Pupil support situation to be looked into

At Aberdeenshire’s full council meeting last month North Kincardine Councillor Alison Evison seconded an amendment proposed by Leader Jim Gifford that an evidence-based assessment of the changes to pupil support assistants be prioritised by the Scrutiny and Audit Committee.

Councillor Gifford further proposed that if deficiencies are identified in the pupil support service, they will be remedied at once through the usual procedures.

The Amendment had been written by Councillor Evison and discussed and supported by the ruling Alliance Group before being passed 37 votes to 30.

Councillor Alison Evison, Leader of Aberdeenshire Labour Group, has welcomed the decisive vote in favour of an evidence-based assessment of the effects of the recent cuts to pupil support assistants.

Mrs Evison said: “We are pleased that Scottish Labour has been able to persuade the Administration to review the new system of pupil support in our schools. We lobbied for action on this as we have been hearing many comments from parents and teachers alike that the recent changes are damaging the learning of many pupils.

“Not only are the effects of the recent changes now going to be properly examined, but we have also secured a promise that any appropriate remedial action necessary will be taken immediately.

“The Administration has listened to Labour’s insistence that this issue be treated as an immediate priority.

“We successfully voted down a proposal from Councillor Martin Ford, seconded by the SNP, which would have seen any adjustment to pupil support delayed for a minimum of two years.

“We are particularly concerned that pupil support is at an appropriate level at this time of educational change. It is essential not only for individual learners but also for the promotion of an effective classroom environment.”