Glasgow City Council is considering cutting 172 teaching posts in a bid to save money amid a budget squeeze.

The plans would affect primary and secondary schools and save £27.8 million over three years if pushed through.

It comes after Education Secretary Jenny Gilruth warned councils she did not want to see a fall in teacher posts.

Relations between the Government and local authorities are poor amid accusations by town hall bosses of heavy-handedness by ministers.

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Humza Yousaf’s Government is trying to force through a national council tax freeze while at the same time maintaining teacher numbers.

This is in spite of teacher salaries being a sizable part of council budgets.

According to TES magazine, 172 teaching post cuts over three years would save £27.8m. If approved, it would be part of an “education service reform” resulting in fewer staff.

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Teaching union representatives were reportedly informed of the plans yesterday.

Head teachers from Glasgow's 142 primary schools, 30 secondaries and 21 schools for pupils with additional support needs will meet with Douglas Hutchinson, director of education at Glasgow city council on Monday to discuss the plans.

Jane Gow, the Glasgow Local Association Secretaryfor teachers' union the EIS, said: “Glasgow schools simply can’t take any more cuts in teacher numbers. Staffing is stretched to the limit as it is, with some secondary schools reporting a current long-term shortage in subject specialists.

"Teacher numbers fell over the last two years and with the projected loss of over 170 more, we are facing crisis point.

"This will hit our disadvantaged pupils the hardest as schools struggle to close the attainment gap with decreasing budgets and inadequate resources to support our most vulnerable young people across all the sectors.

"The EIS is running a vital campaign launched in June last year which seeks to redress years of erosion to staffing and resourcing and to address the unsustainable workload teachers face.

"It is time to stand up for a quality education for all our learners and stand against further swingeing cuts.” 

A Glasgow city council spokesperson said last night: “Officers are looking at several education service reform options as part of a budget that required to find £107m worth savings from council services over the next three years.

“For many years education spending has been protected, relative to other services, in the budget process.

“However, with the education budget now amounting to more than half of service expenditure directed by the council, the level of savings required in the current financial situation is significantly more challenging.

“Meetings have taken place today with teacher trade unions to discuss the challenges and make them aware of the savings needed.

“Discussion will also take place with headteachers next week which will include a review of staffing formulas from the August term.

“Officers will do everything they can to minimise the impact but in the current financial climate we have to look at every option.”

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It is understood councils are angry with Ms Gilruth over a letter she sent to council umbrella group Cosla earlier this month.

She pointed to nearly £150m of funding tied to protecting teacher numbers, but complained the staffing figure had fallen.

“I remain extremely disappointed by the reduction in teachers this year. It will be more difficult to reach our shared goal to close the poverty related attainment gap nor improve outcomes with fewer teachers in our schools," she told Cosla.

“I also believe we need that capacity to help us achieve aspirations regarding behaviour, attendance and a reduction in class contact time.”

She said specific funding next year would be “conditional” on councils agreeing at the outset to maintain the numbers.

She added: “My officials will be in touch with individual councils to agree grant conditions, including the number of teachers I expect to be maintained.”

The Scottish Government is also struggling to enforce a national council tax freeze announced by Mr Yousaf last year. Argyll and Bute council this week voted for a 10% rise in bills, although many other councils have backed a freeze.

Amid deteriorating relations between town halls and central government it has also emerged today that ministers in Edinburgh are warning they will refuse to pass on any extra cash from Westminster, allocated to Scotland in next month's UK Budget, to local authorities unless they agree to freeze the council tax.

Finance Secretary Shona Robison said a £62.7m cash injection is explicitly tied to councils implementing government tax policy.

Ms Robison initially provided £147m to fund the council tax freeze, but councils said this left them short changed.

She then committed to handing over an additional £45m, which she is expecting from the UK Government after the Budget, as well as another £17.7m.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The Scottish Government is determined to close the poverty related attainment gap and ministers are clear that this will not be achieved by councils employing fewer teachers in our schools. To that end we are providing local authorities with £145.5 million in next year’s budget to protect teacher numbers.

“The Scottish Budget for next year includes record funding for local authorities of over £14 billion and Scotland’s Education and Skills Budget has grown to over £4.8 billion.

“Councils have statutory obligations in respect of education, and have a shared commitment with the Scottish Government to deliver the best outcomes for people and communities under the Verity House Agreement.”