Spending cuts examined in Dumfries and Galloway

As reported by the BBC, Dumfries and Galloway county council has met to debate the issue of spending cuts on education in the area

A meeting has been held to examine the potential impact of spending cuts in education in Dumfries and Galloway.

Various issues have been discussed; one of the main topics of discussion was a change in criteria for one-teacher schools.

The threshold for composite classes has been raised from 19 to 25, which has raised safety concerns despite being in line with national standards.

Some are also worried about whether other schools will end up becoming run by a single teacher.

Ian Carruthers, leader of the Conservative group which called the meeting, called for a re-examination of the policy.

“What we are saying is that a transitional period should take place here,” he said.

“The reaction from the public has told us quite clearly they are not ready for this – they want to actually prepare.”

In response, Labour’s Jeff Leaver, who chairs the children, young people and lifelong learning committee, said the council had to take action now.

“We are not at the end of this process, we are going to face even bigger cuts next year if we just park these issues and say we are not going to make these savings,” he said.

“What was suggested was that we use the council’s reserves.

“The problem is once you have used the reserves you can’t do it again next time, you will run out of reserves.”

The council’s Labour/SNP administration agreed that the issue would be looked at again at a committee meeting in July.

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