Teaching union vows to ‘press on’ with campaign for more funding

EIS general secretary made the pledge as she claimed the Budget contained ‘no significant additional funding’.

EIS teaching union vows to ‘press on’ with campaign for more education funding in Scotland after Budget STV News

Teachers’ leaders are to press the case for more cash for education in 2024, with the EIS trade union complaining the recent Scottish Budget contained “no significant additional resources” for schools.

EIS general secretary Andrea Bradley said the Budget, which was unveiled by Deputy First Minister Shona Robison earlier this month, does not give schools the funding to “reduce class sizes and bring in many more teachers at a time when more resources are urgently needed”.

Such resources are needed to “provide appropriate support for the ever-increasing number of young people with additional support needs”, she said, as well as to help “stem the rising tide of violent and aggressive behaviours in our schools”.

She said additional resources could also deliver on commitments to reduce the amount of time teachers spend in the classroom – a move which would “lighten the excessive workload burdens on our teachers”.

Ms Bradley said: “The recent Scottish Budget did not deliver much that was new for Scottish education, and actually included some cuts to pupil health and wellbeing and to support for care experienced young people. This will only serve to exacerbate existing challenges.

“Most of the funding that was pledged had been previously announced, and there was no significant additional funding for schools to reduce class sizes and bring in many more teachers at a time when more resources are urgently needed.”

With the EIS having already launched a campaign calling for improved funding and resources for schools, Ms Bradley vowed the union will “continue to press on our campaign priorities in the year ahead”.

She added: “With a general election set to be held within the next year, the EIS will be pressing all political parties to make firm commitments on how they will navigate existing constitutional arrangements to provide a better deal for Scottish education, its learners and its teaching professionals.”

Education is devolved to Holyrood but the EIS will make the case for “enhanced support” for the “vital public service” in the run up to the Westminster ballot.

Ms Bradley added: “Public services, including our education system, have been squeezed for many years, with deep cuts to funding, resources, and staffing levels.

“This must be reversed to deliver an education system that can meet the needs of all our young people.”

With schools run by councils, local government body Cosla complained that it has seen “cuts to core council budgets”.

A Cosla spokesperson said: “Councils know that learning is not all about what happens in a classroom. Children and young people need to arrive in schools well and ready to learn, and they can’t do that if they don’t have the right support at home or in their communities.

“For too long now, the financial settlement for local government has meant that councils have had to cut spend on services which support children and young people to learn, for example in youth work, community development, social work support and breakfast clubs.

“The Scottish Budget proposed does nothing to support the health and wellbeing and readiness to learn of our youngest citizens.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Children, young people, families and learners of all ages continue to be a key priority of the Scottish Government, which is why the education and skills budget has grown to over £4.8bn for 2024-25 – with a 5% lift in resource spend compared to last year.

“Scotland has the most teachers per pupil and the highest paid teachers in the UK – showing how much the Scottish Government values the profession.

“The 2024-25 Budget further supports teachers with an investment of £390m to protect teacher numbers and fund the teacher pay deal.”

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