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Teachers’ anger as scale of Glasgow proposed cuts revealed

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The number of jobs under threat was previously thought to be 172, but the paper this afternoon reported that this figure is only for the first of the three years.

The development comes amid concerns over growing classroom violence and disruptive behaviour towards teachers and other pupils.

READ MORE: Gilruth admits she hasn’t read report on violence in schools

Education secretary Jenny Gilruth yesterday told the BBC the issue was one for local authorities to address as she admitted she had not read a report by the trade union the Educational Institute for Scotland about violence directed to teachers in Aberdeen.

The cuts to teacher numbers in Glasgow has been attacked by unions – they say fewer teachers will negatively impact the learning of all pupils and will likely lead to a rise in exclusions.

The unions have also accused the council of obscuring the plan in the three-year budget that it set earlier this month, and say teachers completing probation this year will struggle to find work in the city because there will be a teacher surplus.

It is expected that changes to the way Glasgow schools are staffed will be introduced from August, with 172 posts to be cut in the first year due to changes to the school staffing formulae, which dictate – mainly on the basis of deprivation and pupil roll – how many teachers schools are entitled to.

The total saving in year one (2024-25) is expected to be £6.7 million.

In subsequent years (2025-26 and 2026-27) the savings are expected to be more significant, given that the changes to staffing will have been in place for the full financial year.

The plan also involves a review of school management structures in the second year. It is understood that, in particular, the council is looking to reduce principal teacher posts.

Details of the planned Glasgow education cuts have emerged at a time when the Scottish Government has pledged to protect teacher numbers and ultimately increase the number by 3,500 during the course of the current Parliament.

At a meeting of headteachers today, where the details of the cuts were set out, Susan Quinn, a primary headteacher in Glasgow and the EIS’ education convener, said heads were “depressed”.

“Ultimately, fewer teachers means there will be less ability in schools to support pupils. It will be more difficult to support young people with additional needs, it will be more difficult to support young people who find it hard to be in class,” Ms Quinn told the Tes.

“That will have implications for all children because they will all get less teacher time, and class sizes will increase.”

Jane Gow, Glasgow EIS local association secretary, said: “Glasgow schools simply can’t take any more cuts in teacher numbers. Staffing is stretched to the limit as it is, with some secondary schools reporting a current long-term shortage in subject specialists.”

She added: “The EIS is running a vital campaign launched in June last year which seeks to redress years of erosion to staffing and resourcing and to address the unsustainable workload teachers face. It is time to stand up for a quality education for all our learners and stand against further swingeing cuts.”  

Seamus Searson, general secretary of the Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association, said: “Teachers are the most important resource and to cut teachers at a time when pupils and teachers are struggling is madness.

“Local authorities should value their teaching staff. I am not aware of any school that can continue with fewer teachers.”

A Glasgow City Council spokesperson said: “Officers are looking at several education service reform options as part of a budget that required almost £108 million worth savings from council services over the next three years, not including social care.

“For many years education spending has been protected, relative to other services, in the budget process. However, with the education budget now amounting to more than half of service expenditure directed by the council, that is significantly more challenging when substantial savings are still required.

“Meetings have taken place with teacher trade unions to discuss the challenges and make them aware of the savings needed and senior staff are also meeting with headteachers. At every stage, officers will do everything they can to minimise the impact, but in the current financial climate the council has to look at every option.”

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