The total number of ASN and learning support teachers has fallen by 31 per cent in secondary schools throughout South Lanarkshire. The number has dropped from 81 in 2013 to 56 in 2018.
This is against the backdrop of ever-increasing demand, with more children with ASN throughout Scotland. The number of children recorded as having additional support needs was over 3 times higher in 2018 than in 2010. In 2018, 196,698 pupils had identified additional support needs compared to 55,541 in 2010.
Teacher Census data shows that there are too few staff working in ASL and that the trend over recent years has been a decline in staff with specialist roles. This has led to teachers having excessive workloads, which mitigates against them being able to meet the needs of every child to the extent they would wish to.
EIS member survey data on workloads reveals that 82 per cent of respondents are dissatisfied with their workload levels.
Graham Simpson said “I am deeply concerned that the number of ASN and learning support teachers has fallen by 31 per cent in secondary schools throughout South Lanarkshire.
“With ever increasing numbers of children requiring additional support, it is essential that they are able to get the support they require. Losing qualified, experienced teachers from the profession adds to others’ workloads and damages morale across the school community.
“The Scottish Government and local councils must do more to attract and retain more ASN teachers and support assistants. We must also place a greater value on ASN roles and the work that they undertake.”