Pupil costs at Tiree as high as sending child to Eton
IT COSTS as much to send a pupil to Tiree High School as it does to Eton.
Speaking at Friday’s public meeting, which was called by Oban Community Council to discuss the forthcoming Argyll and Bute Council budget, Councillor Elaine Robertson said: ‘You could send pupils from Tiree High School to Eton for what it costs to keep the school running.’
Eton’s school fees run at just over £11,000 a term, plus extras; Tiree High School costs £ 33,361 a year for each of its 25 pupils, compared to Oban High, which has more than 1,000 pupils and spends £ 5,091. (2014-15 budget).
The councillor said she was not advocating closing Tiree High School, but highlighting the costs facing Argyll and Bute Council in providing services on more than 20 islands and in remote areas, and that Argyll and Bute received less of the Special Islands Needs Allowance pro-rata than Western isles, Orkney or Shetland.
Friday’s meeting was overshadowed by the Wednesday evening meeting the community council organised in conjunction with AB-PACC, Argyll and Bute Parents Against Council Cuts, which was held in the Corran Halls. There, more than 300 people were furious that the council was considering cutting the number of special needs assistants in schools.
The worry on Friday was where else the axe would fall; 30 people attended.
Soroba Young Families Group was out in force; it is not faced with closure if the proposed cuts go ahead this year but it would have to stop its birth-to-three-years section.
One member of the public, Kirsteen Binnie, said: ‘Teachers I know are buying resources themselves for use in the classroom.’
Councillor Neil MacIntyre said he wanted to see everyone take a small cut rather than see some services lost altogether – ‘Everyone takes a small cut to keep everything going’ – and he wanted to see major savings in the tiers of middle management,
Alan Reid standing as Lib Dem Argyll and Bute candidate for the 2016 Scottish elections, said that debating which of the cuts in the council’s consultation document should be made was a depressing exercise. He called for people to all work together and mount a campaign to persuade the Scottish Government to give Argyll and Bute a fair share of local government funding.