Extra staff as schools re-open.
Funding of £50 million will be ring-fenced for the recruitment of approximately 850 extra teachers and around 200 additional support staff as local authorities plan for the re-opening of schools.
Addressing Parliament, Education Secretary 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 30 July.
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 today.
“I also mentioned in my statement on the 23 June that we would be seeking the assistance of the youth work sector in supporting those families and communities who need it most. The sector will receive £3 million of investment because it has continued to support and engage children and young people throughout the pandemic, including using digital technology and outreach work to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on children and young people’s mental health, learning and development.
“While this funding should provide local authorities with the assurance they require to progress plans immediately, we will continue to work with COSLA to understand the additional costs associated with the school re-opening guidance that each local authority is facing, and how these can be addressed alongside any loss of learning.
“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 30 July”