Launch of the Council's budget blog - should we shorten the school day?
26th August 2012
The Highland Council has today (Monday) launched a budget blog on the home page of its web site: www.highland.gov.uk by asking the public if they think it is a good idea to save £3.2 million per year by shortening the school day of Primary 4 - 7 pupils by 30 minutes, bringing their day in line with Primary 1-3 pupils.
Class hours for pupils in P 4-7 are currently 25 hours per week. The maximum class contact time for teachers is 22½ hours per week and so it is necessary to employ additional teachers to cover the 2½ hours per week which cannot be covered by the normal class teacher.
Shortening the school day by 30 minutes per day would reduce the requirement for additional staff to cover those 2½ hours teaching per week. With no additional staff being required for these classes, a saving of £3.2m per annum could be achieved. This could be achieved by the school day starting later, finishing earlier or lengthening the morning break and lunch break.
The blog is a forum which can be accessed by visiting the home page of the Council's web site: www.highland.gov.uk for discussion during the Council's Budget Consultation, which runs until 31 October and will involve 12 public meetings.
It will be moderated by Councillor Dave Fallows, Chair of the Council's Finance Housing and Resources Committee, who will be seeking views on a different topic each week. The aim of the consultation is to help bridge a budget gap of around £30 million in 2013-14 and 2014-15.
Councillor Fallows said: "I hope people will sign up and add their views and comments to the budget blog. Although there are a number of ways people can get involved in the budget consultation and feed in their views, the blog allows us to have an interactive discussion and for people to share and comment on views. The issue of the length of the school day is an important and challenging one and I look forward to hearing what people think on this topic."
The blog is one of several ways that people can feed back their views on the Budget Consultation. People can:-
· Attend one of the consultation events that are taking place across Highland;
· Download a response form (104kb Word) and post the form or general comments to FREEPOST HC BUDGET CONSULTATION 2012
· Email the consultation address: budgetconsultation[AT]highland.gov.uk
· Complete an Online Response Form or
· Join the discussion on Twitter by using the hashtag #Hcbudget
Last week, The Highland Council issued rent suspension orders (RSO) in relation to a number of properties being operated as unlicensed houses in multiple occupation (HMO). The orders, which have been served on the owners and tenants, mean that the tenants are no longer under any obligation to pay rent to their landlord.
The Leader of The Highland Council Councillor Margaret Davidson welcomed the First Minister's announcement of a Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund to deliver much needed improvements to tourist infrastructure to support the rising numbers of visitors to the Highlands. This comes the week after figures were published for August which showed Highland visitor attractions were performing 17% higher compared to August last year, a result that is backed by accounts from residents and businesses that the area has been hugely popular with visitors this season.
The Highland Council is ready for winter and prepared to grit council roads as the council's winter maintenance programme starts on 14 October. Trunk roads in Highland are the responsibility of Transport Scotland and their operators Bear Scotland.
Trading Standards are looking for young people to take part in test purchasing exercises. We want to find out which shops are breaking the law by selling age restricted products to young people under 18.
Caithness Civic leader Cllr Willie Mackay (centre) cuts the tape at the opening of the newly refurbished half mile Killimster Moss stretch of the B876 Wick to Thurso road. Looking on are some of the Highland council workers praised for the project which was done on time and within budget.
Caithness Civic Leader Cllr Willie Mackay has welcomed the reopening of the B876 Killimster Moss Road. A stretch of the Caithness Wick to Thurso road at Killimster Moss was refurbished over a four week programme of improvement and reopened on Friday 29 September.
A chance to have your say. Voters are being invited to have their say on a review of polling places throughout the Highland Council area The Council has today (Monday 2 October 2017) launched a consultation over its review of election polling districts and polling places.
The Scottish Government is allocating Â£1 million to improve school libraries over the next three years. Launched today by the Deputy First Minister, the School Library Improvement Fund will be open for education authorities to apply for funding on behalf of school libraries in their area.
The Scrutiny Lead for The Highland Council, Cllr Matthew Reiss responded to the decisions made today by the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) at their meeting in Inverness. He said: "We are naturally deeply disappointed by the decisions today to close the Inverness Control Room and to spread the National Database Enquiry Unit between Inverness and Govan.
The by-election for a councillor to represent the Tain and Easter Ross Ward on The Highland Council has been won by Alasdair Rhind (Independent) who was one of six candidates who contested the vacancy. The bi-election was brought about by the resignation of Jamie Stone following his success in the Westminster elections He joins Councillors Fiona Robertson (Independent) and Derek Louden (SNP) in representing Ward 7 on The Highland Council.
[Printer Friendly Version]