Education – The cuts have been too deep and this must be addressed

2 November 2012

Kevin Keenan

Firstly, let me start by paying tribute to our staff.   

I do not believe that the fault in any way lies with them.    

The issue is within the extremely poor policies put forward by the SNP Administration. 

The Administration cannot defend the indefensible.     

Their previous cuts have certainly done nothing to improve Education across our City and we must stop gambling with the future of our young people. 

St Andrew’s Primary School is just the tip of the iceberg. 

It is now time for the SNP Administration to do more.

They must, of course, start by acknowledging that the cuts they have made were far too deep and are now proving to be extremely detrimental to the Education Service. 

The Leader of the Council and his Education Convener who was previously Depute Convener, must take full responsibility. 

Only last Friday we received a presentation, delivered by a Head Teacher spelling out the problems that she has as the sole Head Teacher in a school where she used to be in the full time, non-teaching, supporting role as the Depute. 

When that presentation was given, I consider that in response to my questions put to the Chief Executive, in the presence of the Director of Education, that there was a firm acknowledgement that the cuts were too deep.    

However, there must be a political willingness on behalf of the SNP Administration to put things right.    

Opposition Councillors do not carry the votes. 

People will have seen this earlier in the week by the SNP’s decision to close Kemback Street – when not one opposition Councillor supported this. 

I acknowledge that the Chief Executive and the Director of Education accept that these cuts were too deep and that they are currently in the first aid box, looking for a sticking plaster.

However, the decision does not land with them as there must be a political willingness to set things right.

Very recently, this SNP led Administration supported a million plus pound 100/1 gamble in relation to DERL (Dundee Energy Recycling Limited) on the chance that an Insurance Company would/would not pay. 

If it was OK  to use this enormous amount of cash from reserves on a gamble, then it should be OK to use this money now to reinstate Depute Head Teachers across the Primary School sector.

It should also be noted that the Education Department carries 54 staff on reserved salaries.

I have no doubt many of these individuals would have held the position of Depute Head Teachers.

It’s no longer a time to talk, it’s a time for positive action.  

The SNP Administration must follow the policies of the Council and Get It Right For Every Child as, at the moment, the St Andrew’s Report is the first which clearly demonstrates that the SNP-led Administration of Dundee City Council are falling way short.

 

 

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