COSLA today (Friday) said that a cut to local government funding from central government next week will make the gap in education even wider.
Speaking in advance of the Scottish Government laying out its spending plans for next year, COSLA’s Education, Children, People Spokesperson Councillor Stephanie Primrose said: “All of the Children and young people that come through the education system require a wide range of additional support services that simply cannot be delivered by a teacher alone.
“If we want every child and young person to achieve the same level of success in their schooling then we cannot afford to ignore individual family circumstances and other factors that may affect the young person as a whole. We shouldn’t ignore a child’s mental wellbeing, emotional wellbeing, the impact on them from having a chaotic home life etc. These things cannot be fixed in a classroom, no matter how committed or talented the teaching staff.
“Real change can only be achieved through a team approach whereby the classroom assistant, educational psychologist, caretaker, health visitor, social worker, youth worker can all come together and support the young person in every aspect of their life. Teachers are important and we value them, but they can't do it alone, nor should they.
The message from me today is that the whole system approach is vital, as is the funding for local government that allows us to support the whole system approach. Any cut to funding will see elements of this start to disappear and before long the whole system will start to disintegrate.
“These vital support services, provided by councils, have a huge impact on a child’s education. The fact that services are being threatened is a worrying trend. We want to ensure that no child or young person is left behind and can achieve all they want to achieve. Councils need the finance to continue to offer these services to ensure there is a bright future for our nation’s children and young people.”
Councillor David  Parker, Leader of Scottish Borders Council echoed the comments of Councillor Primrose, adding: “COSLA are right, we need a whole child approach in relation to the education of our young people and a cut to council funding is a cut to communities.  

“Although the Government's attainment fund has grown, the core funding for local government in 2016/17 has reduced thus putting substantial pressure on already stretched education and children’s service budgets. If the core funding coming to councils next week is cut further, this will only exacerbate the problem and have an adverse impact on our children and young people, both now and into the future.”

Article published: 
Fri, 09/12/2016 - 08:36