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25 November 2008
No extra cash for more teachers in Dundee, SNP Government tells MSP.
The SNP Government has ruled out a plea from Marlyn Glen for extra cash to employ more teachers in Dundee, following reports than teachers completing their probationary year had been unable to find permanent posts with the local authority.
A survey of primary and secondary trainee teachers revealed that of the 80 who completed their probationary year last session in Dundee, only 23 got permanent teaching jobs this session.
Ms. Glen had raised the matter with Scottish Government Education Minister Adam Ingram, stressing that the primary probationers could be employed to reduce class sizes in P1-P3 classes to 18 , " as promised by Alex Salmond"
"Reducing class sizes to a maximum of 18 in P1-P3 is a priority of this Government.
" Parents and teacher unions both want smaller class sizes and this is what the Scottish Government will deliver for the people of Scotland through the Concordat signed on 14 November 2007 with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities.
"Under the Concordat, local government has undertaken to reduce class sizes as quickly as possible.
"The Concordat also underpinned the funding to be provided to local government over the period 2009-2011.
"In total , the Scottish Government will provide local government with £34.9 billion , an increase of 13.1 per cent over the next three years.
"Alex Salmond promised last year that all classes in P1-P3 would be reduced to a maximum size of 18 by 2011.
" Now, over one third of the way through the lifetime of this SNP Government, around 95 per cent of P1-P3 pupils in Dundee are in classes greater than 18.
"Yet, at the same time, there were 43 trainee primary teachers in Dundee last session ( 2007-08), around a quarter of whom do not have a permanent job now but who could have been employed to reduce class sizes in the city this session.
"The Scottish Government’s use of the Concordat to thrust the blame for their broken promise to reduce class sizes on to local councils, which they have insufficiently funded to achieve this promise, has been spectacularly unsuccessful."