South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth has said that a funding announcement by the Scottish Government for additional support for learning is not enough to make up for the chronic lack of funding for additional support for learning under the SNP.
The warning comes as the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government released in September this year committed an additional £15million of investment into Additional Support for Learning. However, analysis carried out by Colin Smyth MSP shows that spending on Additional Support for Learning has reduced in Dumfries and Galloway.
In 2009/10 Dumfries and Galloway Council spent £16.6 million on Additional Support for Learning, however, as a result of SNP Scottish Government cuts to local authorities this figure was only £16 million during 2018/19. This meant there was a 15.8% cut in real terms to additional support for learning services in Dumfries and Galloway between 2009/10 and 2018/19.
South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said, “While increased funding for additional support for learning is welcome, an increase of £15million for the whole of Scotland won’t even scratch the surface of the problems that need to be addressed as a result of the chronic lack of funding for additional support for learning under the SNP. If divided amongst all 32 local authorities in the established way Dumfries and Galloway Council will only receive a £300,000 share of this funding which will not make up for the cuts imposed by the SNP Scottish Government onto Dumfries and Galloway Council. Across the region schools have seen a significant reduction in frontline staff due to funding cuts and that has impacted on support pupils are receiving in the classroom. I am contacted by parents on a regular basis concerned at the lack of additional support their children receive. No one can seriously argue that the current level of provision is meeting the needs of pupils in the region despite the often heroic efforts of teachers and additional support for learning staff”