Joan McAlpine MSP has welcomed a U – Turn by Dumfries and Galloway Council over proposals to cut teacher numbers.
The Labour administration has suffered a humiliating climb down after it was confirmed that their plan to cut teachers would result in a loss of £1.5 million Scottish Government funding this year.
Last week D&G Labour were asked to postpone their proposed cuts to learning support teachers until it was clear how this might affect their Scottish Government grant. However the council pressed ahead even after it emerged that councils which failed to maintain their existing head count and teacher pupil ratio would have their share of the £41m of Scottish Government money allocated for this purpose clawed back, and would also lose their share of an additional £10 million to maintain teacher numbers.
The council has this morning agreed to accept the government deal.
Ms McAlpine commented:
“After much posturing the Labour administration has been forced to admit that their proposals to cut teachers would result in the loss of extra Scottish Government funding made available to councils for the specific purpose of maintaining teacher numbers.
“Up until the end of last week the council maintained that their teacher pupil ratio meant that they could cut teachers without being penalised which has now been shown to be entirely wrong. EIS figures show the D&G teacher pupil ratio in larger schools throughout the region is not particularly encouraging.
“The Council this morning agreed to accept the Government deal as a late item of business. I welcome this climb down as does the Minister.
“It is clear that strong action from the Scottish Government on maintaining teacher numbers has encouraged the D&G Labour administration to make the right decision.”