Parents still in the dark over education cuts

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Ahead of next Thursday’s long-awaited meeting to discuss council cuts to school support staff, there is still no details of what schools will be affected.

Six learning assistant posts out of 269 will be lost region-wide to cut costs, but there are no clues in a report to elected members as to where.

The report states: “The annual staffing allocation has been completed for session 2015/16 using the approved process whereby schools submit a return using the matrix of need. These are collated and staff allocated on a proportionate basis to schools according to need. This applied both to additional Support for Learning Teachers and Additional Support for Learning Assistants. Once allocated, headteachers deploy staff within their schools again according to need. As is the case every year, some schools will have a reduction in allocation and some an increase, depending on identified pupil need.”

The council’s education department have now set up an implementation team to oversee the process and one of the recommendations is the establishment of parent forums. The implementation team have already met with parent representatives to discuss better means of communication between the parents and the local authority’s education department.

Mid Galloway Councillor Graeme Nicol commented: “It’s disappointing there is no definite outcome to this. Where these cuts will be made needs to be established at a very early stage so everyone knows exactly what the situation is. This will stop any future speculation and anxiety for both parents and staff.”

The meeting is in Wigtown County Buildings at 7.30pm.