Local MSP for the Linlithgow Constituency, Fiona Hyslop, has written to West Lothian Council following the release of Scottish Government figures showing a decline in teacher numbers across Scotland in 2022. Although West Lothian’s numbers have increased, the Local Authority were expected to have recruited far more from their £5.526m share of Scottish Government Funding of £145m nationally for this purpose.
Despite local Councils receiving an additional £145m in financial year 2022/23 from the Scottish Government to employ additional teachers as part of the recovery there has been a reduction of 92 Full Time Equivalent teachers employed across Scotland.
“Figures show that teacher numbers in West Lothian have only increased by 29 full time equivalents in 2022, which is concerning as West Lothian Council received over £5m funding from the Scottish Government in 2022 specifically to recruit more teachers in the County . hey would have been expected to have recruited almost 3 times as many teachers as the official statistics say they have done.
“There is a concern that, as with other local authorities in the country, Councils are not using this funding for the agreed upon purpose of recruiting new teachers and must be spending it on other areas. While each local authority will have different education needs and it is important that they can identify and exercise how best to support those, there is also a clear need across the country, especially in West Lothian, to recruit and maintain teacher numbers and this is what that funding was allocated for.
“I know from speaking to teachers and education officials in West Lothian that the most common concerns they have are the pressures that come with having large, full classrooms and a lack of permanent posts. So given that this funding is to roll over into 2023, I have written urgently to the Chief Executive of West Lothian Council to ask for assurances that the remainder of this funding is used for the purpose it was intended, to retain and recruit teachers needed for West Lothian Schools.”
For West Lothian’s Labour/Conservative led Council to take Scottish Government money, use it for means other than which it was intended, and then blame the Government for not doing enough to support them in education and the recruitment of teachers is irresponsible and does nothing to support the education and attainment of our young people and the teachers in our schools.
Scottish Government teacher numbers – https://www.gov.scot/publications/summary-statistics-for-schools-in-scotland-2022/pages/overview/