Falkirk schools could lose teachers as heads ordered to make spending cuts

Parents are being warned that there will be 'unprecedented cuts' in spending at Falkirk Council schools.

The local authority has savings targets of £5.83 million from children’s service for each of the next five years – over £29 million.

For the first year of the cuts secondary headteachers are being asked to identify £2.5 million of cuts for the 2019-20 session, while primary heads are to find £1.8 million of savings.

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Letters are being sent out to all those with children at primary and high schools detailing how much the individual headteachers are being expected to save.

Councillors agreed at the education executive on November 6 to instruct all headteachers to consult on with staff, pupils and parents on how these savings can be achieved.

The report to the executive warned that the cuts could result in compulsory redundancies; larger class sizes if teacher numbers are reduced; reduction in curricular choices; and a reduction in support staff and consequent supervision capacity.

A letter sent to parents of Larbert High pupils from rector Jon Reid said to achieve the expected savings their school would have to reduce staffing levels and make savings of £503,407.

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Mr Reid estimates this would mean the loss of more than 12 full time teaching posts.

At Graeme High head Lesley Carroll has to make £304,737 of savings, the equivalent of over seven full time teachers.

Primary schools are not escaping either with savings ranging from £94,000 at Kinnaird to £8000 at Whitecross.

In his report to councillors, Robert Naylor, director of children’s services, admitted: “There is no doubt that to achieve this level of savings children’s services will have to carefully manage radical restructuring, re-engineering, downsizing and re- prioritisation across all areas of current service provision within the context of both Council and national priorities and legislative frameworks.

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“This level of budget savings cannot be met without having a direct and significant impact on schools.”

Education spokesperson, Councillor Adanna McCue, said: “We all understand the financial difficulties we are in.

“The last thing we want to do is make cuts to our services.

“This plan will allow head teachers to connect with teachers and parents and come to an agreement on what services should continue within their schools.”