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SNP putting teachers under enormous strain

April 14, 2014 12:50 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat Education spokesman Liam Mcarthur MSP todayLiam McArthurLiam McArthur warned Ministers they are putting teachers under enormous strain after new figures revealed a big fall in spending on supply staff over the last three years.

Figures revealed through Freedom of Information requests show that spending on supply teachers fell by nearly £18 million between 2010/11 and 2012/13.

In December 2013 it was confirmed that the number of teachers in Scotland had also declined for the sixth year in a row.

Commenting, Liam McArthur said:

"Supply teachers are an invaluable part of our education system but the figures show that spending on supply staff has fallen over the last three years. With reports suggesting this is at least in part down to fewer staff being available to work there are real questions over how Ministers will ensure that there are sufficient teachers available across our schools system.

"With the number of full-time teaching staff also in decline, parents will wonder whether this will see regular teachers being asked to take on more responsibilities at a time of major change with the curriculum. That is a combination that is scarcely sustainable, putting teaching staff under enormous strain and pupils at a potential disadvantage.

"In opposition the SNP promised to increase teacher numbers and reduce class sizes. In government, they have delivered the exact opposite. This government has failed teachers and pupils alike."