At the full Council meeting today, the Lib-Dem and SNP coalition combined to vote down a proposal to move teachers from HQ into schools to relieve pressure on their colleagues struggling with P1 class sizes of up to 30 and the new Curriculum for Excellence. The vote was 29- 28, with the Labour, Conservative and Green Parties voting in favour.
In her presentation speech, Councillor MacLaren stated there were only 43 teachers flying desks at HQ, but her Director at Children & Families had stated that she had only checked three teams. There are reported to be 3,735 non-teaching staff employed by Children & Families . Kids not Suits claim that Councillor MacLaren could have easily checked the numbers by asking the council HR department.
Campaigner Pete Gregson said:- “It is a missed opportunity – not just for us, but for the administration. Here was a chance for the elected leaders of the Council to challenge the unelected officers who run the show. Rather than look below the surface and realise that parts of senior management are not economy-minded, the SNP Lib-Dem coalition thinks it should rather protect its reputation.
One SNP Councillor said to me yesterday that he would vote against the motion because to support it would suggest the ruling group were incompetent. But there are 16,500 employees at the Council. The 29 Councillors in charge could not be expected to know what all the employees were doing. A week ago, the Administration could claim ignorance, by virtue of the fact they were unaware of mismanagement claims. But now every single one of them has visited the “Kids not Suits” campaign website. Today, they cannot claim ignorance. Today, they have shown they would rather stick their heads in the sand. When it comes to elections, do people vote for ostriches?
For those parents who voted Lib Dem in May, impressed by Nick Clegg’s election promise on class sizes, and for those who voted the SNP into office on the back of their manifesto committments to class sizes of 18, there will be the greatest disappointment. I voted Lib Dem and I feel very let down.”
Kids not Suits have vowed to keep up their campaign to reduce class sizes.