Councils angry over Swinney teacher numbers comment

Written by Tom Freeman on 5 February 2015 in News

COSLA call Finance Secretary's budget speech “factually incorrect and entirely misleading”

Scottish councillors have reacted angrily after Finance Secretary John Swinney used his budget speech to challenge local authorities over teacher numbers.

Swinney threatened to withhold the extra funding for maintaining teacher numbers if councils were not prepared "to sign up to a clear commitment" to use the money for that purpose.

Scottish councils umbrella organisation COSLA President, Cllr David O’Neill said he was “outraged and appalled”.

O’Neill said the body had not walked away from any difficult negotiations, and that Swinney statement was a “factually incorrect and an entirely misleading” description.

“Local government is a statutory service provided by Councils and this is a blatant attempt by Government to control it by making these decisions. We have consistently argued that focusing on teacher numbers won’t deliver the improvements in attainment that we all desire. The best people to take decisions on education work in Councils not in St Andrews House,” he said.

However, Swinney’s statement was backed up by teaching union EIS. General secretary Larry Flanagan said: "It seems that, despite Cosla's repeated statements about its commitment to protect education, their objective is to slash education budgets and cut teacher numbers even further - with serious consequences for pupils across Scotland.”




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