The MSP for Shetland Beatrice Wishart took to the Scottish Parliament’s chamber to challenge the Scottish Government on what it is doing to address the increasing workloads of Shetland’s Additional Support Needs teachers.
The number of pupils identified as having an additional support (ASN) need has increased markedly over the past 10 years. At the same time, the number of ASN teachers has reduced.
In response to Ms Wishart’s questioning, the Cabinet Secretary for Education said that the responsibility for ensuring that proper support exists lies with local authorities.
Commenting, Ms Wishart said:
“For pupils and teachers alike, the combination of more children needing support and less teachers available to provide it has become a vicious circle.
“Teachers tell me they are facing an ever increasing workload, and this is having a direct impact on how much they are able to enjoy the job. The Scottish Government must take concrete actions so that rewarding careers do not become so demoralising that people leave the profession.
“The Government has to stop taking their commitment for granted. Instead of simply shifting the buck to local authorities, they should initiate a McCrone 2 – an independent review of teachers’ conditions and the demands placed upon them, to reverse the exponential workload increases.”