Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton today said the SNP have “systematically stripped expertise out of nurseries” after new analysis revealed that the number of teachers working in state-funded early learning and childcare has dropped 24% since the last round of council elections.
Across Scotland, there are now 219 fewer teachers in nurseries than when voters went to the polls in 2017. The fall comes despite Nicola Sturgeon promising that education would be her government’s number one priority.
The figures include a drop of 82 teachers in SNP-run Edinburgh, which took the decision in 2020 to remove all teachers from its nurseries.
The number of teachers has now more than halved in the last decade.
Alex Cole-Hamilton commented:
“Through sheer persistence the Scottish Liberal Democrats persuaded the SNP of the value of expanding free early learning and childcare. Every part of the sector should be thriving.
“However, these figures show that expertise has been systematically stripped from nurseries. Those with the best qualifications have their posts abolished because they are too expensive to keep.
“Nicola Sturgeon refused to even pick up the phone to her SNP councillors in Edinburgh when they voted to get rid of every single nursery teacher.
“Children have missed out on so much. The poverty-related attainment gap has got even bigger. But parents and teachers are struggling to see any difference in what’s on offer. That says it all about the SNP’s priorities.
“Instead of being taken for granted you can vote for Scottish Liberal Democrats on 5 May and get a local champion determined to give new hope to young people.”