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UCU Scotland concern over teacher training budget

24 September 2009

UCU Scotland criticised the Scottish government for imposing a ridiculous hire and fire regime in teacher training in Scotland.

The union said the decision to slash the teacher education budget by almost a third made little sense after periods of huge rises followed by massive cuts. The union argued for limited and sustainable growth to ensure teacher training in the country can continue at sensible levels and meet the needs of Scotland's schools.

The union welcomed the Scottish Parliament debate on the number of teachers in Scotland as it believes the latest budget cut will lead to redundancies in education departments. The draft Scottish Budget Bill for 2010/11, announced last week, included a slash in the teacher training budget from £30 to £22.1 million.

There has been no explanation or justification for the cut and it seems likely it will see a reduction of teacher education departments in universities and equates to a cut of a quarter of the provision in one year. This represents an overall cut in students numbers for teaching of one-third, with primary education suffering the most with a two-thirds cut.

UCU Scotland President, Lesley McIntosh, said. 'While the overall budget for universities is welcome the devil is in the detail. The massive cut in the draft budget for teacher training will lead to redundancies in those departments. We are seriously concerned about teacher workforce planning which has seen massive increases in the teacher education budgets then cut backs on a cyclical basis, leading to a ridiculous hire and fire regime.

'We need limited and sustainable growth to ensure the required increases in teachers over time. If we carry on as we are at the moment, we will no doubt see an equally sudden and large increase in student teacher numbers. We call on the Government to ensure teacher educators are not lost to the profession by reconsidering such a large and sudden cut in funding.'

Last updated: 11 December 2015