ALMOST all of Scotland’s local authorities have committed to maintaining the number of teachers employed in Scotland’s schools after agreeing terms with the Scottish government.
The government offered councils £51m to maintain teacher numbers but said it would take back some money if teacher numbers dropped.
Education Secretary Angela Constance said talks were still ongoing with one remaining local authority has not yet been identified.
Ms Constance said: “Talks with local authorities have been positive and productive and we are pleased that we are working together to provide the right number and highest quality of teachers in our schools. This will ensure our pupils have the best education possible.
“Teacher number commitments have been part of the local government finance settlements since 2011/12. We are offering councils £51m – including an additional £10m over and above last year’s settlement – specifically to support teacher numbers.”
Scotland’s largest teachers’ union, The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), welcomed the news that 31 of Scotland’s 32 local authorities accepted a new funding package from the Scottish Government which will protect teachers’ jobs.
EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan commented on the agreed terms and said: “The EIS has been very clear that maintaining teacher numbers across Scotland is essential to ensuring equality of opportunity for young people in our schools.
“We have campaigned strongly to ensure that teacher numbers have been high on the political agenda – both to maintain teaching jobs and to protect the high quality of educational experience that all pupils have the right to expect in our schools.
Mr Flanagan added, “This announcement should also finally put to rest any ill-conceived plans at council level for damaging proposals such as cutting the length of the school week.
“With agreement on the funding to maintain teacher numbers now in place, there is no argument nor justification for any council to still be considering attacks on the length of the school week in order to cut costs.
“Our pupils, in all parts of the country, deserve the same high quality of educational experience and the EIS calls on any council that still has plans to reduce pupils’ learning time to rule out this damaging cut once and for all.”