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Cf E Time needed for curricular journey

On recent visits to schools in different local association areas across Scotland, EIS President David Drever, (pictured here with LA Secretary John Dennis and pupils during his recent visit to Dumfries and Galloway) has been speaking to members about the key issues facing schools and teachers. Here, David explains how the Curriculum for Excellence, and the related issues of development time, access to CPD and budget pressures, continue to be major concerns for teachers throughout the country. The recently released budget settlements for 2009/2010 spell bad news for our schools. That much is obvious if we look at the money allocated to Education by our Local Authorities: at best spending will be at a standstill; in many places there will be a reduction in real terms spending; and in some parts of the country the cuts will bite deep. It is well to remember that this cycle of cuts preceded the current financial crisis: many Local Authorities cut spending last year and schools up and down the country have felt the impact in

12 Scottish Educational Journal March 09

reduced staffing, less supply cover and a drying up of CPD provision. At that time LAs predicted that a second round of cuts would follow in 2009 and so it has come to pass. However, it is clear that spending on education as an important component of Council budgets has suffered grieviously at the hands of the Government’s Concordat with our Local Authority employers. There has been a remarkable, and quite unfounded, optimism from the Concordat partners in the face of a failure to protect

education spending. On the one hand the Scottish Government proclaims a generous spending settlement, and on the other Local Government believes that education and children’s services have been relatively well protected. Neither of these claims will stand serious scrutiny. The ending of ringfencing opened up education budgets to serious pressures, some of the consequences of which were the recruitment crisis for newly qualified teachers, the reversal of class size cuts in Renfrewshire’s secondary schools and the freezing of

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SEJ March 2009

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