SNP Councillors vote down £379,000 for Dundee Schools they had cut by £4.1 M

At the Council's Budget meeting on Thursday 10 February, the SNP group of fourteen Councillors, with the support of the Lord Provost, voted down the Labour amendment. We proposed to use savings we had identified, to restore more than a third of a million pounds to the Education budget.

Our proposals would have have made this a better budget by ensuring that:

  • no class lacks a supply teacher when a teacher is absent and when a school's budget for supply cover is exhausted;

  • curriculum for excellence developments will not be held back by reductions in the school's classroom expenses budget and

  • no pupil is denied access to an examination as a result of the cut in SQA examination fees for dual presentations because two examination certificates are better than the risk of none.

We believed that the best way to achieve our priorities was to pass these funds to the discretionary budgets of our head teachers so that they might have spent this on the most important priorities in their schools. In this way, teaching and learning in our schools would have been protected from the most damaging effects of the SNPs programmes of more than £4 million cuts.

Unfortunately, our school children and their schools will have to suffer because the SNP insisted on protecting the budget for two civic cars and not one as we proposed. They also voted to protect money for beer and sandwiches for hospitality. They also voted to retain an unallocated bus route development fund. Why we would want to invest more money from the council tax to boost the profits of the bus company in Dundee beats me. I think most council taxpayers in Dundee would think this would be throwing good money after bad given the recent botched reorganisation of bus routes in the city.

So as the dust settles after our prolonged budget meeting, why does our SNP led Council prefer to retain the £379,000 savings we had identified and not shore up the Education budget they had raided? Why are beer and sandwiches and civic cars on the council tax more important than the Education of our children?

Dundee nursery, primary and secondary schools deserve better.