Kirkcaldy parents' education petition attracts hundreds of supporters

A petition calling for an end to 'damaging' cuts to school budgets has attracted 900 signatures in just two weeks.

Josephine Bryden (right) with other concerned parents, Louise Andree, Bettina Schluep Adams, Tahra Duncan Clarke

The petition was set up by a group of concerned parents of children at Balwearie High School, Kirkcaldy’s biggest secondary, led by Josephine Brydon who has two children attending.

She said: “Whilst I fully understand the budgetary pressures that Fife Council is facing, I believe that the £4.172 million cut to the education budget will do irreparable damage to the education that a generation of young people across Fife will receive.

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“How can our secondary schools be expected to make these massive savings when most are already operating on a shoestring?

Josephine Bryden (right) with other concerned parents, Louise Andree, Bettina Schluep Adams, Tahra Duncan Clarke

“Balwearie High School’s budget this year is £265,167 less than 2017, with a possible reduction of £346,741 over two years.”

She said that the school’s headmaster, Neil McNeil was having to consider options.

These included halving the number of guidance staff; reducing choice of Higher and Advanced Higher subjects; reducing promoted teacher posts and overall teaching staff numbers and increasing class sizes.

“It is impossible to put a positive spin on this situation ,” she added.

“Pupils and teachers can only suffer as a result of these budget cuts.’’.

Meanwhile Fife MSP Alex Rowley has spoken out in the Scottish Parliament describing the level of cuts in budgets to Fife secondary schools as unacceptable and requesting the Deputy First Minister examine them and work with Fife Council to find an alternative way forward.

Mr Rowley said: “Even in a time of fiscal austerity, education is more than just an expense.

“ The fact is that 17 of the 19 secondary schools in Fife have been told to make cuts that amount to over £2.3 million over two years and you cannot do that without impacting on the education of pupils.

“Every child should have an equal chance to succeed but for headteachers, teachers, parents and pupils that just seems like rhetoric, far removed from the reality that they are facing right now.”