MACDONALD SLAMS ‘LACK OF OFFICIAL CLIMBDOWN’ FROM FALKIRK COUNCIL ON ‘LUDICROUS’ SCHOOL HOURS REDUCTION
Wednesday, 04 March 2015 16:43
MACDONALD TABLES QUESTIONS IN PARLIAMENT AND CONTACTS EDUCATION SECRETARY
Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald has slammed the failure by Falkirk Council to back down on what he termed the ‘ludicrous’ plan to reduce primary school hours from 25 to 22.5 per week, despite comments made by senior Labour Councillors that the local authority is “not going to cut school hours, and will find the savings from elsewhere”.
In correspondence with concerned parents, Councillor Dr Craig R Martin is quoted as saying:
“The quick answer is the council are not going to cut school hours, I repeat we are not going to cut school hours, and will find the savings from elsewhere.”
Commenting on Councillor Martin’s correspondence, Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald said:
“It seems clear that the Labour/Tory coalition that runs Falkirk Council had no intention of cutting school hours despite making statements in the local press that they would. For them to continue to state that the reduction in school hours is still ‘on the table’ is disingenuous to say the least.”
“This is a disgraceful attempt to use our children’s’ education as a political tool in the run up to the General Election and beyond, which is both unforgiveable and irresponsible.”
“Falkirk Council claim to be strapped for cash however a recent Audit Scotland report stated that they have over £12 million of unallocated reserves and over £30 million of allocated reserves. This is on top of the additional money the Scottish Government has agreed to give Falkirk Council to maintain teacher numbers.”
Angus MacDonald has tabled questions to highlight the issue in the Scottish Parliament highlighting the situation in Falkirk and raising his concerns regarding the affect the Council’s actions will have on attainment levels. He has also written to the Cabinet Secretary for Education Angela Constance MSP to highlight to her the concerns of his constituents over this issue.