From the seat of a giant oversized deckchair in South Queensferry overlooking the Firth of Forth, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has today set out his party's plans to boost the teaching profession and put recovery first for education.
The Scottish Liberal Democrats want:
- More in-class support to help every child reach their potential
- A guaranteed job for every teacher for smaller class sizes
- An end to the casualisation of the teaching profession that means 1 in 10 teachers are on short-term or casual contracts, risking people leaving
- Serving teachers put at the heart of SQA and Education Scotland which the party also wants to substantially reform
- A review of workloads and conditions for teachers (McCrone 2), and a minimum starting salary of £30,000 to help attract the best graduates into teaching
- A new “teacher premium” for schools in disadvantaged areas consisting of pay supplements designed to attract and reward the best teachers for the schools in greatest need
- New, optional, three-year packages for probationer teachers – consisting of the current one-year probationary period plus two further guaranteed years – to help local authorities get graduates to take up posts in certain geographical areas
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said:
“Teachers must be at the heart of our education recovery. Our plan for teachers will be good for education.
“Scottish Liberal Democrats have already secured an extra £80 million for education in the budget but we want to go much further.
"Our Education Bounce Back plan offers unprecedented new entitlements and resources for pupils. Staff are critical to all of the good things we want to do. They have worked flat out to give everyone the best education possible over the last year. But they deserve better from the government.
“To help children and young people bounce back from the disruption to their education we need to invest in the teaching profession.
“Our country is stronger when every individual is able to achieve their potential, but the independent report this week showed a yawning attainment gap and progress falling short.
“My Scottish Liberal Democrats have an ambitious and comprehensive plan to help children and young people bounce back. It puts the recovery first.”