Schools Scotland: 'Shock' as Glasgow teachers hear plans to axe 450 posts over three years

Move comes as Scotland’s biggest council tries to save almost £28m

Teaching leaders are in “shock” after being told 450 jobs could be axed in Glasgow over the next three years.

It was reported on Friday that 172 teacher posts were at risk in Scotland’s biggest city, but it has now emerged that this cut would just be in the first year. Glasgow had 5,612 full-time equivalent teachers in 2023.

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Tes Scotland revealed that full details of the proposed cuts were set out at a meeting of head teachers in Glasgow on Monday.

A teacher and students in a classroom. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA WireA teacher and students in a classroom. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Wire
A teacher and students in a classroom. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Susan Quinn, a primary head and education convener for the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), said: “We knew 172 posts were to go last week, but the fact it is to be 450 jobs over the three years is a big shock. There is just no capacity to do that. We might as well just shut up shop; there just is no means to do it.”

Ms Quinn said the decision would also have implications for this year’s probationers, who would now struggle to get work in Glasgow.

“There will be 172 teachers who are currently employed who have to be redeployed, so that means 172 fewer vacancies,” she told Tes. “The knock-on effect for people coming into the profession and looking for work is going to be massive.”

Ms Quinn added: “Ultimately, fewer teachers means there will be less ability in schools to support pupils. It will be more difficult to support young people with additional needs, it will be more difficult to support young people who find it hard to be in class.

“That will have implications for all children because they will all get less teacher time, and class sizes will increase.”

Local authorities have been setting their budgets in the wake of one of the toughest financial settlements since devolution, both for the Holyrood government and councils.

Glasgow’s teaching post cuts aim to save £28 million over three years. In other areas, including Falkirk and Perth and Kinross, there are proposals to shorten school days and the school week.

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Ahead of the 2021 election, the SNP pledged to recruit 3,500 additional teachers and classroom assistants, and councils were given extra funding to at least maintain teacher numbers. But the overall number fell by 122 between 2021 and 2022, and then dipped by another 160 full-time equivalents (FTE) last year.

Glasgow City Council said: “Officers are looking at several education service reform options as part of a budget that required almost £108 million worth savings from council services over the next three years, not including social care.

“For many years education spending has been protected, relative to other services, in the budget process. However, with the education budget now amounting to more than half of service expenditure directed by the council, that is significantly more challenging when substantial savings are still required.

“Meetings have taken place with teacher trade unions to discuss the challenges and make them aware of the savings needed and senior staff are also meeting with head teachers. At every stage, officers will do everything they can to minimise the impact, but in the current financial climate the council has to look at every option.”



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