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An additional 151 teachers to be recruited in Highlands, claims Green MSP

By Gordon Calder

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JUST over 150 teachers should be recruited in the Highlands as a result of the co-operation agreement between the Scottish Government and the Scottish Greens.

That is the claim made by Highlands and Islands Green MSP, Ariane Burgess, who says funding has been secured to employ an extra 3500 new teachers in Scotland in addition to the 1400 teaching posts created during the pandemic. The funding will be delivered during this term of the parliament.

Ariane Burgess says the agreement will lead to 151 new teachers in the Highlands
Ariane Burgess says the agreement will lead to 151 new teachers in the Highlands

Ms Burgess said by population share the money should result in 151 new teachers in the Highlands. Funding will also be provided to make those posts permanent, meaning almost five thousand additional teachers compared to pre-Covid levels. Five hundred additional teaching assistants will also be recruited.

In addition, the agreement reached by the Scottish Greens and Scottish Government includes a £10 million initiative to support low income families, plans to limit the cost of school uniforms and to give young people the right to access mental health support in school.

Ms Burgess said: "The Scottish Greens have campaigned to increase teacher numbers for many years, so it's fantastic that we’re now in a position to deliver it, thanks to Green voters in the Highlands. The additional 151 teachers locally will be critical to delivering the post-covid recovery plan for our young people.

"Even before the pandemic, Scotland's teachers had some of the highest workloads and longest overtime hours in Europe, but over the last eighteen months they have gone above and beyond to support our young people. Increasing the number of permanent, full-time teachers is essential to bringing that workload back under control and making teaching an attractive, rewarding profession."

As previously reported, Ms Burgess, hailed the Scottish Government's programme for the year ahead as one which will "deliver huge benefits for communities across the Highlands."

First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon said the focus would be on leading Scotland out of the coronavirus crisis but she also said her proposals include investment and reform of the country's public services, including the setting up of a National Care Service

While the priority will be on health and social care, child poverty, inequality, transport, climate change and an independence referendum were also mentioned.

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