Aberdeenshire Party Leaders: Priorities on schools and education

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Karen Clark

Recruitment of teachers is vital.

We will work with the Government to ensure we have sufficient, high quality teaching and support staff in modern, well-equipped schools.

In early years, Liberal Democrats promote increased hours of flexible childcare and education in quality settings.

One of our principle aims is to have mental health specialists in every school to ensure mental illness is identified and tackled as quickly as possible.

Alison Evison

Every child should be given the opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge and experiences and to prepare for the jobs of the future.

We value sport and music, culture and language, for the contribution they can make to a young person’s development.

We will invest in early learning and childcare, including the learning that comes through creative play and outdoor activities.

This year we have set up an innovative budget to tackle teacher and early years recruitment challenges, and will continue to work with the universities to enable more people to train locally as teachers.

We have always defended the Pupil Support Assistant budget.

We will continue work already being done to develop the school estate, starting with Inverurie, Peterhead and Fraserburgh.

We want young people to become more involved in decision making about education.

Jim Gifford

We will deliver a “Gold Standard” of education in our schools.

Working with our excellent staff, pupils and parents to improve standards across the piece and at the same time work to close to attainment gap.

It would be easy to close the gap by pulling everyone to the average and we will not let that happen.

Paul Johnston

Responding to dramatic increases in pupil numbers will be an ongoing challenge for the council.

Green and Democratic Independent Group councillors will press for the increased resources needed.

We will support investment in the school estate to provide additional accommodation.

For example, forecast increases in pupil numbers will require action to provide capacity in the Stonehaven school network and in Newmachar.

It will also be essential for the council to continue with innovative approaches to teacher recruitment.

We attach great importance to community learning and development and will continue to support investment in the community learning and development service and in youth work.

Richard Thomson

Through the budget choices we made in February, we protected Aberdeenshire’s schools from a further £3m of cuts which the Conservative-led opposition wanted to impose, which would have slashed support for vulnerable pupils and left deep cuts in music tuition and pupil SQA exam choices.

We will continue to invest in our school estate, and are committed to delivering on new academies for Inverurie and Peterhead.