MacDonald Welcomes Consultation on Cuts in Hours at School for Primary School Pupils
Thursday, 19 February 2015 19:14
Angus MacDonald has welcomed the news from Falkirk Council’s website that there will be a consultation exercise regarding the proposed reduction of hours in the school week for primary school pupils.
The controversial proposal was passed at the council annual budget meeting when the vote was 17 – 14 for the council plan, as SNP and non-aligned Independent members voted against it.
Since the announcement was made after the budget was set by the Labour / Tory administration, there has been an angry reaction by parents who have voiced their various concerns about the impact of the proposals.
Fears surrounding the loss of educational time, the cost of childcare for the extra 2 and a half hours per week and concern for potential loss of teaching jobs were at the forefront of parental anxieties.
A petition organised on-line has gathered over 2500 signatures and there are plans for a public demonstration at the Kelpies on Saturday 28th February.
Mr MacDonald commented,
“The Scottish Government has recently announced measures to ensure councils retain their teacher numbers to the previous year’s level and it is a great pity that some councils see this a threat rather than an opportunity.
“However the issue has been highlighted by the level of opposition by parents and Parent Councils and this consultation is to be greatly welcomed.
“This is a positive move from the council after a very negative budget announcement. I am sure it will be welcomed by parents and Parent Councils.
“Primary School Education is most important for young learners and any cut in hours is bound to have a detrimental effect. I am also aware that teachers are greatly worried about the impact this will have on the pupils’ educational attainment as well as fears for up to 54 teaching posts. I am sure they will also appreciate this move.
“Hopefully the pressure of people power will awaken the Falkirk Council to the wishes of the public and they will act accordingly.
"In the meantime I intend to highlight the issue with the Scottish Government's Education Secretary Angela Constance to make sure she is aware of the outrageous attempt by the Labour/Tory ruled Falkirk Council to dilute the quality of primary education in my Falkirk East constituency."