On the drop in staff numbers

3rd April 2009 at 01:00

Yet again, Fiona Hyslop has taken a pot-shot at Glasgow's education services to deflect criticism from the Scottish Government (TESS, March 27).

The Education Minister named the council as one of four authorities responsible for nearly half of the 1,000 drop in teacher numbers in the past year, yet failed to provide suitable context or an accurate picture of what is happening in the city.

The city's pupil numbers continue to fall each year by about 1,000, so any drop in staff numbers will reflect this trend. It has the largest number of pupils in Scotland, so we have by far the most teachers of all the local authorities in the country.

Ms Hyslop said that the overall pupil-teacher ratio in Scotland is now just 13.1, but not that Glasgow's pupil-teacher ratio is, at 12.5, better than the national average. Class sizes Glasgow in 2007-08 were lower than the national average in primaries 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7. It provides 58 nurture classes for pupils most in need of support, and employs an extra 140 teachers to support those whose first language is not English.

We are using our resources in the best way and will pursue our strategic priorities despite ignorant and random swipes.

Councillor Jonathan Findlay, executive member for education, Glasgow City Council.

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