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Warnings over education cuts

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By Fiona Reid
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Warnings over education cuts

BUDGET cuts being proposed by Dumfries and Galloway Council will have a ‘big impact’ on education, says local members of a teaching union.

Council officers have drawn up a list of possible savings, including only providing instrumental music tuition to exam candidates, cutting hot meals in small schools and reducing subject choices in secondary schools.

But officials at EIS have warned of the potentially far-reaching effects of the proposals on school catering, instrumental music tuition, timetabling, ASL and subject choices.

Sarajane Moffat, EIS equality representative, said: “Reduced funding for instrumental music tuition will have a big impact on the most disadvantaged pupils who cannot afford to pay for private tuition. Changes to school catering will hit those who depend upon free school meals the most.”

Meanwhile, Julie Irving, an EIS representative on the council’s education and learning committee, said: “If pupils have a more restricted set of subject choices, this will impact severely on post-school destinations and reduce the skills base of the workforce across the region. We cannot breach the attainment gap if ASL is not funded properly. This is nothing short of scandalous.”

And local EIS secretary Andrew O’Halloran added: “These cuts are untenable. Education across Dumfries and Galloway has already come under enormous pressure over the last few years and it cannot take any more. “The effects on teaching and learning may be far reaching. Dumfries and Galloway will not be getting it right for every child.”

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