Concern over cut to support teachers

Web school teacher helping pupil

The amount of children identified as having additional needs has risen substantially

13th December 2017 by Gareth Jones 1 Comment

Fears have been raised that specialist education cuts could be hitting provision for children with additional needs.

The number of children with additional support needs is on the rise, the Scottish Government’s Summary Statics for Schools in Scotland has revealed.

However the amount of learning support teachers has fallen over the same period.

The figures revealed that more than a quarter (26.6%) of school pupils have additional needs, amounting to a total of 183,491 pupils.

The level is the highest ever recorded, and represents an increase of 55% compared to 2012.

However the amount of support for learning teachers dropped from 3,384 to 2,990 between 2012 and 2016.

The Scottish Children’s Services Coalition described the cut in teachers as a worrying backdrop to more children being identified as having specialist needs.

A spokesman for the coalition said: “It is vital that Thursday’s budget invests in education and especially in addressing the needs of children and young people with ASN, such as those with dyslexia and autism, who will struggle to succeed without proper support.

“The cost to society in the long term if investment is not increased will far outweigh any potential savings made today, and will hinder any efforts to close the educational attainment gap.”

The figures showed that there had been an increase of 540 teachers across Scotland compared to last year.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: "Education is this government's number one priority and we are investing heavily to ensure every child in Scotland has an equal chance to realise their full potential.

"This investment is improving education: we have more teachers in Scottish classrooms, better quality school buildings and the vast majority of children in S3 achieving the minimum attainment level expected of them or better.”

20th December 2017 by Peter Dow

I question the priority of employing more and too many police officers at the expense of fewer and not enough teachers.Such priorities lead to perverse scenarios such as the devil making work for idle, ignorant, prejudiced police officers who amuse themselves by arresting unemployed teachers.However, money is tight so teachers and teachers unions in particular can do much to ease the money shortage by educating the politicians, media commentators and the voters by getting on TV and radio and explaining that the Scottish government needs new powers and a new and better deal fiscal framework, to borrow £billions a year more interest-free from the central bank.Ignorance and fiscal conservative superstitions and prejudices against more government borrowing need to be educated against.For so long as teachers and their union representatives are not out there getting active politically and educating politicians, media commentators and the voters about the utility of increased government borrowing then actually teachers are being their own worst enemies.Peter Dow, Science and Politics https://SCOT.TK