Parents to protest in council leaders’ wards over 450 teaching positions cuts over three years

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Parents are set to hold protests in the wards of council leaders as they oppose plans to cut 450 teaching positions over three years.

Glasgow City Parents Group (GCPG) is calling on people who are concerned about proposed cuts to gather at Govan Cross tomorrow — in the ward of city treasurer Ricky Bell, SNP.

They are also planning a demonstration in council leader Susan Aitken’s ward next Wednesday, as they step up efforts to combat the cuts.

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Glasgow City Council is facing a £108 million funding shortfall over the next three years, and savings in education could see a reduction of 450 teaching roles.

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Parents and unions, including EIS and the GMB, also have concerns over the removal of coordinators from the MCR Pathways mentoring scheme from secondary schools, and the potential loss of developing young workforce (DYW) coordinators in some secondary schools due to a delay in the confirmation of funding from the Scottish Government.

A council spokeswoman said the treasurer and other senior councillors have met with GCPG to discuss the situation. She added the council will “do everything we can to minimise any impact to schools but in the current financial climate the council must look at every option”.

The parents group — which represents parent councils and supports parents and carers through their child’s education — is set to meet at 4.30pm at Govan Cross tomorrow.

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It then plans to protest at 4.30pm outside Langside Halls on Wednesday, May 15.

Leanne McGuire, the group’s chairperson, said: “It’s time to target the main decision-makers’ areas to get their attention. The lack of clarity and honesty about these decisions has been extremely frustrating for parents and carers.

“Parent councils are already being told the staffing figures for August 2024, which sees some schools losing valued teachers because their contracts are not being renewed or extended.

“The council is hiding behind the cross-party political oversight group that is apparently reviewing the decisions and claims no decisions have been made, but that just isn’t true.

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“Staff are already being informed and MCR Pathways coordinators have been told their jobs are at risk.

“It makes it all the more angering when the Scottish Government keeps insisting that teacher numbers are being protected. They clearly need to speak to their colleagues in Glasgow City Council then.”

On the DYW coordinator positions, she added the council has not confirmed funding for the roles “so the coordinators are still in fear of being jobless at the end of June”. “It all feels so cloak and dagger,” she said.

The group wants people to sign petitions against the cuts by EIS Glasgow and MCR Pathways and back a Scottish Parliament motion led by Pam Duncan-Glancy MSP.

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The council spokeswoman said information on “the budget savings of £108m have been in the public domain since then and have been reported across several platforms and channels”.

She added: “The treasurer, the city convener for education and early years, and the city convener for workforce have all met with the GCPG to discuss the budget savings for education with a commitment to feedback information after each political oversight group meeting.

“Two representatives also sit on the education, early years and skills committee and can ask questions at this forum which include the executive director of education.

“Officers will continue to support our headteachers and their schools with the new staffing models which were circulated before the Spring break.

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“We know that this will be a worrying time for everyone — for many years education spending has been prioritised, relative to other services, in the budget process.

“However, with the education budget now amounting to more than half of service expenditure directed by the council, it is significantly more challenging to protect education when substantial savings are needed.”

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