Thursday, 28 February 2013

Tory / Independent Budget Failing Moray's Children


The SNP Opposition Group in The Moray Council says that the budget pushed through by Independent and Tory Councillors fails Moray’s young people.

SNP Spokesperson on Children and Young People Councillor Mike Shand warned against the education cuts in the recent budget, which was opposed by Scottish National Party councillors in Moray. Since the budget he has further discussed his concerns with teachers and parents who have grave concerns about the impact on the ability of Moray’s Schools to deliver Curriculum for Excellence.

Meanwhile the SNP Opposition Leader, Cllr Pearl Paul, says she is appalled by the lack of awareness of the Independents and Tories in the Council’s Administration of the impact of their decisions and for failing to address the shared services agenda, which has the potential to generate substantial savings that wouldn’t be from frontline services.

Commenting on the impact of the education cuts Cllr Mike Shand said:

Ward 6
Elgin City North
“The question I asked of the Independents and Tories during the budget debate was what is the reasoning behind these cuts? What is their assessment of the impact of these decisions?

“Everyone I have spoken to about the education cuts have confirmed my worst fears, that the removal of principal teachers and classroom assistants will, in the words of a highly respected and experienced teacher, make it ‘impossible to deliver Curriculum for Excellence’.

“In addition the removal of Principal Teachers is taking away fundamental support for children transitioning from pre-school to primary school and from primary school to high school. It also removes members of staff who have key responsibilities for delivering the ‘Getting It Right For Every Child’ [GIRFEC] framework, which underpins critical early intervention work, supporting our most disadvantaged children.

“Let’s be clear about this - Curriculum for Excellence is the only game in town and if The Moray Council cannot deliver that for the children of Moray then they will be seriously disadvantaged compared to other children in Scotland and beyond. Either the Administration didn’t understand the impact of these budget lines, which would be bad enough, or worse, that they did understand but don’t care!

“You simply cannot pay lip service to the curriculum that is the fundamental basis for every child’s education while at the same time ripping away Classroom Assistants and Principal Teachers who are critical to delivering it.”

Speaking about the alternatives SNP Opposition Leader Cllr Pearl Paul said:

Ward 1
Speyside Glenlivet
“The Independents and Tories have been speaking for years about share services as a way to save substantial sums of money and we have supported that. We have spoken to colleagues in other councils who are also supportive but what has the Administration done in all that time to take the issue forward?

“What serious discussions have they had? SNP Councillors have shown a willingness to work with other councillors on shared services. The Council must maximise savings from management structures with less impact to frontline services but the Tories and Independents have failed to bring forward any serious proposals in this area.

“Most of the Independents and Tories in the current administration have been in the previous administration during the last 5 years so there can be no excuses.

“We opposed this budget because the Administration has failed to look seriously at other alternatives that could have saved substantial sums in backroom costs and better protected critical frontline services.”
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