GIRFEC must not become a tick box exercise – our children deserve better

Susan Kennedy
Susan Kennedy

#STUC16 The STUC condemned cuts to education which so often follow on from council cuts, especially attacks on support staff numbers which damage the learning experiences of our most vulnerable young people and called for action to protect education funding.

Supporting the SSTA motion, UNISON’s Susan Kennedy pointed out that the Scottish Government continues with their commitment to providing ‘free extended childcare’ , free school lunches for vulnerable twos up to Primary 3s and now calling for P6 testing, and asked, “Where is the funding coming from?

“In local government we continue to rob Peter to pay Paul within our education budgets. As nursery hours increase, we are having our budgets squeezed. The next proposed 1100 hours for every child will need major investment if we are able to staff and accommodate these proposals,” warned Susan.

“We continue to see reductions within our pupil support staff, despite the clear need for them to support children and young people in accordance with the Children and Young People Act.”

She pointed out that schools were getting it right for every child, but with teacher shortages, cuts to support staff, increased class sizes and attacks to terms and conditions GIRFEC has become a tick box exercise with no guaranteed outcome to improve the education and welfare of children attending Scottish schools.

“If the Scottish Government cannot protect and invest in education we have to ask what future will our generations have – because poor funding equals poor education, equals poor attainment.

“I was witness to the horrific ‘remedial class system’ in the 70s, so I say to our next government Education and our future generations deserve better with the funding to support all children’s needs at every level of education.

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