Education cuts biting harder and harder

It is becoming ever clearer that education, supposedly the top priority for the Scottish Government, is facing further cuts on a scale that was previously unimaginable.

Despite manifesto commitments to increase teacher numbers and to reduce teachers’ class contact time, teacher numbers have fallen over the past two years and there has been no significant progress on any planned reduction in class-contact.

Recent budget statements across the country have further highlighted that education cuts are firmly on the agenda in many Council areas. Cuts to teacher numbers, and cuts to the length of the pupil week – both in defiance of Scottish Government commitments – have again reared their heads in local authority budget planning proposals.

All of this comes at a time when our education system is already facing a resourcing and staffing crisis in many parts of the country, with declining staff numbers, soaring teacher workload, huge increases in the numbers of pupils with ASN, and increasing instances of violence and aggressive behaviours in our schools.

It isn’t supposed to be this way. The ‘Judge me on Education’ mantra of the Scottish Government seems to have been side-lined, while the promise of additional support for schools to support post-pandemic education recovery for all young people also seems to have been forgotten.

As ever, schools and teachers are doing their utmost to provide a quality learning experience for all young people. But this has become increasingly challenging after years of under-investment in the education system.

That is why the current EIS campaign Stand Up for Quality Education was launched, and why it is so important for the future of Scotland’s schools. As we move through what seems certain to be a General Election year, the EIS will continue to take every opportunity to press for better support for Scottish education.

At local and national level, the EIS will be pushing politicians to commit to enhancing the level of investment in Scottish education and Scotland’s young people. It is important that every EIS member plays their part in supporting this campaign, so that we can ensure a brighter future for everyone in Scotland’s schools.

Still no fair deal for Scotland’s colleges

As we highlight in this edition, the long-running dispute in Scotland’s Further Education colleges continues. Following a successful re-ballot, forced by the UK government’s anti-trade union laws being deployed, EIS-FELA members have stepped up their campaign of industrial action to secure a fair pay settlement and to protect education provision in Scotland’s colleges.

Following a day of national strike action, the programme of strikes has now shifted to a rolling programme targeted at the constituencies of key Scottish Government Ministers. Targeted action was successfully deployed in the last teachers’ pay dispute and helped pile the pressure on the Scottish Government to step in to facilitate a fair offer.

With the Scottish Government having effectively sat on their hands throughout the dispute, while College Principals have engaged in aggressive anti-trade union rhetoric and actions, it is well past time for greater pressure to be brought to bear on Ministers. Experience has shown that politicians do not like being cast in a negative light, especially when there is an election on the horizon. It is time for the Scottish Government to intervene, to remind colleges of their obligations as a public-sector employer, and to take action to ensure a fair pay deal for college lecturers and a return to normality in Scotland’s colleges.

Also in this Edition

Changing Tides Towards a Better Understanding of Hormonal Fluctuations

Whether arising from internal or external sources, our lives are marked by phases, cycles, and hormonal changes. However, many of...

The Vikings Are Coming – To a Primary School Near You

Scottish opera’s reimagined primary schools tour is providing pupils across Scotland with access to the performing arts. Scottish Opera’s award-winning...

Campaign News

Why Every EIS Member Must Stand Up for Quality Education Over four pages in the December issue of this magazine,...

Supporting music education – It’s a marathon, not a sprint

EIS Head of Communications Brian Cooper explains why he’s suddenly, and quite inexplicably, decided to start training for a Marathon....


Council sends strong message on International Women’s Day

Council sends strong message on International Women’s Day

The March meeting of EIS Council was held on International Women’s Day, and Council members took the opportunity to view...

EIS staffing news

EIS staffing news

Sarah Collins - National Officer FE The post of EIS FELA Officer will be taken up by Sarah Collins. Before...

Education Reform must move forward

Education Reform must move forward

The EIS has responded to the Parliamentary debate which took place recently on the recommendations of the Hayward Review. Commenting,...

EIS Glasgow Local Association declares dispute with GCC over proposed cuts

EIS Glasgow Local Association declares dispute with GCC over proposed cuts

The Glasgow Local Association of the EIS, has declared a dispute with Glasgow City Council over its budget planning proposals...

Annual General Meeting 2024

Annual General Meeting 2024

OBSERVERS The EIS Annual General Meeting will be held in the Caird Hall, Dundee on 6, 7 and 8 June...


April 2024

Vol. 108 / Issue no. 02