Figures released in the Scottish Government’s annual pupil census shows that Argyll and Bute Council now spend more than £1000 per head less on additional support for learning staff than they did in 2012-13.
The council has maintained the same percentage spend on additional support for learning despite their budget being slashed by the SNP but increasing numbers of children are being diagnosed with additional support needs which means that per pupil spend has decreased significantly.
While the council has modestly increased the total expenditure on additional support for learning from £8,797 in 2012-13 to £9,209 in 2017-18, the increase in the number of pupils who require support means per pupil spending has decreased from £5,112 in 2012-13 to £3,710 in 2017-18.
Across Scotland, the number of pupils who are diagnosed with additional support needs has increased dramatically from 118, 034 in 2012-13 to 199,065 in 2017-18 but some Scottish councils are failing to keep up with the demand for specialist staff.
“Argyll and Bute Council spend the same percentage of their education budget on additional support for learning staff today as they did in 2012-13. Given the increase in the number of pupils with additional support needs, that simply isn’t enough.
“Local authorities are under increasing pressure with their budgets being continuously slashed by this SNP government and pupils with additional support needs are being badly let down.
“The SNP Government may point to a small increase in teacher numbers, but it simply isn’t meeting demand as these figures show.”