MACDONALD WELCOMES AGREEMENT TO MAINTAIN TEACHER NUMBERS
Friday, 27 February 2015 11:26
FALKIRK COUNCIL SIGNS UP TO SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT PLAN
ASSURANCES SOUGHT THAT REDUCTION IN SCHOOL WORKING WEEK IS “OFF THE TABLE”
Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald has welcomed today’s announcement that Falkirk Council, along with Scotland’s 31 other local authorities has signed up to the deal proposed by the Scottish Government to safeguard the number of teachers.
As announced by the First Minister today, an agreement has been reached for councils to maintain teacher numbers and their pupil-teacher ratio for next year at 2014/15 levels – supported by a £51m package of support from the Scottish Government.
This comes on the day that a poll shows that the SNP is by far the most trusted party to safeguard the future of Scotland’s education system – outstripping Labour by more than two-to-one.
Commenting, Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald said:
“This is excellent news for both teachers and families in Falkirk district. I was delighted to hear that Falkirk Council signed up to the agreement last Friday and accepted the conditional offer from the Scottish Government for 2015/16. Having quality teachers in our classrooms is one of the best ways to ensure our children have the best start in life and this agreement will protect teacher numbers not just in Falkirk district, but across country.
“I am now seeking an assurance from the Labour/ Tory administration at Falkirk Council that the proposed review of the primary school working week with the potential to reduce it from 25 to 22.5 hours is now ‘off the table’ and no longer being considered. Unfortunately my requests for confirmation from Falkirk Council’s Chief Executive and the Education Portfolio Holder have not been answered.”
“I remain astonished that Falkirk Council could even contemplate such a drastic measure which would undoubtedly have a negative impact on the quality of education for our primary school pupils.”
“The SNP has an excellent record on education – with exam results standing at a record high, investing even more in tackling the attainment gap to ensure our least advantaged children have the opportunities they deserve and now securing teacher numbers in every local authority area in Scotland. This is exactly why people in Scotland trust the SNP with our education system more than each of the other parties put together.
“And while we are clear that there is more to be done to ensure every child in Scotland has the first-class education system they deserve – parents across the country can be assured that the SNP will work tirelessly to continue to protect and improve our education system.”