Scotland politics

Fewer psychologists working in Scottish schools

School pupils Image copyright Thinkstock

The number of educational psychologists working in Scotland has fallen by 10% in the past three years.

Education Secretary John Swinney revealed the drop after a question from Scottish Labour spokeswoman Monica Lennon.

She said it showed vulnerable young people are not getting the support they needed.

The Scottish government has insisted that it recognised and valued the work of the psychologists.

In 2012, there were 411 educational psychologists practising in Scottish local authorities.

By 2015, the total was 370.

Mental health

Ms Lennon said: "This drop in the number of staff treating our vulnerable young people comes amidst a backdrop of repeated missed targets for mental health treatment.

"Vulnerable young people aren't getting the support and treatment they need because of cuts to our public services.

"Whilst we will face profound challenges in the aftermath of the EU referendum, we cannot allow our Scottish Parliament to be entirely distracted by and focused on the constitution when vulnerable children aren't getting the support they need."

A Scottish government spokeswoman said: "It is for each local authority to take decisions around the number of educational psychologists it employs.

"The Scottish government recognises and values the role that educational psychologists play in supporting learners.

"We chair the National Scottish Steering Group for Educational Psychologists, enabling us to work in partnership with the profession and other stakeholders to ensure a sustainable supply of educational psychologists to meet future needs."