‘Deeply troubling’ rise in ratio of pupils to teachers in local schools

Education chiefs have been urged to act over a “deeply troubling” rise in the number of pupils being assigned to individual teachers in schools.

According to the findings, published as part of a Scottish Government report into Scottish schools, Dundee classrooms have seen a 13% rise in the ratio of pupils to teachers since 2011.

Meanwhile, schools in Perth and Kinross have seen a jump of 4.81% over the six-year period, with Fife experiencing an increase of 3.35% and Angus a rise of 0.82%.

Scottish Labour’s education spokesman Iain Gray MSP said the figures were “deeply troubling”.

He added: “Scotland already has among the largest class sizes in the world and, as these figures show, in places such as Dundee the situation is getting worse.”

While the number of teachers has increased, the Education Institute of Scotland (EIS) warned the rise was largely supported by Attainment Challenge funds, which are only intended to be additional resources.

General secretary Larry Flanagan said the EIS, Scotland’s largest teaching union, had serious concerns about the sustainability of the new posts.

A spokeswoman for Dundee City Council said: “These figures reflect a year of change within the school environment in the city, in particular the closure of Menzieshill High and the increased activity being delivered through the Attainment Challenge.

“While every effort continues to be made to recruit teachers to deliver the curriculum at all levels in Dundee, it is worth noting that in the city we have high numbers of early years teachers.”