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Clacks schools under threat by budget proposals

Coalsnaughton Primary could shut under proposals being considered by Clacks Council

Two primary schools in Clackmannanshire could be closed due to budget cuts, affecting almost 150 students.

A letter’s been sent out to parents of pupils at Fishcross and Coalsnaughton Primaries.

It says both schools could shut from August 2020 – although Clacks Council have told us that “no final decisions have yet been taken”.

One of the other options on the table is reducing the school week for secondary pupils from 25 hours to 22 and a half.

A Council spokesperson said, “No decisions have yet been taken.

“These are officer options which will be part of budget consultation, which will then inform the decision making of councillors at the budget meeting.

“If these options are agreed, they will then move to a statutory consultation process before any final decisions are taken.”

The local authority want residents to take part in their budget consultation, which is running until the 1st February.

Chief Executive Nikki Bridle said: “These proposals from Council officers are very challenging and reflect that it is now very difficult to find savings which will not impact on individuals and communities.

“Some proposals would result in reductions in service from existing levels, or change the way in which services are delivered in order to reduce costs, many of which involve working in collaboration with a range of partners.

“I would encourage residents to read over these savings options and fill in the online survey so that this can be shared with councillors before they agree a budget.

“Your views are a very important part of the decision making process.”

Clackmannanshire and Dunblane MSP Keith Brown said, “Clearly, further information is necessary as a matter of urgency so that the many concerned parents contacting my office can fully understand what is being proposed as budget options, and I have written to the chief executive of Clackmannanshire Council seeking such further information.

“I will also be seeking assurances from the SNP administration, and the opposition Labour and Tory groups, that they intend to reject these officer proposals in order that parents can be reassured over the future of these schools.”

Luke Graham is MP for Ochil and South Perthshire – he’s been highly critical of the SNP.

He said, “Despite these increases from Westminster we continually see the SNP administration in Edinburgh and at Kilncraigs slashing away at education.

“In spite of Nicola Sturgeon claiming education is her ‘Number One priority’.

“This is clearly not the case, with Scottish education now falling behind Northern Ireland & England in terms of performance, and the SNP so embarrassed that they have removed us from international league tables.

“In Clackmannanshire we have some fantastic teachers and students bursting with potential, but the SNP’s cuts are starting to bite in the county.

“The cuts are here, real and closing our schools.”

You can read more about the consultation here

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