Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Tavish Scott MSP today said there is an urgent need to give teachers a boost after new statistics showed that class sizes remain at their highest rate since the SNP took office.
The annual school census reveals that the average class size this year remains at 23.5.
The SNP Government committed in 2007 to limiting class sizes in the first three years of primary to 18, but this is now being achieved for just 12.1% of children – again, the poorest performance under the SNP. As a result, 10,000 fewer children are taught in smaller classes compared to 2012.
“The SNP came to power telling people that P1-P3 pupils would be in small classes. More than a decade on and this is being achieved for just 12% of classes across Scottish primary schools. The Scottish Government maintains this is an ‘aspiration’ but has failed 150,000 young children this year alone.
“Meanwhile, the average class size remains at a record high.
“These figures show that the SNP Government deserves an F for the delivery of its flagship class size policies. It is symbolic of their failures in education.
“This won’t be turned around so long as teachers receive a rotten deal. It is no surprise they are planning the first national teaching strikes in Scotland since Thatcher. The Education Secretary must now give teachers a fair deal, backed by McCrone 2 - an independent expert review of teachers’ conditions and the demands placed upon them.”