Fife needs to fill 88 teaching jobs

Scottish Government finance minister John Swinney has made additional funding available to local authorities if they promise to maintain teacher numbers.

Scottish Government finance minister John Swinney has made additional funding available to local authorities if they promise to maintain teacher numbers.

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Fife’s SNP councillors have demanded the Labour administration signs up to accept Scottish Government funding in return for protecting teacher numbers.

However, Council leader David Ross has pointed out he has already agreed to this – but has also asked the Government about filling vacant teaching posts in Fife.

Speaking ahead of the budget meeting, Councillor Douglas Chapman, SNP education spokesman, said: “Before any budget can be agreed, the SNP will be calling on Fife Council to end the political posturing and accept our fair share of the £51m which the Scottish Government has made available to help councils to maintain teacher numbers.

“I’m sure parents who have seen their local school closed as a cost-cutting measure will be astonished that the Council seems so reluctant to accept more money from John Swinney to put more teachers in our classrooms.”

However, in an earlier statement, Cllr Ross said: “We currently have 88 teacher vacancies across primary and secondary schools in Fife because we have been unable to recruit to these posts. That is fairly and squarely down to a failure on the part of the Scottish Government to accurately predict the future demand for teachers and to provide sufficient training places.

“I will be happy to confirm our commitment to maintaining teacher numbers but I will be asking Mr Swinney where we are supposed to find the teachers to fill our vacancies.

“I will also be asking him how he expects us to properly fund education in the future when Fife is faced with making budget savings of £77m over the next three years.”