As a coalition whose members deliver specialist care and education services for children and young people with complex needs, we are deeply concerned by the latest Scottish Government figures which highlight that teacher numbers in Scotland continue to fall, down to 50,824 in 2014 from 51,078 in 2013 and 51,253 in 2012.
In addition, the numbers of those in Scotland identified as having additional support needs (ASN) continues to rise, now standing at 140,542.
This reduction in teacher numbers and increase in those with ASN is set against a backdrop of continued funding cuts to vital children’s services across local authorities.
That is why we have written to all local authority chief executives and council leaders, urging them to protect these services as they set next year’s budgets.
Cutting already diminished resources is simply not an option and we would urge local authorities to protect services for children and young people, and act urgently on this clear need to boost teacher numbers.
A society is judged on how it treats its most vulnerable citizens and at present we are in danger of creating a lost generation whose cost to society will far outweigh any public sector cuts should services to them be reduced.
The Scottish Children’s Services Coalition:
Who Cares? Scotland
Falkland House School
Spark of Genius