Clacks cuts threaten two primary schools
There has already been an angry reaction to the proposals from parents and Labour has accused the minority SNP administration of “selling the family silver “.
However, the council’s SNP Group insist the proposals have been put forward by officers and nothing has been decided.
The council has already slashed around £43 million from its budget over the last eight years, and now estimates it needs to save around 20 per cent of current expenditure.
Officials believe there will be around £30 million less to spend over the next three financial years.
The closure of the two schools would see the council claw back £164,000 in 2020/21 and a further £133,000 in 2021/22.
Fishcross Primary currently has a school roll of 84 pupils, with Coalsnaughton Primary having 64. Exactly where pupils will be taught if the schools close has been not outlined.
However, there is speculation Coalsnaughton pupils will go to Tillicoultry Primary while those at Fishcross will switch to Sauchie Primary
A review of nursery provision for Coalsnaughton is also underway.
As a consultation on the controversial proposals began, outraged parents have vowed to fight to save the facilities.
Fishcross Parents Group was ‘shocked and outraged’ over the proposals, adding: “Our school has amazing teachers that go out of their way to help and support our children and families. Parents past and present will I’m sure share stories of support.
“Many parents have concerns that a closure will result in a move to a much larger school and overcrowded classes which results in the teachers having less time to get to know our kids and less support to all the children.
“We are a small school almost at maximum capacity and we will do everything to keep our school open.”
A community meeting has been scheduled by the Fishcross Parent Council to take place in the school hall at 7pm Wednesday, January 16.
Proposals have been made to cut the secondary school week by two and a half hours, from 25 hours to 22.5 hours.
However, council officers have warned that a reduction in school hours will result in pupils studying fewer subjects at SQA level and may also impact on pupil attainment.
Cutting the hours would save £387,000 in 2020/21 and a further £232,000 in 2021/22.
Clacks Council chief executive, Nikki Bridle, said: “These proposals from council officers are very challenging and reflect that it’s 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.”
Residents can complete an online consultation survey on the proposals. The consultation closes on February 1.
The survey can be found at https:// bit.ly/2siebFn
Facing axe Coalsnaughton Primary