20 April 2004
Marlyn Glen has been given no commitment from the Scottish Government that it will provide any additional money to Dundee City Council to employ more teachers for primary 1-3 classes to reach the Scottish Government’s flagship policy figure of 18 or fewer by 2011.
Ms. Glen had highlighted with Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop that only 8 out of 56 classes in primary 1 to 3 in Dundee have a maximum of 18 pupils or fewer.
In Primary 2, only 2 out of 43 classes across the city have a maximum of 18 or fewer
In Primary 3 , only 1 class out of 39 classes has a maximum of 18 or fewer.
She had pointed out that there were now 17 fewer primary school teachers in Dundee schools than this time last year, and that the Scottish Government had recently cut the number of post-graduate primary teacher training places by 10 per cent.
Ms. Glen commented,
” There was never any ambiguity in the wording of the SNP’s vote-winning promise.
” They pledged in their election manifesto that all class sizes in P1-P3 classes would be reduced to a maximum of 18 by 2011.
“Alex Salmond confirmed that pledge a few months later in the Scottish Parliament.
” Now, having denied local councils the money to carry out this promise , they are attempting, unsuccessfully, to persuade parents and teachers that the cash-strapped councils are to blame for the policy being broken.”