1 April 2020

The number of specialist teachers supporting those with additional support needs fallen by more than 500 since 2008.

Of those, almost 350 have been lost from primary schools and there has been a decrease of almost 200 in secondary schools.

Such teachers specialise in, for example, behavioural support as well as supporting those with learning difficulties. They are vital to the education of many children.

Over this same time period, the number of children recognised as having an additional support need has grown drastically.

Since 2008, there has also been a huge decrease in the numbers of secondary school teachers in several core subject areas.

There are now over 500 fewer English teachers, and over 400 fewer French teachers and over 400 fewer Maths teachers.

Scottish Labour’s education spokesperson, Iain Gray, said:

“It is extremely worrying to see that the number of specialist support teachers is continuing to fall, despite the number of pupils needing their help increasing.

“While some of this can be explained by improvements in recording and the introduction of additional need types, this does not change the fact that there are far fewer specialist teachers to support this group of young people.

“It is vital that this is addressed by the Scottish Government as a priority when we begin to restart our school system after the current closedown.

In the meantime Ministers and Education Scotland need to do all they can to support parents and teachers of ASN children trying to continue education at home. “No pupil should be left to fall behind because there aren’t enough specialist teachers to give them the support they deserve.”
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