Wednesday, 4 March 2015

SNP Condemn Tory/Independent Moves to Increase Class Sizes as "Ill-Conceived and Shortsighted"

Moray SNP Councillors have today [Wednesday] opposed a proposed increase in class sizes by Moray Council’s Independent/Tory Administration.

The proposal was made in light of pressures on roles in Elgin Primary Schools and pressures on recruiting teachers.

SNP Opposition Education Spokesperson Mike Shand expressed his serious concerns on the negative impact such proposals would have on attainment and would seriously hamper recruitment.

Cllr Mike Shand said:

© The Moray Council
“The decision to increase class sizes for some schools in Moray is a backwards step. It is ill-conceived and short-sighted. I believe it devalues even further the role of teachers in Moray and will make our challenge of teacher recruitment to the region even harder.

“There is a serious risk that this short-termism will, in fact, exacerbate the problem rather than providing any kind of solution.

“The Council should be putting a major effort into making teaching in Moray an attractive proposition and pro-actively targeting qualified teachers in areas of Scotland where there is not a shortage rather than undermining the role and making that recruitment even harder.

“It is telling that the reduction in Classroom Assistants, which the SNP opposed, is now coming back to bite them and they are putting £100k back into those posts. It is also long overdue now that they reinstate Principal Teacher posts - the removal of which we strongly warned would be detrimental and that has proven to be the case.”

SNP Councillor for Elgin City North Kirsty Reid said:

© The Moray Council
“I have spoken to parents and teachers who are extremely concerned about the impact this will have on the attainment of their children and on the morale of staff. Where is the incentive to work at a school where class sizes have just increased? This is the wrong decision.

“Today’s report and recommendations were based on outdated research and failed to address many of the risks that the Council’s education department will face as a result of this bad decision.”
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