Call to rescind school ‘secretaries’ proposal rejected

The call was rejected at the full Fife Council meeting.
The call was rejected at the full Fife Council meeting.

A Fife councillor’s call to rescind proposals to restructure front-line support at schools across the region has been rejected.

Fife Council is currently reviewing administrative support at all its schools. The current proposal includes a minimum of 30 hours support in each school, and feedback is being sought on staffing model options.

The notice to rescind, put forward by Cllr Tony Miklinski, stated: “This council agrees that the savings measure to remove or dilute key admin/secretarial staff in Fife schools is ill-conceived and will inflict disproportionate damage on hard pressed schools that outweights planned savings” and for the measure to be deleted.

This motion was rejected at the full Fife Council meeting last week.

During the debate, Cllr Miklinski said: “Small to medium sized primary schools across north east Fife will be particularly hard hit with loyal, dedicated school secretaries forced to choose between having their salaries cut or leaving the schools they love.

“I have been inundated with messages from concerned parent councils and head teachers pleading that Fife Council should let them keep the school secretaries who keep the show on the road and look after the children and staff above and beyond their job descriptions.”

Cllr Miklinski, whose notice was backed by Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, argued that the savings resulting from these measures were “tiny”.

Concerns about the proposed changes have been expressed in north east Fife.

Ceres Primary School Parent Council started the online petition ‘Save Our School Secretaries’.

The petition claims the proposal aims “to centralise some administrative tasks and downgrade the existing admin and clerical roles in 28 out of 42 primary schools and nurseries in the Waid, Bell Baxter and Madras Clusters”.

However, Shelagh McLean, head of education at Fife Council, said schools would continue to have a “clerical assistant or an admin assistant or both” and added: “The role these employees play for schools and parents is crucial and we are not seeking to remove this support.”