Implementation of the concordat between the Scottish Government and local authorities – underpinned by Edinburgh's Single Outcome Agreement – emphasised the commitment to education at a local and national level. However, cuts that will adversely and significantly affect the staffing and front-line teaching resources available within city schools will undermine the achievement of key national outcomes, let alone implementation of a brand-new curriculum.
Chair, Stockbridge Primary Parent Council
Hamilton Place, Edinburgh
I did not, as your report on school budgets implied, say parents accepted that cuts had to be made. Far from it – I am mandated by two parent councils in my area to oppose all cuts to school budgets on the basis that there is nothing left to cut after successive years of "efficiency savings". Moreover, schools are charged with delivering the Curriculum for Excellence but have no new funds with which to achieve this. It is crucial that investment is made in this exciting educational change right now. It would thus be appropriate for the City of Edinburgh Council to increase school budgets, rather than cut them. Perhaps it would be more useful to have a bigger-picture debate about the spending priorities of the council across all departments. Then we could clearly see if education and front-line services are the budget priority many politicians like to claim they are.
If schools are truly a high priority, increased investment, not cuts, would prove the point.
I find it difficult to believe what the current Edinburgh council administration is proud to call "achievements" in education locally – especially in the context of the Lib Dem and SNP manifesto promises of 2007 (more teachers, more schools, lower class sizes, etc).
And now with the latest round of cuts about to be made across all school budgets they have wheeled out the school closure issue again and are getting their employee headteachers to do the dirty work for them.
Scotland has long since prided itself on its educational standards and this is why I am ashamed to be Scottish now.
Things are tough, but all the less reason to be cutting vital front-line services in education. The greatest and wisest use of our resources now is to invest it in the most important resource – our children. Our future economy depends on this.
The SNP nationally should not escape censure. Its new concordat is a remarkable achievement in that it seems to allow politicians of all types and levels to escape responsibility. Oh, that education could be taken away from them all.