Commenting on Proposed £0.5 million of Further Council Cuts in Education 2015/16

 

Laurie Bidwell , Labour's Education spokesperson on Dundee City Council  

15 January 2015

The publication today of the Provisional Revenue Budget and Review of Charges 2015/16 and the associated list of savings brought forward by the SNP Administration group of Councillors shows a number of significant additional proposed cuts in budgets that support teaching and learning in our schools.  

In total more than £0.5 Million more is being pared from spending in schools.

Firstly in the capital budget there is a proposed 100% cut in the budget for updating the computers that all staff and pupils use.

This block on purchasing for a year will apply to Nursery, Primary and Secondary schools.

This is very short sighted.

The current 'Refresh' programme allows computers, to be replaced and new equipment such as electronic interactive whiteboards to be purchased.

The speed of innovation in computer hardware is difficult enough to keep up with at present when there is a 5 year cycle.

Stretching this to six or more years will mean some staff and pupils waiting longer for up to date kit to work and learn on.

In a city which has a vibrant Computer and Video Games sector, this is a particularly damaging and stupid cut

Secondly, secondary schools are in line for a 25% cut in the cash available for Books and Materials.

The new budget works out at £63.30 per pupil.

Bearing in mind the relatively high cost of text books and need for new books that cover the changed curriculum of many of the SQA examinations, this won't go very far.

For example, the 'Higher Chemistry for CfE with Answers' by Anderson, Allan and Harris costs £21.99.

This version is endorsed by SQA and has been revised in line with the 2014 changes to Higher Chemistry.

Unfortunately, I think more parents and carers will find themselves having to dip into their own pockets to make up for cuts in the text books our secondary schools can provide.

 

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