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Scotland - Surveys show where budget cuts bite

Local authorities are planning to cut teacher jobs, support staff and funding for continuing professional development, an Educational Institute of Scotland survey has revealed.

The findings have prompted Ronnie Smith, the institute's general secretary, to challenge the Scottish Government to "square the circle" between its claims of more money for education and the reality facing schools of budgets and staffing being cut.

His concerns were echoed by separate figures, obtained under a Freedom of Information request by the Scottish Labour Party, which showed a Pounds 61 million squeeze on education budgets in the 22 authorities that responded. One of the worst affected is Glasgow, which has seen a cut of Pounds 8.7m; East Ayrshire is not far behind with a reduction of Pounds 4.2m.

Labour says its survey shows Pounds 16m is being cut from teaching staff costs in councils across Scotland. The EIS survey, also based on an FoI request, shows that 15 of the 28 authorities that responded are planning to employ 315 fewer teachers next session.

Some of the biggest cuts are in the smallest authorities: North Ayrshire says it expects to have 65 fewer teachers, Renfrewshire 47, Inverclyde 30, Midlothian 24, East Dunbartonshire 26 and Argyll and Bute 21 fewer.

Seven councils also have plans to reduce their support staff complement by 211 posts. dm.

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