But the Scotsman said ‘Scottish teacher numbers hit highest level in over a decade’

The Herald

The Herald gives the wee Lib Dems the platform to accuse that SNP Scottish Government of causing an exodus of teachers and sacrificing the futures of our weans or bairns.

It’s true, more left in 2020 than in the previous years but, hey, here’s a thought, maybe the ‘SNP’ has replaced them all and more?

In December 2020, the Scotsman’s Scott McNab, no SNP supporter he, revealed:

Teaching numbers in Scotland’s schools have risen to their highest level in more than a decade, official figures show. It comes after hundreds of additional teachers were recruited to address concerns over burgeoning workloads associated with the demands facing the profession during the Covid-19 pandemic.


Now, dare I compare with England where, for example, John Beattie says everything is going swimmingly?

I will.

If it was bad, they would.

In Scotland:

The total number of full time equivalent teachers has risen to its highest figure since 2008, official statistics confirm. New figures have revealed that there were 53,400 teachers employed in early learning and childcare, primary, secondary and special schools or centrally employed.

This is 1,153 more than the 2019 total (52,247). Average class size in primary schools fell to their smallest since 2012, down to 23.1 from 23.5 in 2019. The 2020 pupil teacher ratio for all publicly funded schools was 13.3, an improvement on 2019 when it was 13.6.


The ratio in Primary schools is now 15.4 pupils to 1 teacher and in Secondary schools, 12.5 to 1.

In England:

  • In state-funded primary schools, the PTR has remained at 20.9 in both 2018 and 2019 despite a continued increased in pupil numbers.
  • In state-funded secondary schools, the PTR has risen from 16.3 in 2018 to 16.6 in 2019, continuing the trend of year-on-year increases seen since 2012.


Note, the English figures include unqualified teachers (!)

9 thoughts on “But the Scotsman said ‘Scottish teacher numbers hit highest level in over a decade’

  1. Record numbers of MSPs retired/left the Scottish Parliament at the last election ( and were replaced ) – can we blame the SG or the SNP for making conditions impossible for these poor people to perform their duties ?
    Record numbers of nurses left the NHS after Brexit ( and haven’t been replaced ) – can we blame the SG or the SNP for this too ?
    You Bet !

    Liked by 2 people

  2. In regard to the Tories’ argument you are bang on, but I suspect it’s only thanks to their incompetence that another scandal is not being publicised. That scandal is the number of teachers being trained in Schools of Education in our Universities relative to the number of jobs available when they finish their first year probation.
    Permanent jobs advertised this year? Eighty eight. I suspect UWS might produce more teachers than that alone.
    Supply? Glasgow CC is not even taking names this year for supply teaching
    Security of employment? Well yes, if you get the qualifying period in, but I know of one case (and yes I know you should never argue from a single case, but I am sure there are others) where a teacher left at the end of May because if she had worked June she would have been able to take the Council to a Tribunal.
    In other words, the issue is less established teachers leaving the profession as newly trained teachers never even getting into it.
    I could go on to the pressure on teachers to inflate grades (so as not to alarm mummy and daddy) and a disciplinary regime that requires that unacceptable behaviour should have no consequences. Teacher should phone parents to seek support. And when no change? Phone them again! That was a middle class (VERY) school, but there are problems of a different type elsewhere.
    What the Tories claim is wrong with Scottish education is wide of the mark, but should there not be a debate about what is wrong with Scottish education (set out above), and set about changing it. Recognising that not every child is going to be excellent, that poor behaviour needs to be addressed rather than accommodated, that mummy and daddy have some responsibility for their little treasure while at school, and that a teacher’s opinion is to be valued rather than regarded as inconvenient.


  3. When my sons were at school, under a Labour HQ’d in London party at Holyrood and a Labour council, class sizes were at least 30, they struggled to keep within what was legally allowed in fact. One of the teachers tore up my learning disabled son’s paintings in primary school. I wish I could go back in time, I’d have their guts for garters now! Labour shafted so many children, education was survival for the fittest, those who struggled were simply chucked on the scrap heap, hell mend those Labour troughers, lying scheming tricksters.


  4. Home educate, school is just kiddie prison, tongue in cheek, partly.
    Kids are natural learners and should be allowed to learn at their own pace, within their own abilities with the focus being on their own interests from an early age, they should be exploring, interactive learning, interacting in small groups, and most of all, learning about how to survive the future, because adults sure as h**l are making a hash of the planet for them.

    Sorry going off at a tangent…but we need kids knowing how to grow fruit and veg, and show them how to make things and even make money, and to share it, otherwise education via schools is a waste of time, and money.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Breaking News
    Gavin Williamson has just announced that funding for state schools in England is to receive a massive boost in the form
    Of a 5 year program to procure Amazon Parrots for training to speak and teach
    Every school is to be modernised to cater for a ratio of 1 parrot per 2 pupils
    He goes on to say that this represents a revolution in education and within 5 yrs shall make it a world beating system
    This news was brought to you by the
    Monty Python News Team
    And in particular those who have studied the Dead Parrot Sketch fastidiously

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Teachers retire. More teachers are recruited.

    Teachers leave, more teachers are recruited. There is a turnover as in all professions.

    The SNP Gov has to to ring fence teaching funds so unionist councils cannot cut school funding and spend the monies elsewhere. On building empty shops and offices etc. Wasting £Millions of public funds.. Not supporting essential services as intended. Head teachers have more authority over how the school funding is allocated. On teacher nos/services. Some Councils use the statutory number (30) to keep class sizes higher.

    Important early learning has increased funding. Expanded nursery provision. Universities/students are supported. Loans are no longer means tested (Labour policy). Highest number in the world per population go to university. More unis per population than anywhere in the world. Colleges and training. Life long learning. Higher qualified and paid teachers. Improve support for additional needs. Scotland has one of the best education systems in the world. Teacher training could be improved to include additional needs modules. To help all children learn.


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