Labour: Scottish college workforce decimated under SNP

Staff in Scottish colleges down by more than a tenth over a decade after 'botched regionalisation', say Labour

George Ryan

Scottish Labour have blamed the SNP-led Scottish government for reductions in the college teacher workforce

There has been a 13.5 per cent reduction in staff in Scotland’s colleges since the SNP took power in 2007, according to new analysis from Scottish Labour .

Statistics from the Scottish Funding Council show that in 2007-08, there were 12,653 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff, while in 2017-18 there were 10,942 - a fall of 1,711.

Labour's analysis also reveals that there has been a 12.7 per cent reduction in the level of FTE teaching staff over the same period – a cut of 799.

Read more: Performance pay cuts spending on primary teachers by 11%

More news: Teachers threaten national strike if 5% pay demand isn’t met

Background: Teaching jobs sacrificed to make ends meet

'Botched regionalisation'

Iain Gray MSP, Scottish Labour’s education spokesperson, said: “Colleges are key to jobs and growth, not to mention their important role in widening access to opportunities for disadvantaged young people.

“Since the SNP took power, and their subsequent botched regionalisation of the sector, further education in Scotland has suffered. Colleges have faced under investment, students have seen their numbers plummet by 120,000 and staff numbers have also declined.

“What’s more, staff and students are working in buildings in need of repairs totalling hundreds of millions of pounds. Hardworking lecturers are now also engaged in industrial action over a cost-of-living pay rise to which they are entitled. For too long further education has been seen by the SNP as the poor relation. That must end.”

A Scottish government spokesperson said: “Since college regionalisation in 2013, college lecturer headcount figures have increased by 400, and FTEs have increased by 100. We continue to support the college sector through significant capital and revenue investment. Since 2007, we have invested more than £6 billion into Scotland’s colleges.”

Register to continue reading for free

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you

George Ryan

George Ryan

George Ryan is a further education reporter for tes

Find me on Twitter @GeorgeMRyan

Latest stories