Lib Dems pledge on nursery teachers after Edinburgh council cuts
Scottish Liberal Democrats have promised to recognise the value of nursery teachers following council cuts in Edinburgh which removed qualified teachers from nursery classes.
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The Lib Dems unveiled a manifesto commitment to "value the expertise and contribution of teachers in early learning and childcare settings", saying years of SNP cuts had taken their toll on the workforce and efforts to tackle the attainment gap.
The number of teachers working in the early learning and childcare sector across Scotland has fallen to 729 from 1,200 in 2014.
Last year Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie appealed to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to pick up the phone to Edinburgh council leader Adam McVey in a bid to stop the cuts in the Capital which the EIS had called the "worst example of a short-term cut with devastating long-term impacts".
Alex Cole-Hamilton, Lib Dem candidate for Edinburgh Western, said: "Scottish Liberal Democrats worked hard to successfully persuade the SNP government of the value of expanding early learning and childcare. Every part of the sector should be thriving."However, expertise has been systematically stripped from nurseries. We've seen it in Edinburgh where those with the best qualifications as teachers become too expensive to keep."When Willie Rennie raised it the First Minister refused to even pick up the phone and ask why her SNP councillors were removing all 80 nursery teachers from the Capital's nurseries. Their transfer to primary schools added to the problems of casualisation in that wider workforce.
"We need the next Scottish Government to have a needle-sharp focus on giving our children the best start in life."