Call for Clarity About Which Secondary Schools Will Have Larger English and Maths Classes in S1/2

Laurie Bidwell

21 January 2013

Last week, the SNP led administration of the Council made a shock announcement about their cuts in staffing at our Schools.

From August 2013 they have proposed to withdraw smaller classes in Maths and English in the first two years at five of the nine secondary schools in Dundee. These classes are currently capped at 20 and will increase upwards to a maximum of 33 pupils.

The Education Convener, Councillor Hunter justified this by saying that four secondary schools had less positive exam results and keeping the smaller classes for them would help improve their results. Presumably, by that line of reasoning, exam results in those schools where the smaller classes are being withdrawn will be undermined.

But so far the Education Convener has avoided spelling out which four secondary schools will retain their cash for these smaller Maths and English Classes in S1 and S2 and which will lose out.

Parents and carers who have children moving from Primary to Secondary School this summer have a right and a need to know this now.

They need to know because whether a secondary school will or will not have smaller classes in Maths and English is something that might sway their decision about which school to request for their child.

These parents and carers shouldn't be asked to wait for his announcement until after the Budget Meeting on Thursday 14 February, because they must finalise their parental choice for a secondary school by the Council's deadline.

Placing requests must be submitted to the City Council by the first Monday in February which this year falls on Monday 4 February.

Of course Councillor Hunter could have chosen to put this on the Agenda of the Education Committee called for Monday 28 January, but I notice that he has avoided doing this when I looked at the papers that have been issued.

As Convener, he still has the opportunity to put this on as a late item and allow Senior Pupils, Parent Council Representatives and Teachers from our schools to have their say along with Councillors.

Like his predecessor, Councillor Fordyce, Councillor Hunter can try and hide the issues that are really important from the Education Committee but he must come clean and tell us where his axe is going to fall in Maths and English Classes.

Parents and carers won't thank him from hiding this from them when they have to make their placing decisions over the next few da



This report make sit clear that placing requests must be submitted to the Council by the first Monday in February.

 The nine Secondary Schools in Dundee are:

·  Baldragon Academy

·  Braeview Academy

·  Craigie High School

·  Grove Academy

·  Harris Academy

·  Menzieshill High School

·  Morgan Academy

·  St John's RC High School

·  St Paul's RC Academy