MACDONALD WELCOMES FALKIRK COUNCIL U-TURN ON REDUCTION IN SCHOOL HOURS
Friday, 13 March 2015 15:54
“cLIMB-DOWN ON LUDICROUS PROPOSAL IS VICTORY FOR COMMON SENSE”
Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald has welcomed yesterday’s announcement by Falkirk Council to drop their proposal to reduce primary school hours from 25 to 22.5 per week.
Mr MacDonald’s comments came with a note of caution as he expressed his dissatisfaction at the way the Labour/Tory coalition that runs Falkirk Council has handled this situation.
Mr MacDonald said:
“The proposal to reduce primary school hours was ill thought out and badly handled from the beginning. I am pleased that the Labour/Tory administration has bowed to pressure from parents and seen sense, but the way in which they announced the U-turn has caused greater confusion and concern for parents. However, this climb-down on what was a ludicrous proposal is a victory for common sense.”
“We have had parents receiving e-mails from senior Labour councillors saying “there will be no reduction, repeat no reduction in primary school hours” yet when SNP opposition councillors asked the Labour/Tory members to confirm this was the case at the Full Council meeting in Falkirk on Wednesday they were unable to do so, despite a press release being issued to the Falkirk Herald on the same day announcing the climb-down.
“To add insult to injury, despite me seeking confirmation since 26th February that the Council was backing down from the Chief Executive, the Education Portfolio Holder and the Acting Director of Education, not one of them had the courtesy to respond. This is a shockingly incompetent way to run a Council and highlights the disdain the current Labour/Tory Administration holds for local parents and opposition politicians”.
Mr MacDonald said he had planned to raise the issue in the Scottish Parliament chamber on Wednesday (18th) with the Cabinet Secretary for Education, Angela Constance at Education Portfolio Questions, and despite Falkirk Council’s U-turn said he still intended to do so, to “highlight the threat such a move would make to local pupil’s attainment levels”.