Potential large-scale reductions in teacher numbers are currently being discussed due to a conflict between local councils and the SNP minority Government.

City council leaders are apprehensive that they could be faced with a £145.5m deficit in funding after declining to sign agreements to uphold teacher staffing levels.

One council insider mentioned: “We are resorting to obtaining loans to pay some teachers.”

The government has, in recent years, provided funds that local councils can use to maintain the number of teachers.

However, this year’s sum of £145.5m is subject to specific conditions, and the government wants confirmation that it will be allocated towards this purpose.

Local councils argue that adhering to a specific teacher number is financially challenging, particularly with a £3.5bn wage bill, and already strained finances. Furthermore, they worry this focus on maintaining teacher numbers could lead to drastic cuts in other crucial services for young people, such as social work.

Councils also point out that this policy might not be suitable throughout all parts of Scotland, especially in areas where pupil enrolment is declining.

Government Ministers issued a deadline of April 26 to agree on teacher numbers.

But, city council leaders have rejected the government’s deadline and are calling for further talks on this contentious issue.

This has led to a possibility that some councils might diverge from the rest and consider cutting down on teaching positions.

Glasgow council, governed by the SNP, is faced with the challenge of saving £108m from public services in the next three years.

This could possibly involve eliminating up to 450 teaching positions over this time frame.

This proposal has been heavily criticized as “inconceivable” with more than 5,000 people signing a petition against it.

Labour MSP Pam Duncan-Glancy expressed: “This displays the SNP government’s attempt to put the blame on councillors for not planning ahead for teacher numbers or properly managing their budgets.”

“It is outrageous that this funding is being withheld at a time when teachers in Scotland are losing their jobs and councils are struggling to keep their finances in order.”

“The Cabinet Secretary must resolve this impasse with our councils and engage in discussions with them and trade unions to drive efforts for teachers and Scotland’s young population.”

Lib Dem MSP Willie Rennie shares his views: “Essentially, the problem boils down to a lack of sufficient funds for councils to uphold all the services they wish to offer, with education constituting half of their responsibilities.”

“If one area is spared from the downsizing, the cuts will inevitably be loaded onto another area. Until the Scottish government takes greater initiative to fund local government, this type of issue will never cease.”

A representative for the council umbrella group COSLA expressed: “COSLA has reached out to Ministers for further discussion on this issue.”

A spokesperson for the Scottish Government voiced their commitment: “We are steadfast in our commitment to protecting the number of teachers in our system, which is why we have furnished local authorities with an extra £145.5m in this year’s budget specifically for this purpose.”

“This approach is consistent with those implemented in previous years and it also helps safeguard high numbers of learning support assistants in Scotland’s schools, which we understand is crucial given the recent increase in students identified as having additional support needs.”

“We want to assure that councils can continue benefiting from this considerable supplementary funding to safeguard teacher numbers and support the education of our children in Glasgow and elsewhere.”