Commenting on the First Minister’s statement on the Programme for Government to the Scottish Parliament today, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said:

“There were some very welcome statements in the First Minister’s speech today, including a commitment to future additional investment in public services including education. The continuing commitment to tackling the impact of poverty on the education and life chances of many young people is extremely important and extremely welcome.”

“Other positive elements of the First Minister’s statement include additional investment aimed at tackling school holiday hunger, enhanced support for students from low income backgrounds, and the planned integration of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into Scots law. These are all welcome commitments.”

“However, there was little in today’s statement regarding more resources for schools. Nothing about action to tackle the growing teacher shortage in many parts of the country. And nothing about a commitment to ensure a fair pay deal for Scotland’s teachers, following a decade of pay decline, in order to make teaching a more attractive career option for highly qualified graduates. These are issues that simply must be addressed to ensure that Scotland offers the high-quality learning experience that all our young people deserve.”