North East Fife MSP Willie Rennie has criticised Fife Council’s proposed changes to front-line support at schools throughout the Kingdom.
Fife Council is currently reviewing administrative support at all its schools. The current proposal includes a minimum of 30 hours support in each school.
Following a meeting with council co-leader Cllr David Alexander and Cllr Fay Sinclair, convener of the Education and Children’s Services Committee, Mr Rennie said there was “no justification” for the changes.
He said: “Having spoken to the councillors in charge at the council, we are told these staff reductions won’t even save any money. There is no justification for this, these cuts just don’t add up. The only consequence will be a downgrade in the level of experience of school admin staff in our rural schools.
“School admin staff are the backbone of the school community providing support for teachers, a trusted point of contact for families and advice and support for pupils. They are good value for money and make a significant contribution to the education of the pupils.
“I’m grateful to the hundreds of people who have signed our petition in support of our school secretaries.
“The voice of local people is loud and clear from the hundreds who’ve signed our petition. They don’t want the council to make this mistake, if they do, they’ll regret not listening to our warnings.”
Ceres Primary School Parent Council started the online petition ‘Save our School Secretaries’ earlier this year, over fears the proposed changes could have on local communities.
Councillor Sinclair said: “Despite some scaremongering, these proposals would not remove vital administrative support from schools.
“What is being proposed is a new structure that reflects the work undertaken in our schools and provides consistency across Fife as well as better opportunities for career progression with the creation of a new admin co-ordinator post.
“It also includes a long-overdue review to reflect changing pupil rolls, with some schools due to see an increase in hours of support.”