Maintaining teacher numbers at the “arbitrary level” set by the Scottish Government could lead to “deeper cuts” in key local services, and even mean some authorities may not be able to freeze council tax, ministers have been warned.

Leaders of local government body Cosla also fear spending on education may have to be cut without additional funding.

Council leaders went on to say that while the Scottish Government is providing them with £145.5 million in 2024-25 to maintain teacher numbers, this cash would only cover a “very small proportion” of the teachers’ wage bill.

In a briefing paper sent out to MSPs ahead of stage two of the Scottish budget on Tuesday, it warned forcing councils to use this funding to maintain teacher numbers at the current level of about 54,000 could mean authorities cutting funding for other areas, such as social work, libraries or youth services.

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