Teachers pay

Our teaching staff play a vital role educating our children and young people in order to equip them for their future, and I would like to reiterate my thanks for their efforts. In particular I would like to thank them for their resilience over the last two years during the Covid-19 pandemic.

I share your concerns that the SNP Government are failing to adequately support teaching staff in Scotland. Indeed, many of the significant challenges teacher face today are the result of failed workforce planning. Even now, after 15 years of SNP government, there is little hope that they are taking seriously the urgent need to improve matters.

As you rightly note, pay negotiations are a matter for the SNP Government. We hope that SNP ministers will engage seriously with negotiations and offer a reasonable and proportionate pay increase, taking into account the increasing cost of living pressures but balanced against the need to properly fund and deliver quality public services. Of course, alongside this, it’s clear that much more needs to be done to address concerns around staff wellbeing and working conditions.

We will continue to follow progress on this issue closely and will carefully scrutinise any offer put forward by the SNP Government.

The Scottish Conservatives also recognise that many teachers go above and beyond for their pupils, and regularly hold after school or morning revisions sessions outside of their contracted hours. We believe that these should be recognised by allowing for schools to make extra payments on top of regular teacher salaries where appropriate.

We also note that the Independent Panel on Career Pathways for Teachers made several recommendations in 2019, such as the creation of ‘Lead Teacher’ posts, which would encourage better retention of good staff within the profession. It is disappointing that the SNP Government have still not implemented some of these recommendations, and we believe that resources should be put in place so they can be delivered as soon as possible.