Ministers must explain missing million, says Macdonald



North East Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald today called on SNP Ministers to explain the missing million in funding for teacher recruitment in Aberdeen.

After asking a question at the Scottish Parliament today, Lewis Macdonald said:

"Scottish Government Ministers failed to explain their policy on teacher recruitment in Aberdeen and across the North of Scotland, and failed to explain why Aberdeen City Council finds itself more than a million pounds down due to circumstances beyond their control.

"Education Secretary Angela Constance today confirmed not only that they have failed to support local councils in tackling the challenge of recruiting teachers, but that they are actually penalising those councils which face the greatest challenge.

"Aberdeen City Council face a fine of £340,000 as a result of the shortfall in teacher recruitment in the city, even though they can demonstrate they are doing everything possible to close that gap.

"The council are so committed to ensuring school students in Aberdeen have at least the same standard of teaching as other cities that they are investing £750,000 this year in teacher recruitment.

"Yet instead of supporting these efforts, SNP Ministers are intentionally undermining them by clawing back funding of £340,000 already allocated for teacher recruitment.

"That means council taxpayers in Aberdeen are over £1m out of pocket, between the additional costs of teacher recruitment as a result of Aberdeen's geographic position, which Ministers should help with, and the penalty which the SNP Government chooses to impose.

"This is a double whammy for Aberdeen, and those responsible for it should be held to account."



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