Maximum of 18 out of reach

20th February 2009 at 00:00

Class size targets to reduce P1-3 to a maximum of 18 will not be met in the coming year under council spending plans for 2009-10.

Most authorities have allocated no additional money or small amounts, saying they have limited scope for class size cuts or are relying on falling rolls to meet Government targets.

Moray has allocated five teachers - ones who would otherwise have been redundant because of falling school rolls.

SNP-led West Lothian Council has earmarked Pounds 255,000 for reductions, but will only be able to confirm this once its allocation of probationers is known. Fife Council, also SNP-led, is spending Pounds 400,000 to employ additional teachers to help it meet its class size reduction target.

Renfrewshire, which has an SNPLiberal Democrat administration, allocated nearly Pounds 1 million to reducing P1-3 class sizes over 200809 but has directed no money to this target for the forthcoming year. Its capital is being directed towards improving and maintaining the school estate instead, it says.

Labour-led North Ayrshire has earmarked Pounds 300,000 to pay for additional primary teachers to cut P1-3 classes to 25, while Dumfries and Galloway has allocated Pounds 210,000 and East Ayrshire Pounds 98,000 to employing extra teachers for class size cuts.

East Renfrewshire Council, whose schools are under more pressure than most in terms of placing requests, cites recent legal rulings that neither the class size target of 25 (set under the LabourLiberal Democrat Scottish Executive) nor the SNP Government's target of 18 is legally enforceable.

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