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Cross Party Group To Review Classroom Assistance

11th February 2011

Cross party group to review assistance provided in primary school classrooms

The Highland Council has agreed to set up a cross-party working group to review - before this summer - the level of assistance provided in primary school classrooms.

In doing so, it agreed to reduce the amount of savings to be taken from classroom assistants in 2011/12 from 883,000 to 319,000. The full year saving will be set at 751,000 rather than 1.47 million.

Councillor Bill Fernie, Chairman of the Education Culture and Sport Committee, explained that the proposal to cease provision of 344 classroom assistants had generated significant concern amongst teachers, parents and school groups.

He said: "We cannot ignore the large number of representations we have received from throughout the Highlands. Clearly this is a service that is highly regarded by many.

"An early review will be made of assistance in primary school classrooms, with implementation of the recommendations from August, this year. We have identified funds that can cushion the impact of the proposed savings. We remain committed to ensuring that assistance in the classroom is targeted where it is most needed and this will form part of the early view of the service we provide."

The Council also agreed to include a saving of 317,000 in the ECS budget in 2012-13 by withdrawing this funding from the National Centre of Excellence for Traditional Music at Plockton.

However, the Council said its aim is to secure the long term future of the Centre and to do so in the most financially efficient and effective way.

It is to engage with the Scottish Government, West Highland College and other interests in further discussions to explore how the Centre may play a role in supporting wider potential development in traditional music within the region.

 

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