Teachers warn standards will decline due to cuts

Brock: 'opportunity is at risk'. Picture: Contributed
Brock: 'opportunity is at risk'. Picture: Contributed
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NINE out of ten teachers in Scotland believe educational standards will decline as a result of public sector cuts.

A report published tomorrow by Children in Scotland, reveals a damning lack of faith in the ability to uphold standards in schools as a result of sweeping budgetary cuts.

Overall, 90 per cent of teachers believe standards will fall. Meanwhile, 66 per cent of teachers and those who work with young people believe they will not be adequately resourced in order to deliver local and national educational standards in the next year, while 11 per cent said that, because of budget cuts, schools in some local council areas will have fewer basic resources than in others.

When asked to rank the most important factors necessary for improving educational standards, a slim majority of 51 per cent named funding as the most important factor, ahead of smaller class sizes and flexibility in teaching approaches.

The report, entitled “Protect learning – in and out of school: learning, play and care in Scottish communities”, collates the findings of a survey conducted over five weeks with teachers, young persons’ workers and parents across Scotland. It reveals growing concern about the impact of cuts on learning and identifies a number of recommendations to help prioritise and protect education and care.

Children in Scotland chief executive Jackie Brock said: “Education has been proven to be one of the many ways to enhance social mobility and lift children out of a life of poverty, but there is a real risk that opportunities will not be realised for many children if it is insufficiently funded.”

Families were also asked about which services they thought would be affected by the budget cuts. Resourcing of schools came top with 35 per cent of parents saying they believed issues such as the availability of text books, sports equipment, school trips and out-of-school clubs would be most affected. This was followed closely by teaching, and youth clubs and community groups aimed at the development of children and young people, both at 23 per cent.

Brock added: “We urge that cuts are not made at the expense of our most vulnerable children and families.”