Thursday, 12 February 2015

Moray Labour and Independent Councillors Fail Teachers Test in Budget

SNP Opposition Leader in Moray Council, Cllr Pearl Paul, today [Thursday] proposed an amendment to the Independent/Labour budget. The amendment being that Principal Teacher posts should be reinstated in Moray primary schools with nurseries attached and primary schools with over 150 pupils.

In a close vote the amendment was defeated by 13 votes to 12 with the SNP critical of the Council’s Independent and Labour Councillors for missing the opportunity to take immediate action that would help address significant pressures in primary schools and improve teacher career prospects and by doing so helping to address the urgent recruitment issue facing Moray.

Speaking after the vote SNP Group Leader Councillor Paul said:

“The SNP opposed the removal of Principal Teachers 2 years ago and the concerns that we raised at the time have been borne out. At this year’s budget we put forward a reasoned and evidenced argument on the reintroduction of these posts and the Council’s Tory Convener, Independents and Labour have failed the teachers test and chose to sit on their hands.

“What is very clear to the SNP Group is that leadership capacity in schools is compromised by the reduced support that Headteachers have with no Principal Teachers to ease the pressure, in addition recruitment is not helped by a poor career structure in Moray.

“The Administration and the Opposition Labour Group had a clear opportunity and they passed it up.”

SNP Opposition Education Spokesperson Cllr Mike Shand said:

“I regularly speak to parents, teachers and other education professionals and the view is very strongly that the removal of Principal Teachers was a big mistake and this was backed up by reports from Council officers just last week. That is what we said at the time and the negative impact of this type of change is also clearly backed up by various independent studies.

“This was an opportunity to act decisively, effectively and, most importantly, without delay, but Labour and the Independents failed that test.”
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