More teachers needed to close attainment gap in Scotland says Jeremy Corbyn

Scotland needs more teachers to achieve the key Scottish Government aim of closing the attainment gap between the richest and poorest pupils, Jeremy Corbyn has said

Jeremy Corbyn spoke about schooling in his campaign event in Glasgow yesterday Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

Speaking ahead of a campaign event in Glasgow, the Labour leader claimed Scottish Government cuts to council budgets had left teachers “overworked and underpaid”.

He said: “We won’t close the gap between the richest and the poorest pupils with overworked and underpaid teachers.

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“Our schools need real change, with more teachers, more support and more resources.

“They do not need more Tory austerity from Westminster and more SNP cuts.”

A Scottish Labour campaign against reductions to council funding highlights claims the local authority budgets have been cut by £1.5 billion since 2011.

Teacher numbers have fallen by around 3,500 since the SNP came to power in 2007, the campaign points out, and the number of primary school pupils being taught in classes of 30 or more has risen 44% since 2011.

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said: “Under the SNP 3,500 teachers have been cut, class sizes are growing and in the last decade pay has fallen dramatically.

“It is little wonder we face a teacher recruitment crisis and that teachers are saying they’ve had enough and threatening industrial action.

“Labour supports the teachers’ campaign for better pay and action on workloads.”