According to the BBC, Falkirk schools have been forced to issue warnings to parents regarding ‘unprecedented cuts’ in the near future
A council leader has been forced to apologise over concerns caused by a letter sent to Falkirk parents.
Parents and guardians in this area have received word that significant cuts may need to be made, as heads of local secondaries have been asked to identify £2.5m in savings. Primary heads have been asked to find £1.8 in order to cope with the coming year.
Parents at Larbert High, for example, have been told that the school could have to save just over £500,000, which is approximately the equivalent of losing 12 teachers.
These ‘unprecedented cuts’ are due to Falkirk trying to save a total of £5.83m in children’s services in each of the next five years.
Regarding the concern caused over the councillor’s letter to parents, a spokesperson said:
“Since this letter was issued, Falkirk council has made clear that no-one will lose their job nor are they planning compulsory redundancies and there will be no impact on the pupil/teacher ratio.
“They have also stated categorically that, while they are looking to reduce costs, they will not reduce the options and opportunities available to pupils. Instead they are looking at schools working more closely together to offer subjects between them.
“The leader of the council has apologised for the concern caused by the letter. We welcome that clarification from the council.”
In an unusual move, head teachers are being asked to come up with ways of reducing spending in an attempt to devolve more decision-making power to them. Such decisions would, previously, have been made by councillors and the council’s education officers.
A spokesman for teachers’ union EIS said it would always oppose cuts to school budgets and staffing.
He said: “The EIS is already in discussions with the other staff trade unions as to how best to fight these cuts, and is aware that parents’ groups are also organising and highly-motivated to protect our schools and the education of our young people.”