Job cuts show SNP's skewed priorities

27th August 2010 at 01:00

Your report last week that nine out of 10 new teachers trained at public expense are unable to get a permanent job in the authority which trained them, and that fewer than 3 per cent have found one in another authority, reflects the fact that the SNP Government has the wrong priorities.

Teachers' and classroom assistants' jobs are being cut to deliver the SNP's council tax freeze. The effects are larger classes, less support for pupils and reduced school budgets - to say nothing of the human and financial consequences for those new teachers unable to get work in their chosen profession.

The SNP has broken all its manifesto promises on education, including its pledge to maintain teacher numbers. Over the past three years, the prospects for young teachers have worsened dramatically, leaving the overwhelming majority of newly-qualified teachers scrabbling for work. These teachers' skills are desperately needed, but they are not being given a chance.

The SNP has failed young teachers and is failing Scottish education. We must stop the rot before it gets worse, with Tory and Lib Dem cuts at UK level on top of the SNP cuts we have already suffered.

The Scottish Government must work with the councils to protect education, instead of imposing financial restrictions on them. Our schools are vital for our future.

Des McNulty, shadow education secretary, Scottish Parliament.

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