Now warnings are sounded over schools

Douglas Chapman
Douglas Chapman

OMINOUS warnings have been issued by Fife Council over the way the Kingdom’s education sevices could be run in future.

In a statement released last week, the authority said it has some “hard choices” to make in the coming years on how it can maintain standards within its budget.

Councillor Douglas Chapman, chair of the council’s education and children’s services committee, said the authority had made a “huge investment” in education through buildings and repairs

However, he added: “Given the harsh financial climate we all face we need to concentrate on our core duties as a council, which means the quality of learning and teaching and the care of children in our schools.

“To meet the financial challenge, we will be looking at the costs associated with running 19 high schools and 143 primary schools across Fife and look for ways to maximise the efficiency of our school buildings.”

Cllr Chapman went on to point out the costs associated with running a building that is less than half full of children, especially if there is another building a short distance away that is also half full.

“Despite our best efforts in making improvements in the quality of our buildings, we still have work to do here, and while no decisions will be made for some time, this will be an area which will receive a great deal of focus over the coming years,” said the Cllr.

He added that the council would continue to ensure services were run as “efficiently as possible” and that services provided by law could also be run in “a different, more efficient way”.

The authority was prepared to make “unpopular decisions” to keep educational standards high, added Cllr Chapman.

Debate on how education standards can be maintained on its budget has been encouraged by the council.