Teacher numbers decrease in 2016

SNP MSP for Carrick, Cumnock & Doon Valley, Jeane Freeman has criticised the Tory/Labour administration in South Ayrshire council for falling short on education.

Figures in the summary of statistics for schools in Scotland published by the Scottish Government reveal that south Ayrshire has bucked a nationwide trend of increasing teacher numbers.

Numbers of teachers across Scotland increased between 2015 and 2016, with 160 being funded directly by the Attainment Scotland Fund.

The figures show that in 2015 South Ayrshire had a total of 1104 teachers with 496 in primary schools and 507 in secondary schools. In 2016 the total had fallen to 1084 with 491 primary teachers and 494 secondary teachers.

In Scotland there were 253 more teachers in 2016 than there were in 2015.

Commenting, SNP MSP for Carrick, Cumnock & Doon Valley, Jeane Freeman said: “The national figures of increasing teacher numbers are very welcome, and show that the Scottish Government’s efforts to increase teacher numbers through the Attainment Scotland Fund are having a positive impact across the country.

“Constituents across South Ayrshire will rightly be wondering why the Tory/Labour administration here has been unable to reap the rewards that those in other parts of the country have.

“The Tories/Labour are allowing South Ayrshire to slip behind the rest of the country when it comes to employing teachers – which will have a damaging effect on our efforts to tackle the attainment gap. The Tories/Labour cannot be allowed to continue damaging children’s education in South Ayrshire.”

The statistics, for 2016 also reveal class sizes in P1 to P3 are the same as last year and broadly static across Primary School; the pupil teacher ratio remains unchanged for the third successive year at 13.7, in line with the Scottish Government’s agreement with local authorities; the vast majority of children in S3 are at or above the attainment level expected of them, known as CfE Level 3