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Spend £500k on teachers, says councillor

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
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Spend £500k on teachers, says councillor

AN extra £500,000 should be ploughed into education in Dumfries and Galloway to maintain teacher numbers next term, a councillor has argued.

The council received an additional £1.79m following the UK Government’s spring budget and Annandale North Councillor Carolyne Wilson immediately called for £500,000 to go towards increasing teacher numbers.

As the Labour Group’s education spokesperson, she said: “The pupil to teacher ratio numbers in Dumfries and Galloway are already higher than the national average which, as a parent, I find concerning.”

Annandale North Councillor Stephen Thompson said: “Irrespective of what we might wish to do, there are still too many things up in the air.

“I don’t feel we have enough information in front of us to make a sound decision.”

Councillors unanimously agreed to defer any decisions until further talks on education develop.

Council leader Gail Macgregor will request a meeting with Education Secretary Jenny Gilruth to state this region’s unique requirements around teacher staffing levels.

She said: “There’s still a lot of debate happening nationally, and a lot of negotiation ongoing.

“I’m aware that some councils have met with the cabinet secretary to state their local council’s case. That’s something we should consider doing because obviously in Dumfries and Galloway we have a reducing population, we have mothballing, we have lots of facets that do impact on teacher numbers which are not being recognised at a national level.”

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By Marc Mclean, Local Democracy Reporter | DNG24