Council leader doesn’t believe classroom assistants will experience much change in new roles

North Lanarkshire Council leader Jim Logue
North Lanarkshire Council leader Jim Logue

The leader of North Lanarkshire Council says more than three quarters of classroom assistants won’t see much change under redeployment.

A total of 198 posts are being moved into early years and additional support needs roles to save £1.1m.

Councillor Jim Logue believes the vast majority won’t see much difference in their day to day working lives.

He said: “I’m led to believe just over 150 out of 198 have been advised they will stay in the same school and more than 50 will have their first preference honoured.

“In many respects they’ll see no change, they may be working with a different client group, but the majority will go into early years and be used in the transition from nursery to P1.

“That makes sense as they already work in primary schools, there is only 21/22 support staff who work in secondary schools, so most will go back to the same schools and the others will move in as either additional support needs or early years.”

While Councillor Logue admits some training will be required he doesn’t see it being an issue for most.

He said: “They have transferable skills, I’ve always thought we don’t value what skills they may have enough. Their role has always been about support, motivation, encouragement and creating pathways for children to learn and that remains the same.

“Will they be able to do it all, certainly not, they can’t go straight in at the likes of Mavisbank or Firpark and work with severely disabled children, but that’s a minority, we run courses with NHS Lanarkshire and with continued personal development I really don’t see it being an issue.”