An MSP has quizzed First Minister Nicola Sturgeon over Renfrewshire Council’s decision to increase primary 2 class sizes from 25 to 30.
Renfrewshire Council’s Education Committee voted in favour of increasing Primary 2 class sizes from 25 to 30 and rejected an amendment to put the plan out to consultation with parents and teachers.
West of Scotland MSP, Neil Bibby said this was proof that there is a difference between Nicola Sturgeon’s rhetoric on education and the reality on the ground and another example of the impact that Scottish Government cuts are having on families in Renfrewshire.
However, Renfrewshire SNP claim that some Primary 2 class sizes in Renfrewshire began during the previous Labour Administration.
Neil Bibby, said: “It is very concerning that P2 class sizes in Renfrewshire will rise particularly when we are told by Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish Government that education is meant to be their top priority – it clearly isn’t. Teachers are under enormous pressure, and are already raising legitimate concerns about their workload – we shouldn’t be putting them under more pressure at this time.
“This decision like many others we are seeing on the Council are cuts that are the result of underfunding from the Scottish Government in Edinburgh. Nicola Sturgeon and the Finance Secretary Derek Mackay need to properly fund local councils like Renfrewshire so we can avoid cuts that affect our children’s education.
“Parents and teachers have been telling me, they are not happy with this decision. I believe it is also it is unacceptable that the SNP administration have decided to increase class sizes without consulting parents and staff. Changes like this should not have been pushed through without seeking the views of parents and teaching staff.”
Jim Paterson, SNP Councillor Renfrew South and Gallowhill and Education Convener, said: “Neil Bibby has either misunderstood the paper that was approved on P2 class sizes or has not read it at all. The proposal to remove cap is to allow where demand exists for a P2 class to exceed 25. This is already the case in many Primary Schools within Renfrewshire as it was under the previous Labour Administration.