Budget Options for our Schools should be Scrutinised by the Education Committee

In yesterday’s Courier, the Education Convener, Councillor Liz Fordyce, denied that school closures and mergers were being considered. This denial was called into question by an email from the Director of Education received by Political Group Leaders yesterday morning. This confirmed that the Education Department had received detailed alternative budget savings put forward by Head Teachers and Depute Head Teachers in Dundee Schools forwarded by the Dundee Primary Head Teachers’ Association. The Director also confirmed that these had been submitted as part of their consultation on the budget cuts.

The Dundee Primary Head Teachers wrote:
‘In closing, as senior managers in schools ……. There remains a strong feeling that school rationalisation should have been and must be considered. We appreciate the proposed savings (we have identified) are Revenue budget savings but would suggest that some of these could be offset by Capital savings.’

Since one assumes that the views of these senior teachers' in our schools have been read and studied and weighed by the Directorate and the Education Convener, it follows that their options have been or are being considered.

Yesterday, the Education Convener once again resorted to personal insults in relation to the issues I had raised about the budget cuts in Dundee schools. I think that people who resort to lashing out like that have lost the argument. Another technique she has used to shut down debate is to deny opportunities for the Education Committee of the council to discuss her cuts before they are presented to the Budget meeting next Thursday

I have consistently claimed in the council chamber and the press for an opportunity for the Education Committee to examine the SNP's budget reductions in Education. The Education Committee should be the place where these issues are scrutinised by Councillors alongside members of the Committee drawn from the teaching profession and religious leaders in the city.

Why is the Convener afraid to present her budget proposals to the Education Committee? What has she got to hide?"