FMQs: Nicola Sturgeon told she should be 'embarrassed' at Scottish council considering cutting 800 teachers

Nicola Sturgeon has been told she should be “embarrassed” after it emerged Scotland’s biggest council would consider proposals to cut as many as 800 teaching posts due to budget constraints.

Plans to be considered by Glasgow City Council also include a proposal to shut primary schools across Glasgow early on Fridays to help shave £51 million from the education budget.

The reports come after council leaders last month warned in a scathing attack on the Scottish Government’s Budget that essential public services “may have to stop altogether” with local authorities at “absolute breaking point”.

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Quizzed on the Glasgow City Council proposals, first reported by the Daily Record, at First Minister’s Questions, Ms Sturgeon stressed local authorities were “autonomous” and had the scope to consider their own budget decisions as she said she was “proud” of her Government’s record on education.

Nicola Sturgeon was pressed on Glasgow City Council's proposal.

"This, of course, is that time of year when we get lots of reports about savings options that different councils are considering, and opposition parties quite understandably make hay with that,” she said. “But very often these proposals do not proceed, and I think the official report of this Parliament will be littered with examples of what I’ve just spoken about."

Ms Sturgeon added: “Councils are, of course, autonomous in their areas of responsibility, something the parties across this chamber often call on the Scottish Government to respect. But as my record shows and indeed as my Government’s funding to councils demonstrates, I am in favour of more teachers, not fewer teachers.”

But Scottish Tories leader Douglas Ross said: “Nicola Sturgeon is proud to see SNP councils considering cutting teacher numbers. You’re proud of that, First Minister? You should be embarrassed, if not disgraced.”

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