15 December 2010
Marlyn Glen, the Dundee-based MSP, has been informed by Dundee City Council that they can provide her with no “realistic or accurate figures” at present about teacher staffing levels in Dundee schools for the forthcoming year.
The news, following a declared £4 million spending cut in education by the council next year, comes at a time when the latest Scottish Government statistics on teacher numbers in Dundee reveal that almost 1 in every 10 secondary teachers in Dundee has gone in the past two years.
Ms. Glen raised with the council proposals being examined by both COSLA and the Scottish Government on a funding deal that that would ensure that all those who have finished their one-year probationary period and for those about to embark on their probationary year were employed next year.
However, COSLA estimates indicate that such proposals would leave an estimated 1,200 teaching posts unfilled across Scotland.
Ms. Glen pressed Dundee City Council for its forecast of how many teaching posts in Dundee would remain vacant as a result of the proposed funding deal.
But in reply, Director of Education Jim Collins said,
“I regret that our detailed staffing exercise has not yet begun for session 2011-12. That is a process that usually begins around mid-December. I therefore am not in a position to give you any kind of realistic or accurate figures at the present time.”
As previously revealed by Ms. Glen, Scottish Government statistics show that the number of secondary teachers in the city dropped in the last two years from 811 to 732 – a drop of 79 equivalent to just under 10 per cent of secondary teachers in the city.
The pupil-teacher ratio in secondaries rose from 10.2 to 10.6 in the same period.
The number of primary school teachers in Dundee between 2009 and 2010 dropped from 676 to 666 – a drop of 10.
The pupil-teacher ratio rose in primaries from 14.0 to 14.2 in the city.