagship education reforms will do nothing to improve this situation, are overwhelmingly opposed by those in education and should be abandoned.

West of Scotland MSP Ross Greer said:

“An increase in teacher numbers, however small, is welcome but it’s also very clear from these statistics that schools have only been able to reverse a fraction of the cuts of the last decade and they’ve had to use their attainment funding to do it. This funding is for targeted interventions to reduce the attainment gap, not to firefight the worse damage from ten years of budget cuts.

“Giving schools the funds to reverse a small fraction of your budget cuts isn’t a success and the SNP should not portray it that way. If they’re serious about actually addressing this problem they would use Thursday’s budget to begin reversing council budget cuts as the Greens have called for and drop their unwanted, unnecessary governance reforms, which will do nothing to solve the huge challenges Scottish education faces as a result of austerity.”

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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.