Councils should not be made scapegoats for broken promises, says MSP

03 February 2009

The SNP Government should be providing councils such as Dundee with more money for more teachers, and not trying to make them scapegoats for broken promises, said MSP Marlyn Glen.

The SNP Government has rejected her plea for more teachers for Dundee to meet the projected situation that up to 40 per cent of the cityís teachers will have reached retiral age or retired in the next 4 to 5 years.

The Minister for Schools and Skills, Maureen Watt, told Ms. Glen that the employment of teachers is "ultimately a matter for local authorities."

Ms. Glen had said that the retiring teachers " must be replaced by other younger professionals," such as those who had completed their probationary year in the city "but had been unable to find permanent posts."

"The SNP Government refuse to take responsibility for the consequences of its under-funding of its education promises in Scotlandís schools.

" Their major promise of class-size reduction in P1-P3 classes is clearly failing when over 90 per cent of Dundee P1-P3 pupils are taught in classes above 18 in number.

"Yet, committed and talented primary school teachers cannot get permanent posts.

"And when the bigger picture is examined across Scotland, thousands are heading towards retirement and many leaving prematurely through stress and disillusion.

"The SNP Government should be providing councils with more money for more teachers, and not trying to make them scapegoats for broken promises."

 

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