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Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP welcomes education funding

By Kyle Ritchie

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Funding of £50 million which will be ring-fenced for the recruitment of 850 extra teachers and around 200 additional support staff has been hailed by Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson.

It comes as local authorities plan for the re-opening of schools.

Education Secretary MSP John Swinney also pledged that £20 million will be allocated to help councils with additional costs associated with new health protection measures, school transport, enhanced cleaning and other essential logistical issues.

A further £3 million will be invested in youth work to support education recovery. The funding breakdown is part of a £100 million package of support announced by Mr Swinney in June.

Clear guidance for schools and councils is being developed by the Education Recovery Group (ERG) to help them prepare for the start of the new term in August.

The Scottish Government will announce a final decision on the re-opening of schools on Thursday.

Mr Stevenson said: “As we’ve progressed from the start of lockdown to today, the science and medical advice has been constantly evolving in terms of what activities can safely be allowed to recommence.

"I know that it has been a particularly anxious time for school pupils, their teachers, parents and support staff and I want to thank them for their efforts to get us through this situation as a society.

“There is still uncertainty over many aspects of daily life but I hope that the commitments announced by the Education Secretary will go a long way to allowing our dedicated teachers and support staff to deliver education face-to-face once again in the near future.”

MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed the funding which will allow teachers and school support staff to be recruited.
MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed the funding which will allow teachers and school support staff to be recruited.

Mr Swinney said: “I want to express my appreciation to parents and carers for their support to young people, to the teaching and wider workforce across Scotland for their efforts to sustain education and to children and young people for their resilience during this difficult period.

“All of the school workforce have a crucial role to play in our education recovery mission, and it is vital that they are supported to do so.

"The ring-fenced £50 million funding to recruit more teachers and support staff will enable schools to intensify support for children and young people as they return to full time face-to-face education and help to mitigate for learning loss.

"The final numbers will be dependent on the precise mix of staff recruited and the needs of children and young people.

“The £20 million funding recognises the extremely valuable work of our school cleaners, facilities management and school transport staff, who are essential to the successful delivery of education in Scotland and to whom I want to pay tribute to.

“We are currently developing guidance, with our partners in the ERG, on health mitigations and precautions that will be in place to allow schools to fully re-open in August and a final decision on school re-opening will be announced on July 30."

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