Reports that spending on education in Scotland has fallen by £400 million when compared to 2007 (Brian Wilson, 11 August) should be seen in context of ongoing Westminster real term cuts of £3.3 billion to the Scottish budget.
Local authorities are responsible for education budgets and there was an increase of £120 million on education in the last financial year.
Salaries account for a large part of overall costs and as the number of teachers has fallen by 3,000 since 2007, mainly in Labour- run councils like Glasgow and North Lanarkshire due to falling rolls, which multiplied by the starting salary of £27,000 comes to £81 million a year.
Since 2007 the number of pupils in Scottish schools has fallen by 110,000, resulting in a pupil-teacher ratio of 13.6 to one, which compares favourably with England with a ratio is 15 to one in secondary and 20 to one in primaries.
There are teacher shortages in STEM subjects like computing, maths and chemistry and from this month the Scottish Government is offering bursaries of £20,000 to eligible career-changers to undertake an initial teacher education course and qualify as a teacher in STEM subjects.
UCAS confirmed that 29,830 Scottish students have had their UK higher education places confirmed, which is a 4 per cent increase compared to 2017 and the number from the poorest background is up by 5 per cent.
Contrary to Brian Wilson’s gloomy assessment, Scotland still has a very highly educated population and the number of full-time college students completing recognised higher education qualifications is at an all-time high.
Fraser Grant, Edinburgh