A shortage of teachers in Scottish schools isn’t just bad for qualified people looking for jobs – it’s also bad news for pupils.
That’s the stark message to the Scottish Government on education from Cumbernauld man Jon Eriksen, a recently-qualified teacher who’s struggling to find a job.
His experience is a local example of how the SNP Government has failed on education, according to Central Scotland Labour MSP Mark Griffin.
He says its record shows fewer teachers, a drop in the number of college students and falling numbers of university students from the most deprived communities.
The arguments were set out in detail during First Minister’s Questions in the Scottish Parliament, where he said the Scottish Governnment’s “education failures” were laid bare.
The MSP said: “Since 2007, teacher numbers are down by 4,021, college student numbers are down by 140,428 and university students from the most deprived areas are down by 3,149.”
Jon Eriksen said: “The numbers of teachers in our schools has been reducing and it has been very difficult for me to find my first permanent teaching job.”
“This isn’t just bad news for local teachers looking for a job – it’s bad for our children who are badly affected by larger class sizes as a result.”
Class sizes are a key bone of contention between the Scottish Government and the opposition parties.
Mark Griffin MSP added: “What we have seen from this Government is a track record of failure on education.
“The number of students going to college has fallen and the latest figures on university students show a big drop students from the poorest backgrounds.
“The Scottish Government are failing the children of Scotland and failing the children of Cumbernauld & Kilsyth.”