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Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Please write to your councillor about budget cuts affecting schools

The local primary and secondary schools parent councils are asking all parents and carers to write to their councillors about cuts to the City of Edinburgh Council - Children and Families Budget 2010 - 2013. See below for how to contact your councillor.

School Council Chairs attended a briefing from the City Council Children and Families Department officials, on 16th December 2009 and were very concerned at the proposals that were presented to the Parent Councils.  

In the short term, the proposals from the Council officials for the City of Edinburgh include: significant reductions in learning assistants; withdrawal of visiting specialists in early Primary (i.e. PE, music, drama); centralising librarian resources which would remove dedicated school staff members; and withdrawal of all foreign language assistants.

For each school's own budget, there will be a requirement to find a 2.5% cut on top of the 1.5% imposed last year. This 2.5% will be year on year, and the Edinburgh Secondary Head Teachers have indicated to the local authority that this is impossible. They have made clear that education will suffer in Edinburgh's schools if this is followed through.   'We only have a short time to influence the politicians as they consider the budget options for 2010/11.  Please take the time to express your concerns and views to your elected councillors (JGHS Council Chair)
The Gillespie's High School Council website contains further details and explanations and a suggested draft of a letter.

Sciennes Primary are  asking parents and carers to sign an online petition or to join a Facebook group and to write to all of our councillors and to the Director of Children and Families Gillian Tee, and the Convenor of the Education Department, Marilyn McLaren (also a local councillor), opposing the cuts.

Councillors for  Meadows and Morningside (Marchmont) are:

Marilyn MacLaren
529 5566
Alison Johnstone
529 3191
Paul Godzig
529 3273
Mark McInnes
529 4958

and for  Newington and Sciennes:

Steve Burgess
529 3274 
Ian Perry
529 3288
Cameron Rose
529 4078
Gordon Mackenzie
529 3175

Alternatively you can write to any of the above at:

City of Edinburgh Council,
Waverley Court,
4 East Market Street,
Edinburgh, EH8 8BG

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