A Unionist dilemma

There are, on average, 15 Primary pupils per teacher and 12.5 Secondary pupils per teacher in Scottish schools.

In England, there are 21 Primary pupils per teacher and 16 for every Secondary teacher.

So, the workload in England is around 33% higher. That’ll be a real ‘crisis?’

Anyhow, a four day week is the preferred choice by workers, and the bairns too. Who’d have thought?

BBC Scotland and the Herald will be ignoring the above data and empathising with the teachers. Then before you know it, they’ll have a hard-pressed mum and Tory activist (not mentioned) shrieking about how impossible that will make life for her and her three businesses. Douglas Ross will, of course, re-surface for this one. What will Jackie Baillie say? Difficult one for her?

Actually, dilemma? On reflection, no. They’ll just ignoring any possibility that events jolin up in our lives and blame everything on the SNP’s failure to plan for this.

Sources:

https://www.wired-gov.net/wg/news.nsf/articles/Summary+Statistics+for+Schools+in+Scotland+2021+Published+14122021150500?open

https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/school-workforce-in-england

13 thoughts on “A Unionist dilemma

  1. I don’t know where you are getting those figures but all the secondary teachers I know have around 30 pupils per class.

    A remote school with 6 pupils will of course bring the total down but, just saying.

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    1. John,

      If ALL secondary teachers you know have classes of 30, then some of them are LYING. All of the science subjects, technical, home economics and art have a maximum of 20 per class. Although there are defined maxima for different classes at different stages, seldom are classes of maximum size although many are close to it.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. With the agreement of teachers, in some departments, most classes are set at the maximum to allow for the creation of some smaller classes containing pupils with additional support needs.

        Although the numbers have been reduced markedly since ‘austerity’ classes with a number of children with additional support needs had classroom assistants. So that the teacher/adult ratio was reduced markedly. Many of the teachers who assert that ‘every class is 30’ also objected to the presence of classroom assistants on a range of spurious grounds.

        It should be noted that class size maxima were agreed with teacher unions after industrial action in the 1980s and were confirmed by a ballot of members.

        Finally, each individual teaching space, depending on the activity, has a defined minimum area per person for safe working for those in that space. So, in technical subjects, for example, the area per person is more than that in, say, a history class. So, if a classroom area can only accommodate 28 persons, then the class size (assuming no classroom assistants) would be 27 students, even if the maximum permitted class size were 33.

        Determining the capacity of schools has been to the courts on many occasions and sheriff’s have found the regulations so complex that in most cases they have had to say that they are unable to make a ruling, or have overruled the education authority for imposing a capacity (roll capping) which the authority felt was required to preserve the quality of educational provision in a school.

        A primary school near where I live was rebuilt and was generously provided with a number of specialised teaching spaces which enhanced greatly the curriculum and the experience of the children. Consequently, many parents from outwith the catchment sought to place children in the school, and, to preserve the quality, Glasgow ‘capped’ the roll. It went to court and those wishing to have children enrolled claimed that the specialised spaces could be used as standard classrooms. The Sheriff agreed (albeit reluctantly because of the way legislation had been framed by Mrs Thatcher’s government) and the school roll rose hugely, but there were no specialised spaces and so the quality of the educational provision was diminished. (Fortunately, my daughter had moved on to secondary school by then! NIMBY?? Moi????)

        Liked by 4 people

  2. From 1964 to 1969 at secondary school
    I was never in a class below 52 number
    Sometimes Maths was was taught in a wide corridor
    SHHHH ! Do not tell a Unionist this
    As in their eagerness for Baddddd SNP
    They probably only see the class numbers and Not the years

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ditto me at Cumnock Academy in the early 60’s. Class of 48/49.
      The “good old days” when Scottish education led the world? (According to various Brit Nits and their media mouthpieces).

      When was that again?

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  3. The good old bad old days when only 10% of the population went to uni. The fixed 11+. Now 50%+ go to uni and have access to professional jobs. The expansion of university and college. Once pupils kept at 14 in the bad old days. The standards of living have changed. Mainly for the better overall because of the expansion and diversity of education. Scotland still has the best in the world by all standards. More Unis a day colleges. Qualification. 15 uni per population. The highest no in the world. Grants and loans. Lifelong learning access to all. The ability to learn. Not the ability to pay.

    The (unionist) councils have a oartbto pky in classroom sizes. There organisational endeavours affect classroom sizes. Often left wanting. The statutory limit is 30 per class size. The SNP Gov could lower it. To ensure lower class sizes. The (unionist) councils have responsibility to ensure class sizes are kept lower. Often failing. The (unionist) councils sailing. They have responsibility for the of new schools when required. Approaching Gov for the essential funding and contributions.

    The council responsibility can employ classroom assistants, to help the teachers of high class sizes. Depending on logistics. The councils are given the funding from Gov. A set amount for each pupil. Plus additional payments for schools in deprived areas. Plus additional payments to cover numbers of additional needs pupils. It is up to councils to follow it through. Along with head teachers who are also involved in the allocation of teachers and services. On an average basis,

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  4. The Scottish Gov has ring fenced educational funds allocation. So (unionist) councils cannot just cut the budget and spend the resources on other matters. The councils could before and often did. Make educational cuts to spend the funding on other matters because they have overspent by mismanagement. Poor bad decisions not in the public interest and against the public wishes.

    Eg – Even if there is not the total uptake of nursery provision. The funds have to be spent on education in other areas.

    The Councils are instrumental in keeping class sizes down. They often fail but employ class room assistants to aid teachers because of logistics. The building of schools in areas where there is expanding house building or demographic changes. No well managed by local gov but that are their responsibilities. Then the unionists parties blame the Scottish Gov for the failure of unionists parties at a local level. It happens all the time. Unionist parties trying to shirk their responsibilities at a local level but blaming the central Gov. (Unionist) councils trying to pass the buck.

    Class sizes at secondary 5/6 years are lower. The 16 year olds have left for apprenticeships or college. Tradespeople or craft business people can make a good comfortable living and are in much demand for their skills. Uni application can still be made through college access. HNC/HND (2nd year) or Highers to access uni placement.

    Lifelong learning. People can retrain. Or add to existing qualifications or skills. There are provision and support for additional needs pupils/people. Additional funding, grants and loans. Additional staffing support to try and help people reach their full potential. Increasing all the time, especially with vital diagnosis, The expansion of diversity knowledge and training. Led by medical advancement and knowledge. For a more humane society.

    Scotland has the best education system in the world. (15% EU students. Along with + foreign students) There is no attainment gap when mature students (20/25%) numbers are added into the equation. They are left out. Canada is second with 56% of population the second highest in the world.

    It could be even better without Westminster colossal interference and mismanagement of the economy.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi John,
    I’m fed up answering a unionist ‘friend’ but although I have kept all your blogs for reference, can you answer this question on my FB page as it could take me days to colate your valuable data. 9315530951&reply_comment_id=559414302515574&notif_id=1657134838938817&notif_t=feed_comment&ref=notif

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