Scottish Labour will force a vote today on planned teacher cuts the party describes as a “crisis”.

The vote comes as Glasgow City Council drew criticism following reports of plans to axe 450 teaching posts over the next three years – 172 this year – due to budget pressures.

John Swinney was pressed on the issue in his debut at First Minister’s Questions last Thursday, where he said he had to “live in the real world of the public finances available to me”.

The vote comes during the first set of opposition debates for the new First Minister, who served as education secretary under Nicola Sturgeon, and the first since the end of the Bute House Agreement and the Government majority in Holyrood.

Scottish Labour education spokeswoman Pam Duncan-Glancy said: “After 17 years of the SNP, our teaching sector is in crisis.

READ MORE: Labour calls on Glasgow council to abandon teacher cuts

READ MORE: Glasgow parents, teachers and unions protest school cuts

“We have teacher shortages in key skills areas, we’re failing to recruit enough new teachers on secure contracts and young people from the poorest backgrounds are bearing the brunt.

“With the attainment gap persisting, these deep cuts to teaching numbers cannot be allowed to go ahead.

“This crisis didn’t start overnight, it’s been years in the making – dating back to when John Swinney was finance minister and education minister.

“As finance minister he cut local government budgets meaning that there is less money for schools and teachers and as education secretary he marked down thousands of working class kids based on their background.

“John Swinney owes it to them to act to end the cuts now.

“Enough is enough – today Scottish Labour is calling on all parties to come together to demand that these job losses are stopped and that children’s futures are protected.”

Scottish Tory education spokesman Liam Kerr said the Government has “failed” the education system.

“Now their systemic underfunding of councils is leading to a fall in teachers’ numbers, making a mockery of their 2021 election pledge to recruit 3,500 extra teachers,” he added.

“John Swinney, who was a disastrous education minister, must now admit the SNP’s policies have failed and urgently act to protect children’s education.”

Scottish Lib Dem education spokesman Willie Rennie said: “Scottish Liberal Democrats have set out a plan to get Scottish education moving in the right direction.

“We would make teaching a more attractive career path by bringing back principal teachers for key subjects, halting teacher cuts, funding stable contracts and boosting in-class support.

“As a former education secretary, John Swinney should recognise children deserve the best possible start in life.”

The Scottish Government has been contacted for comment.