Edinburgh Council: No plans to axe teachers following ‘frightening’ Glasgow budget plan

Council leader speaks about city’s teachers ahead of budget cuts

The leader of Edinburgh Council has said there are currently no plans to sack teachers as part of an £80 million cut to the capital’s budget next month – but added “all options” were being considered.

It comes after leaked documents revealed more than 800 teaching staff could be axed in Glasgow as part of a “frightening” plan for £51m education cutbacks.

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The news prompted calls from opposition councillors in Edinburgh for the Labour administration to “rule out cuts to our city’s schools”.

Cammy Day, City of Edinburgh Council leader. Photo by Lisa Ferguson.

City leader Cammy Day said the council was “not looking to reduce the number of teachers as part of our budget proposals as far as I’m aware to date”.

Options set out by officials in Glasgow to plug a £69m gap include closing primary schools early on Fridays and reducing the number of school science technicians, psychologists and dyslexia support staff, the Daily Record reported this week. Leaked council papers suggested over 800 teaching posts would be at risk if the cuts are approved.

Edinburgh will have to face-up to its own financial woes at the fast-approaching annual budget meeting in February, with councillors expected to slash funds for public services to address a £80m gap.

Kevin Lang, Lib Dem group leader at Edinburgh City Council, called Glasgow’s proposals “frightening”.

“I have already had parents in Edinburgh asking me if similar action could be taken here,” he said.

“This is why the Labour administration must immediately rule out cuts to our city’s schools. We cannot risk long-term harm to a generation of young people for a short-term budget balancing process.”

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He added Labour must make protecting school finances “a key priority” if they want support for their budget next month.

Asked if teachers could be fired to save money in Edinburgh, Councillor Day said: “That’s not a proposal that Edinburgh is looking at.”

He added: “I also appreciate that Glasgow has a larger budget and target cut to make but we’re not looking to reduce the number of teachers as part of our budget proposals as far as I’m aware to date.”

However the council leader said “all options” were being looked at.

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“It’s quite severe, but I don’t think we’re looking at cutting teaching numbers,” he added.