Date lodged: 14 March 2018
To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to reports that specialist teacher numbers have fallen by 16% in five years, in light of the number of pupils with additional support needs rising by 55% since 2012.
Answered by: John Swinney 27 March 2018
95% of children with additional support needs are educated in mainstream schools, this has been consistent for a number of years. It should be noted that all teachers provide support to pupils not just ‘support for learning’ teachers.
Local Government Financial Statistics for 2016-17 showed that local authorities spent £5.07 billion on education in Scotland. This has gone up from £4.95 billion in 2015-16 - a 0.3% increase in real terms (2.5% in cash terms). Of that, £610 million was on additional support for learning – this has gone up from £584 million in 2015-16 a 2.3% increase in real terms (4.5% in cash terms)
The Additional Support for Learning Act requires education authorities to identify, provide for and to review the additional support needs of their pupils. In order to meet these requirements it is for education authorities to ensure that appropriate resources are in place to provide for pupils needs, this includes teaching and support staff.