Having not written on here for a couple of weeks I have a lot to catch up with. However, I am just going to post a short comment on here this evening in response to an article the Fife Free Press is currently running online. I am extremely unhappy about the article and my response to the paper (which I have shared on my Councillor page) is attached.
Both Balwearie High School and Queen Anne High School are schools I have been following closely as Fife Council's Managing Change exercise is carried out. I am particularly unhappy about plans to close the Business Education Department at QAHS, despite it being over-subscribed, achieving excellent results and having a long-standing teacher and still not receiving satisfactory answers from Fife Council. I am also very concerned about the proposals being put forward by the Headteacher at Balwearie High School - who is left with no option due to draconian budget cuts imposed by the SNP led Administration in Fife and passed on by their masters at Holyrood.
The link to the article can be found here - https://www.fifetoday.co.uk/news/education/balwearie-high-school-looks-to-cut-school-hours-to-save-cash-1-4895306
I have emailed my comments for this week's publication.
Balwearie High School Looks To Cut Hours – A Response
“It is completely disingenuous for Cllr Sinclair to suggest these cuts were accepted by all political groups. The Conservative group at Fife Council put forward a set of alternative budget proposals and I spoke out vociferously against these cuts at the Budget meeting in February.”
“It is wrong to suggest that cutting 50 minutes of registration each week is somehow a positive move. The registration period is important for addressing any pastoral and academic concerns which can then be passed to the guidance teacher. Whilst it is true that there is no standardisation of the school week, what is now being proposed is as a direct result of draconian cuts to the education budget in Fife. This is as a result of Scottish Government austerity on councils up and down the country.”
“For a government that claims education is its number one priority they have a strange way of showing it; either a cut in subject choice or a cut to the school week.”
“Mr McNeil, like other headteachers in Fife, is being faced with a very difficult decision and one that does not benefit pupils. It is high time this SNP-Labour coalition at Fife Council went back to the Scottish Government and demanded more money to properly fund schools and education.
Cllr Kathleen Leslie
Fife Conservatives Education Spokesperson