Greens aim to recruit an additional 249 teachers in the Highlands to help deal with the impact of Covid in schools by reducing class sizes
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The Scottish Greens have unveiled plans to recruit an additional 249 teachers in the Highlands to help schools recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
The pledge is part of a proposal to recruit 5500 teachers across Scotland over the next few years after unions said class sizes had become unmanageable. It also follows efforts to make schools safer during the pandemic, with more teachers and smaller class sizes reducing the risk of transmission.
Last year, the Scottish Parliament backed the party’s Safer Schools proposal which led to the introduction of regular voluntary Covid testing. A further £45 million for the recruitment of 2000 additional teachers or other key staff during the pandemic – the Highlands got just over £2 million of that.
Greens candidate for Inverness and Nairn, Ariane Burgess, said: “To ensure young people in Scotland get the best possible education, we need to ensure teachers in Highland have the time and resources they need.
“That’s why the Scottish Greens are committing to the recruitment of 249 additional teachers for local schools. Even before the pandemic teacher workload levels in Scotland were among the highest in Europe.
“We urgently need more teachers in the classroom to spread that workload, giving them more time to prepare and to teach, rather than get bogged down in paperwork and administration.
“Our plans to get more staff into our schools to cover for Covid-related absences and manage the huge increase in workload were passed by parliament, and so too were our calls for regular testing, to ensure the return of schools was as safe as possible.
“A green recovery for our young people means giving them a broad, empowering education delivered by motivated teachers. Our future depends on it.”